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Old 06-19-2012, 04:43 PM   #1
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Airstream fitted sheets

My 1976 31' Airstream has the 2 single beds on each side in the rear with curved mattress. I am the one that makes the beds when we go on trips and its like a wrestling match. So I have thought about the fitted sheets for the curved Airstream mattress for some time. I know the Airstream store have these and I also found these on E-Bay:

PAIR of 34x78 Sheet Sets for AIRSTREAM Single(bunk) bed | eBay

Any comments on either source or other suppliers.

Thanks

Don
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Old 06-19-2012, 04:54 PM   #2
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AB Lifestyles

We bought curved fitted twin sheets and padded mattress covers from them. Easy to deal with and knew Airstreams. Fit perfectly. If I recall it was significantly cheaper than Airstream site. You may just want to call or email them directly if not sure about fit..
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Old 06-19-2012, 05:19 PM   #3
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We also bought our sheets for our curved mattress from ABLifestyles. They were fantastic with great customer support. The sheets fit like a dream. Now, if only making the bed could be like a dream instead of a nightmare!
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Old 06-19-2012, 05:42 PM   #4
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We also bought our sheets for our curved mattress from ABLifestyles. They were fantastic with great customer support. The sheets fit like a dream. Now, if only making the bed could be like a dream instead of a nightmare!
I was hoping that making the bed would be easier with the fitted sheets. Is that not the case?

Don
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Old 06-19-2012, 05:57 PM   #5
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Make Your Own?

If you can't find a pattern or color you'd like, or you have more time than money, it shouldn't be a huge deal to make your own fitted twin sheets. I'd remove a mattress, set it on a picnic table and use it as the master pattern.

First, study regular fitted sheets.

You'll notice that there are four darts, one on each corner, which take out the blousing at the corners and cause the sheets to fall straight down at the sides. The sides should be at least two times as deep as the mattress to prevent the sheet corners from popping loose at night (16 inches deep for a 8 inch mattress). The length of the sides must be even all the way around to make sheets that fit well. If you were making fitted sheets for a rectangular mattress, once the darts are made and finished, cut the corners that hang down to be even with sides. It's just a big arc. Next Sew ELASTIC to the bottom edge STRETCHING IT HEAVILY at the corners. (ZigZag stitch or use a serger - 3 or 4 thread serging with the cutter blade disengaged.) You can run the elastic all around the sheet, or just on the top and bottom ends and down the sides for about a foot. In this case make a rolled hem for the edges that you don't sew elastic on.

Now for The CURVED twin - Make 3 normal darted corners, on the curved one make 3 smaller darts about 5 to 6 inches apart around the arc... Doh, simple eh.?

Assuming you're using a patterned sheets - put it on the mattress face down, Pin your darts facing out - NOT too snugly - you should be able to slide your hands between the side of the mattress and the sheet. (The elastic is what makes it snug.) The corner and curve darts take a lot of stress so they need to have heavy duty seams. Once you've pinned in the darts - and optionally marked them with tailor's chalk, pull the sheet off the mattress and sew a single seam on each dart with the dart facing out, then reinforce it by sewing over it adding bias tape OR make a flat felled seam. Flat Felled Seam: Trim one side of the dart back to about 1/4 inch, and the other to 1/2 or 5/8 inch. Fold the wide side over the narrow side and press it. Sewing slowly, sew the folded seam down to the sheet starting at the outside edge and moving to the point of the dart (you can get real fancy and curve this a little if you want but it's a SHEET not a prom dress!). When you reach the end, turn the sheet with the needle down in the machine, sew across the 1/4 inch seam almost to the original dart, turn again and sew outward to the edge of the sheet just about 1/16 inch from the original seam. That seam won't split easily!. Again, there are several ways to finish these darts for strength though I favor the flat felled or the bias taped seams. You can keep both sides of the seam together, cut the excess to 1/2 inch and add a zigzag near the raw edge, or serge a reinforcement. Make it strong and prevent raveling and you're good to go.

Now sew on elastic. I'd use 3/8 inch to 1/2 inch "pajama" elastic. If you don't have a serger, you can zigzag it, to the raw edge but just make sure it's a pretty long zigzag stitch (8-10 stitches per inch)... Also if you use a stretchier thread that will help (polyester as opposed to cotton).

Pajama elastic is super stretchy, and pretty soft unlike elastic you'd use in a pants waistline. Stretching elastic for the corners or curve - you can make this as simple or as complicated as you like - SIMPLE would be about 4 to 1 in the corners and 2 to 1 everywhere else. You want the elastic to draw the corners under and hold the sheet firmly to the mattress. If you've never sewn elastic before, you'll probably want (no NEED) to hand baste it to the sheet to see that you're making even gathers, then sew by machine.

OH, and there is one other option, that I really don't want to mention because it's a pain in the podex and you'll have to learn a new word "Bodkin". The only thing that's good about this method is that you can't foul up the elastic. Look at a pair of elastic waisted pants. On most, the fabric is folded over to make a pocket , and sewn to itself, leaving a narrow opening. The elastic is then threaded through this pocket around the waistline pulled to the correct length, and the ends are sewn together. The gizmo that lets you thread the elastic (or the string in a hoodie) is called a "bodkin". You can buy one, or take a large safety pin, stick it through one end of the elastic and push it along by feel through the whole tunnel! If you don't want to circumnavigate the sheet, you can do just the head and foot of the sheet going down each side about 1 foot. In this case, sew the elastic to each end of the tunnel (extract the bodkin/safety pin FIRST).

Last - if you DID use patterned sheeting on the first one - flip the mattress to make the second one with the arc on the other side. !!!

Happy trails.
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adonh View Post
I was hoping that making the bed would be easier with the fitted sheets. Is that not the case?
It's not the sheets that are the problem with our bed, it's where the bed is positioned. It's a front bedroom and one whole side of the bed is up against the trailer wall. I literally have to crawl under the mattress to get the inside fitted sheet on and to tuck in the rest. It's pretty comical to watch but I told my husband, "Next airstream we get, it's going to have a bed we can walk around!" I do think the custom sheets for the mattress we have help the sheets stay on tight and not crumple up when you're sleeping, so they're worth it.
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:13 AM   #7
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I made my own sheets.. With a 16', the mattress has only about 2 -3 feet of exposure on one side - meaning all 4 corners are up against the exterior walls.

Taking a sheet (flat or fitted)- I used a fitted king ( it's what I had as an extra set in the house), make two new corners to narrow the sheet. The length of the sheet should be enough to have at least 6 inches to be in the area under the mattress. (I can give details if you like the idea). You're just narrowing the sheet.

Big difference with mine as opposed to the above: No elastic. I made a 1 inch casing at the bottom of the whole sheet.

One more interruption. I sewed a top sheet ( flat and narrower than king) to the bottom of the "fitted" sheet so it's essentially an "all in one deal". It's like a big flap. the bottom gets made with the bottom and it never gets "untucked".

Ok, so after I made the casing and leaving an opening , I threaded 1/2 inch twill tape through with about 12 inches on each side left hanging.

Putting the sheet on: I lay the sheet on the mattress , tuck as much as i can down the sides with out reaching under the mattress which is practically impossible for me. Then lift the mattress up on it's side so the top of the mattress is up against the back of the trailer.

Then I pull the sheet sides around and under to the underside of the mattress so the casing is at the underside of the mattress which is facing me. Then I PULL the twill tape/string! pull hard so that the sheet is now tight and "fitted". Tie a bow. Turn the mattress back to normal position. BTW the casing opening is at the outside exposed area in the trailer where we get in and where I am standing, obviously.

Then a little tucking for the top sheet part and ..done.

we just got back from a trip, so the clean sheet is here in the house. I can take pictures next time I go and make the bed up!

our mattress is 48x78 - so king length is just fine. width needed the adjustment.

If i ever use the dinette, it's going to get a simple flat sheet shoved in or better idea - a sleeping bag! It's only a guest room!
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:25 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by adonh View Post
I was hoping that making the bed would be easier with the fitted sheets. Is that not the case?

Don
I bought sheets and a mattress pad from ABLifestyles for my 16' Bambi. They are a perfect fit. They do not make the bed easier to make. I still have to wrestle with the mattress. But once they are on, they stay put much better than my previous sheets.

Stan
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Old 06-20-2012, 08:10 AM   #9
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I yank the whole mattress out into the aisle while putting on the bottom fitted sheet. For the foot of the top fitted sheet, I just swivel the foot of the mattress out into the aisle. Once I had it figured out, it isn't very difficult.

My only quibble with the ABLifestyle sheets is that the top sheet is too long. It folds down about 3 feet. I keep meaning to shorten the top a couple of feet.
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:21 AM   #10
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That's what I do now, pull the mattress out in aisle. So I think I will stay with my regular twin bed fitted sheets and continue using the sheet holder straps to hold it in place and take out the slack. On the top sheet I just take the two corners at the foot and pull them together and tie a knot underneath the mattress. Everything stays in place.

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Old 06-20-2012, 01:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
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I made my own sheets..

Big difference with mine as opposed to the above: No elastic. I made a 1 inch casing at the bottom of the whole sheet.
I like the idea of twill tape... It's a really good way to keep the sheet wrinkle free and tight.

However for someone with arthritis, tying the bow tight enough to hold could be a problem. But even that could be easily solved. A friction buckle, or two metal hoops sewn to one end, then thread the other end through and back, and one good yank and it's tight. Nice thing - either way it stays tight until you change the sheets.

I like my tootsies free, but many might benefit from having the top sheet sewn in.

happy trails, paula
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:58 PM   #12
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Instead of tying the twill tape, perhaps a cord lock where both ends are threaded through then the squeeze mechanism holds it in place? it could probably go through the wash , too.
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Old 06-22-2012, 04:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayward View Post
We bought curved fitted twin sheets and padded mattress covers from them. Easy to deal with and knew Airstreams. Fit perfectly. If I recall it was significantly cheaper than Airstream site. You may just want to call or email them directly if not sure about fit..
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Am I overlooking something? I see the Airstream price is ~$125 for two complete sets of sheets (right and left fitted, right and left flat, 2 pillow cases) and the ABLifestyle is essentially the same price +/- a few dollars.

If Danielle or I was able to sew we'd modify a set ourselves but a regular set of twins works just fine for us - no problems in over 10 years of camping/travel.

~$120 is mucho money for two sets of sheets. However, I spent that much on parts/tools the other day so I suppose it's a matter of priorities.

Lucius
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Old 06-24-2012, 12:17 PM   #14
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I have sheets from Airstream and ABLifestyle. The sheets from ABLifestyle are much better, for me, than the set from Airstream. I have a 23' International with the 48" corner bed.

What I like about the ABLifestyle sheets -- the fitted sheet is made from one piece of fabric with elastic all the way around it and darts in the corners to take up the slack. The top sheet has the same elastic and darts at the bottom to keep it in place. And it has plenty of length to it. I'm all over the bed at night and these sheets stay put.

What I don't like about the Airstream sheets -- the fitted sheet is made from two pieces of fabric. One piece is sized and cut to fit the top of the mattress -- as if you traced the mattress on a piece of cardboard. Then, a second piece of fabric makes up the sides. So there is a seam all the way around the perimeter of the mattress. There is elastic and the head and foot but not all the way around. And what I found absolutely crazy, the top sheet was way too short. It also was not fitted at the foot to help it stay tucked in. To have enough fabric at the foot of the bed to tuck it under the mattress would only leave enough at the top to have the sheet cover me at the midsection of my chest. I solved the problem by having extra fabric sewn to the bottom to tuck under the mattress. But even with that, I'm still not crazy about how the fitted sheet works. It looks sloppy and should be tighter on the mattress in my opinion.

I have mattress covers from both vendors as well. In this area, Airstream gets better marks. The pattern used by ABLifestyle for my particular mattress had some flaws. The interior radius curve at the foot of the bed was off. The mattress cover worked and serves as a spare. But the one from Airstream is terrific.
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