Tuesday, October 17, 2006


The sheets on my bed are almost worn out. It won't be long before our heels go right through. So a couple of weeks ago I treated myself to new ones. And then I went to put them on the bed, and found the fitted bottom sheet didn't fit.

Now, I have to say that I loathe and despise fitted sheets. Whoever invented them better not make it known to me, if he/she ever happens to meet me. Why? Well, for a number of reasons:

1) It makes twice as much washing. My mother always changed the sheets by washing the bottom sheet, moving the top sheet to the bottom - it's cleaner - and putting a clean top sheet on the bed. Everyone I know my age says their mothers did it that way! Well yes, I have to admit that maybe we have moved on in standards of cleanliness. The Elizabethans washed themselves about once a year, and I don't complain about the added work of having a daily shower. Still, I look at the piles of sheets in the laundry and remember the days of half as many to wash each week.

2) They are totally impossible to fold, once you get them out of the packet. So, they always come out of the linen cupboard a crumpled mess.

3) We have a water bed. (Shades of the seventies, I know, but I like it. It's warm and comfy. Actually we bought it in the eighties). Anyway, I always felt that the squishiness of the corners in a waterbed meant that a fitted sheet wouldn't stay on very well. So I never bought one for our bed before - only for the single beds. But P. said that he thought they would stay on OK. So I gave in.

4) Here's the clincher. Of course a fitted sheet has to fit. That's when I found out that not all king size beds are created equal. The sheets I bought were about six inches too narrow and about nine inches too short. Even though they were labelled "king size". Fortunately the shop was willing to take them back. (It did take P. and I about half an hour to get the unused sheet folded up and back in the packet though). Then I went looking for something else. I found three different widths of king size fitted sheet. 168 cm (5 ft 6 inches), labelled "king size", 180 cm (6 ft) labelled "king size" or "super king" depending on which shop, and 203 cm (about 6 ft 9 inches) labelled "California king". But they were all exactly the same length, which I had already established was about 9 inches too short. Back to the original plan of buying plain flat sheets. No luck there either - these days all the flat sheets are intended to go on top, so they have fancy top edges not designed for tucking in, and they are a little too short for a really generous tuck in, as well. So I came home sheetless, and rang a fabric shop - do they sell plain sheeting by the metre? Yes they do, it comes in any colour you want as long as it's white. And it comes in two widths, neither of which are anywhere near wide enough for a king size bed. I wonder how soon our feet are going to go through that thin spot? Aaargh! Any suggestions?


OldLady Of The Hills said...

Oh Yes!!! I DO understand! Though I like fitted sheets...I alsi like Flannel sheets....try to find something in "Calif. King" that isn't just one plain color...nut something with flowers and really pretty...??? Not for years!!!!!!!
Good luck to finding what you want!

Crafty Green Poet said...

I know what you mean exactly. My most frustrating new sheets story though involves buying new organic cotton sheets, putting them on the bed, only to have the rabbit leap up and start chewing them. Yes she chewed quite a hole! Actually organic sheets are less liklely to have fancy edging so that might be a solution.

Deb R said...

Sorry to say I have no useful suggestions to make. I hope you figure something out!

(I tried to comment yesterday and Blogger wouldn't cooperate.)

Kay Cooke said...

Oh don't tell me - I too am in need of new sheets ... so I'm going to be driven spare too?
I rely on your impeccable powers of analytical problem-solving Catherine. Let me know your solution - I just know you will arrive at one - I have complete faith in you! ;)