Sewing

Waterproof terrycloth mattress protector

Have you ever spilled coffee in bed, or had a pet or a child who had an “oops!” in bed?  I decided that cleaning the mattress is harder work than protecting the mattress.

So, I decided to make a waterproof mattress protector.

Measure

First of all I measured the length, width and height of the mattress. I added the height (x2) to the length and also to the width.  Since it will fold in under the mattress I added 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) to the length and width.

So, the length of the fabric = length of bed + height of bed (x2) + how much I folded it in (x2).

The width of the fabric = width of bed + height of bed (x2) + how much I folded it in (x2).

layout of mattress protector
layout of mattress protector

Buy fabric

I found this waterproof terry cloth at my local haberdashery.  On the one side it has a waterproof vinyl and terry cloth on the other side. It has a bit of stretch in it, which created an opportunity to test tip I read somewhere. More about that to come, though.

waterproof terrycloth
waterproof terrycloth

Cut fabric

I then cut the corners based on the length and width of the mattress. I cut the top and bottom corners simultaneously, by folding the fabric lengthwise.

If you are following my method, remember the corners of the mattress are rounded so you don’t have to leave space for the seams, you could even cut the corner squares  a bit deeper for a tighter fit. (In the case of working with the waterproof terry cloth, which  has some stretch in it,  you can easily cut the corner squares an inch deeper).

 

Waterproof terrycloth mattress protector fabric
Waterproof terrycloth mattress protector fabric

Pin and sew corners

I then pinned the corners together.

Corners pinned together
Corners pinned together

When I stitched the first corner this is what happened. The waterproof side of the cloth makes the presser foot “stick” and bunches up the fabric.

bunched up stitching on vinyl side
Bunched up stitching on vinyl side

Since I don’t have a Teflon foot, I decided to test a tip I read somewhere by using wax paper and stitching on top of that.

Easy and much cheaper than a brand new Teflon presser foot! I just tore it off and threw it away when I was done!

Stitching on wax paper
Stitching on wax paper

Ta-daaa!!  The outcome of stitching using wax paper. This looks much better!  Wax paper torn off and a perfect seam!

Outcome of the wax paper tip
Outcome of the wax paper tip

If you notice that the sides of the corners are not lined up, just gradually cut the two sides next to the corners to an equal length – no need to measure – just gradually even it off.

Cut equal mattress cover corners
Cut equal mattress cover corners
unequal mattress cover corners
Unequal mattress cover corners

 

 

Adding elastic to the corners

I used 12″ – 16″ (30  – 40 cm) lengths of elastic for the corners.  I determined the halfway mark of the elastic and pinned it to the first corner.

Pin elastic to center of corner
Pin elastic to center of corner

I started off folding the edge once and pinning the elastic.  When I started sewing it was quite a challenge to keep the elastic stretched AND remove the pins AND hold the fabric at once.

I then sewed the edge first, before attaching the elastic.  I used zig-zag stitch at first but switched to straight stitch since the cloth bunched up with the zig-zag stitch.

I used zig-zag stitch (with the feed dog lowered) to secure the elastic to the center of the corner.

Secure elastic to center of the corner
Secure elastic to center of the corner

Again holding and stretching the elastic at the same time proved to be a struggle.  I then determined the centre of each side and stitched it in place on the ends, the middle and the middle of each side.  See below.

Secured elastic in five places
Secured elastic in five places

This made it much easier to keep the elastic stretched and sew at the same time!

Ta-daaa!! The first finished corner!

First corner, elastic attached
First corner, elastic attached

I then did the same with the other three corners.

After all four corners were done, I folded the hems twice and then pinned it, ready to round off the mattress protector

Hems pinned ready to be sewn
Hems pinned ready to be sewn

I then proceeded to sew the hem from each corner to the next.

Sewing the twice folded hems
Sewing the twice folded hems

All done!

Finished mattress protector, any spills or “oopsies” – just toss it in the washing machine!

mattress_protector
mattress_protector

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