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Entries in bedding (5)


The Girls Very Own Bedroom | Living Small

If you've been following us for awhile, you'll know that the girls have always slept in creative bed rooms. When we first moved into this San Diego House, they slept in this space in the main bedroom.

In the studio they again slept in a closet. And on the boat? They had the quarter berth.

While we don't bedshare (nothing against those who do, it just isn't for us), we do co-sleep (the definition of co-sleeping being sleeping in the same room as our kids), and after five and a half years of having our kids within site of us as we slept, it was time to switch things up. 

We turned the office/guest room into the girls' new bedroom.

Everyone is loving the transition. The girls have their own room to play in, and their own place to go for alone time when they want it or need it.

Eric and I have our bedroom blissfully to ourselves.

It's been a long time, baby.

I took the closet door down, added book shelves on either side of it, and turned it into a reading nook.

Instead of using the closet to store clothes, I got one of these Ikea kids' dressers instead. Each drawer is organized by shirt/pants/pjs, etc, and the girls put away their own clothes when laundry is clean.

The official Women Who Sail burgee hangs proudly in their room. One day it will hang from our new boat.

The piano is a hand-me-down from our friend Taylor. The girls spend a lot of time making music.

I asked my friend Victoria of Red Wave Creative to help me design the text poster. It is from a Serbian proverb, but I added the line about water. I thought it suited us more.

Be humble, you are made of earth.

Be fluid, you are made of water.

Be noble, you are made of stars.

And those awesome mermaid decals? They were a gift from our friend John. He is like the dad I don't have. Thank you, John. 

This is how the girls reacted when they saw the mermaids for the first time.

The mermaids are art from the Sarah Jane Studios' fabric line called Out to Sea. I'm currently using the fabric to make the girls their own quilts. The mermaids on the walls will match the mermaids on their quilts; I die with the cuteness.

Here's a a sneak peek of the quilts before they are quilted to the batting and back fabric.

The bedding is all custom designed by yours truly. We used the same mattress I had made for the space in our bedroom and then I bought two more pieces of foam, one to extend the bed along the far wall of the room and one to create a second 'headboard'.

The girls sleep feet to feet; they get to feel close while each having their own little area of the room.

The second headboard matches the first one. I had JUST enough of the starfish fabric and white vinyl piping to make it work.

Each girl got a custom pillow case too because I just can't leave well enough alone and stock pillow cases are SO.BORING.

These are made with French seams, because life is too short to not have a pillowcase with French seams.

Am I right?!

Being a stickler for always-having-a-spare-set-of-bedding-for-little-kids, I made a second waterproof cover for each of the two mattresses and a second set of sheets. We have green. We have orange. I can't decide which color I like more.



Or orange?


Or orange?

I also made two little draw string bags to hold the second set of waterproof covers and sheets when the others aren't in use.

When I die there is one thing for sure you can say about me, "that Charlotte, she took her bedding seriously."

This what happens when I ask Lyra to stay still for a photo.

Oh, and lastly, we don't sleep with top sheets. Top sheets are a waste of everyone's time. The girls have their own blankets and one thing that drives me nuts about little kids when they sleep is that they wiggle and worm and kick off their blankets. Then they wake up in the middle of the night because they're cold and well, I really appreciate my beauty sleep and cold kids tend to interrupt that.


I sewed their fleece blankets into little sleeping bags and now the girls scoot into them each night. It's really rather genius and honestly works like a a freaking charm.

If I were truly, super cool, I would have sewn them in the shape of mermaid tails, but a person can only do so much. Besides, it'll be fun to have something to look forward to when we kit out their berths on the new boat.

Okay, this post is done, but I'm still curious on your thoughts.


Or orange?


Closet Bed | Living Small on Land

It took me and Eric about two seconds to figure out that we'd be sharing the master bedroom in our two bedroom apartment with the girls and using the second bedroom as a guest room/office combo.

We could see right away that our bed would go to the left of the girls in the photo above, under the eaves of the attic, and the girls would sleep here, to the right of the window:

Oh yes. So.much.space.

At least, compared to their last closet bed, right?

You betcha!

To get started, we needed to be able to use a baby gate to keep Lyra wrangled at night or at moments when we needed to neutralize her for her own safety (ie. I need to take a shower without worrying about what my 22 month old is doing.)

My little painting partner 

Eric installed four 2x4s, two on either side of the wall. Lyra and I painted them white, and then we installed the Ikea baby gate we had in the previous apartment. The gate was doubly nice because it gives the room it's own sense of space for the girls. We also installed curtains to draw across the gate in case the girls wanted to read quietly in their room, or we wanted to draw the curtains closed at night once they were asleep for our own privacy.

Then there were these issues to deal with. Yeah, Lyra, that's a NO.

Lyra helped me take off the old face plate and install the new, impenetrable ones.

Thumbs up all around!

I purchased 4" thick, high-density foam from Keystons and cut it down to give it a bit of space at the front for entering and exiting. 

Next up? Time to make a mattress cover. 

I found this mattress ticking fabric at Joann's. I love the old school look it gives the finished product.

I also learned the hard way with the last mattress cover I made for mine and Eric's bed: 4" thick, high-density foam is heavy. If you are going to make a mattress cover, do yourself a favor and sew handles to make the mattress easy to move.

I've got eight pairs of these running all around the mattress. It is now a breeze to move when I need to pick it up for any reason.

Not too shabby, eh?

I also saved myself unnecessary future foam-wrestling by installing the zipper around three full sides of the mattress and going around 2" of the top and bottom of the fourth side. If I need to take the cover off to wash it, it will be a breeze to get the cover back on the foam.

Queen Elsa and her sister, Anna, heartily approved of the new mattress cover.

Of course this was only the first step of many.

Remember the shelves on the wall from the first three photos in this post? They were there when we got the place and they had to go. Because of earthquakes, I didn't want to store anything on them that could fall down on the girls, plus they cut right across where the privacy curtain hung.

Nope. Sayonara weird little shelves. 

I removed the shelves and used them in another project downstairs. I asked my landlord for the exact type and color of paint he used in the bedroom and did a little spackling and painting.

Even with the photo blurry (pic by Lyra), you can see that no trace of the old shelves remain. Picture perfect!

The LED light is from Ikea. I installed it so it follows the same angle of the down-slope of the room a foot above it. The switch is installed so Cora can reach it, but not yet Lyra. Soon though, soon.

Puppy-pile!! The girls love sleeping together.

With the mattress cover done, I needed to make a custom waterproof mattress cover like I did for their last few beds. (You can read about the last ones I made for them here.)

Lyra is just so sweet, isn't she? She was thrilled by the new sewn-to-size waterproof mattress cover.

Once that was done, it was time for the last step, custom sheets!

The girls' bed is so comfy that Eric and I are both often lulled to sleep ourselves when we get them ready for bed at night.

Until a few days ago, I had just been tucking fabric in around the mattress, but no more. I purchased this queen-sized duvet cover from Ikea and finally got around to turning it into two fitted sheets.

REMEMBER: If you are going to take the time to make custom fit sheets for a bed, do yourself a gigantic favor and make two sets when you do. Especially if you have kids. You can thank me later.

Most tutorials will tell you to cut the four squares out and sew the seams together. 

You could do this, yes.

Or, you could hem the full-size of the sheet you have measured out.

And keep the fabric whole. Sew along the blue line, folding the triangle inwards on either side for a nice clean look (and no exposed seams).

Pay attention and make sure you fold the triangles in to mirror each other on each end. To take it to the next level of fancy, top stitch the triangle too.

See what I mean? Fancy-schmancy.

My butt, or, Cora's view of the world while I'm sewing.

She also snapped this adorable photo of Lyra just up from her nap. LOVE.

With Lyra awake from her nap, I was able to bring the finished product back upstairs (using those awesome handles I had sewn on the mattress at the first stage).


Kid-tested, parent-approved.

And because the girls insisted I include this photo too, which has nothing to do with anything, other than that my kids are the cutest.

More to come on the artwork I'm going to do for one of the walls in their bed, but for now, officially crossing the "bedding" part of their room off of my list, and that feels awesome.


Studio Living | Custom Sheets for a Closet Bed

View Part One here | View Part Two here | This is Part Three


At last, the third and final post in the my-girls-sleep-in-a-closet-series!

I give you the custom top sheets I made for the cushions in their "bedroom:"

Hello lovelies!

After cutting the foam to the right shape, and sewing custom mattress covers and waterproof sheets, I finished the custom top sheets.

I bought a queen-size sheet set at Target on clearance. I use the fitted sheet for our bed up in the loft. I used the flat sheet and the pillow cases to make the custom sheets for the girls.

I even undid the seams on the pillow cases to use every last usable bit of fabric to create these.

I made the top portion of the sheets fit like a sheath on the cushions, and the bottom part had elastic like traditional fitted sheets. This assured that the sheets stayed on nice and tight (and looked good too).

I used every scrap of fabric from the sheet and pillowcase to make TWO SETS of sheets.

If you are just skimming through this post looking at pictures, let me repeat:


If you are going to go through the trouble of making custom sheets, remember that kids get sheets dirty. Things happen. Have a spare set on hand while the other set is in the laundry.

I also used spare fabric on hand to make the bottom pieces (of the sheath bit) and the sides as well.

I grabbed some spare blue flannel to finish the sides and for one bottom piece.

Only problem? When I put the cushion in the bed, you could see the blue peaking out, and the perfectionist in me couldn't handle it.

See? See the blue peaking out?

Just no.

So I went to a thrift store (because I was out of spare white fabric) and found two white curtain panels originally from Ikea, and bought them both for...wait for it....three dollars.


Whew. So much better.

:random adorable photos of Lyra I took while sewing this project:

And the finished product:

Happy girls showing off their new bed.

This post would not be complete without an adorable video of Cora (and Lyra) as she shows off her bed, her special shelf, and Lyra the "Destroyer."


Studio Living | Custom Waterproof Mattress Cover

View Part One here | This is Part Two | View Part Three here


After making the custom foam and covers for their mattresses, next up was making custom, waterproof mattress covers. If you have, or have had little kids, you know they do all kinds of awesome things with bodily fluids, or really any fluids they can get a hold of. And so parents all over get those mattresses protected any way they can.

I used a twin-size waterproof mattress cover from Ikea for this project. It has terry cloth on the top and a waterproof fabric on the bottom. This is nice because it is both soft and quiet when the kids are on the mattresses (many waterproof covers are noisy, crinkly, hot plastic messes.)

Word to the wise, I had to go back and buy a second twin-sized cover because I needed more fabric. Noob mistake, I should have really measured everything out and bought a queen-sized one to start with.

Yep, definitely not going to be enough fabric there for all three cushions in their room.

First I worked on the two larger cushions (Lyra was my trusty sidekick for this entire project.)

And then I did the center cushion's waterproof cover:

I re-sewed the original Ikea tag on just to be fancy.

Nice and form-fitting, even before I finish seams and add elastic.

Hello lovely!

We get a hug of approval from Lyra:

All three are now ready for the custom sheets, but that will will wait for another post.



Studio Living | Custom Mattresses for bedroom in a closet

This is Part One | View Part Two here | View Part Three here


Cora and Lyra fast asleep on their custom mattresses I made for the closet of our studio that we have turned into their bedroom.

Each side of the closet has a notch cut out; like on a boat, each notch is a different size. I'm so used to nothing ever being symmetrical like on all my boat projects, that I just grinned when I realized I'd be dealing with more of the same.

I bought 4" foam from Joann's as opposed to the super high-density stuff I normally use for marine or home applications. The girls are so light that I knew they'd be able to sleep comfortably on the density you can get at Joann's (a bonus that helped with our budget).

Then I measured and chopped out the notches on each side and used a Sharpie on the foam so I knew which girl's mattress I was working on.

I waited until home-dec-weight fabric was on sale at Joann's and then used a coupon on top of the sale to get some lovely fabric to act as cushion covers. I wasn't worried about the bold colors showing through their sheets because I knew I'd also be making a waterproof mattress cover that would hide the bright stripes or patterns on the bottom layer.

This is Cora's finished cushion. I've got two more posts yet to come to show you how I made the waterproof mattress covers for all three cushions in their room and another post on how I made custom sheets for the cushions too.

A sneak peek to show you what I mean. This is the center cushion viewed from the bottm. You can see both the waterproof mattress cover and the custom sheets I made covering the mattress.

I leave you with this short video I made for a fellow seamstress who asked me a question about zipper placement on some cushions she was working on. I show you this very quick video not so you too can pontificate on the placements of zippers on cushions, but because it explains my thinking on how I used scraps of fabric and didn't worry too much about pattern placement on the bottom layer of their entire bedding scheme.