Turning the other sheet

One really good thing about being anxious and a little woozy and wound up is that things get done. Anything to avoid making a phone call, checking that email, replying to something that’s not so much fun means that shit gets cleaned. Sunday it was sheets! All 3 beds and the spare room as well. That’s 4 sheets! 4 beds to make one being a top bunk which deserves extra points for it’s pain in the arseness.

I was making the bed up and trying to explain to Rob how to do it just so. Yes, I am a little cray cray when it comes to the bed making but I was showing him the “proper” way i.e “my” way and the “right” way to do when he questioned me on my top sheet placement. MY TOP SHEET PLACEMENT! He questioned the fact that the top sheet was faced down (i.eย pattern on the sleeping body) rather than pattern out. How very dare he!

I was quick to explain that this was the correct way to do. It was how my mother taught me how to do it and how I recall my Holly Hobby sheets on my bottom bunk bed to be. Pattern down so that when you made the bed and folded the top sheet down, the pattern was face out. Your body got to enjoy the pattern while the show was all out for the world to see. Der!

But then. Well, a seed of doubt was planted. Was this right? Could I be, um, WRONG?! Surely not. I said I would ask the world, just to be sure. He said I was “dead set mental”. We’ll wait and see about that now won’t we?

So? Am I? Crazy that is? That’s right isn’t it? The correct top (patterned) sheet making procedure is it not? Mum, promise me you will at least leave me a comment telling me you had it right with Holly all those years ago? Please….


  1. Oh, you are SO RIGHT. Of course the top sheet goes face down. Then, when you turn the bed back – there it is; the glorious pattern. Even with plain sheets there is always a fancy bit on the top edge of the sheet that is turned over the blankets and faces the world – so wouldn’t work if the sheet were the other way around. Surely that’s bed-making 101 ๐Ÿ™‚
    Crazy? No! Sensible? Yes!

  2. I don’t use a top sheet which people always find emotionally confronting and then ask a million questions about how often you have to change your doona cover (every 7 days). Makes bed making faster and let’s face it, Time is of the Essence.

    If I had one, I’d do it how you do it.

    Sadness anxiety and stress often ensure that Things Get Done. Nothing motivates like Fear either.

    All that mindless repetition can be soothing and comforting when things go wrong.

    Hope you feel better and Nice work with the cushions. Undercushioning being the Devil’s Work and All.

  3. Hi Beth,
    You are right, it is so that the pattern of the top sheet can be seen. It is very funny that you and Rob had the same ‘discussion’. Brad (my hubby) and I often discuss this same issue and of course he is wrong… ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Anonymous says

    You are soooo right. I only know this because when I was in zimbabwe staying with my mother in-law, this was the way every bed was made. She had special floral sheets on every bed. So the patten had to be on show! It was all English high tea stuff there, so I am sure the new of correctness and all that.

    Unlike my childhood beds, which were so messy, and very incorrect!

    Rex. X

  5. Of course the top sheet goes pattern down, for the exact reason you stated. That husband of yours might be a good man and rather easy on the eye but he has much to learn. Much to learn.

    I had Holly Hobby sheets – slept in them until they were threadbare. Was devo when they finally had to be laid to rest.

    You realise now there has to be a regular blogging feature on household rules and etiquette. Get onto that won’t you.

  6. of course you are right beth! how could you have ever doubted yourself??? I do remember having a similar conversation with my hubby when teaching him the *right* way to make a bed, way back when… love the mix of sheets, I do the same x

  7. I too don’t do top sheets… I am to anal to make a bed that way every day.. My OCD couldn’t deal with the hospital corners I would be creating with an iron every day but yes you are of course right.

    Boys!!…pthh.. what are they good for again?

  8. You are RIGHT!! My late mother in law used to do it top sheet facing up – drove me nuts!! Who wants to see the wrong side of the pretty sheet not to mention the hem?

    PS We had Holly Hobby at our house too!

  9. You are correct. Must be my fault for expecting Rob to make his own bed in between me changing the sheets each week. Guess what? M-I-L xx

  10. Correct!! Oh and I am with you on the top bunk…..ergh!! How I hate that job!

  11. You are absolutely right, my mum taught me this along with ‘hospital ‘ corners and she was a girl guideโ€ฆ.need I say more? xT

  12. I make my bed the exact same way – of course it’s right! Mx

  13. Beth…..why would you hide the nicer side of the sheet face down, where’s the reason for that? Turn it outwards for all the world to see…….bright colour, bold pattern, statement in a flat sheet….that’s you!
    Your corners are sharp and there’s hardly a crease….you make a beautiful bed and I’m always proud of how you manage to do it. Your skills surpass any that I may have had, but I like to think I had a hand in teaching you along the way……be proud of the bed you make and the one you lay in at the end of the day.
    Your mother.

  14. You are absolutely correct- I was taught this way by my mum over the ditch too!

  15. I only do white cotton sheets in summer, so I was flummoxed one time when the set I bought had a flat sheet that didn’t have any particular prettiness to the hem and the top part of the sheet that’s meant to be folded over. What’s a gal to do (still have it wrong side down so I can fold over that top bit – dull as it was).

    The top bunk makes me cry – I’d have to go the fitted sheet, doona route with that (and that combo gives me the irks.)

    I want clean sheets now.

  16. I’m a doona and no flat sheet kind of gal, but if I did do a flat sheet, it’d be pattern down all the way.

  17. Traci 'Sparkle' Devlin says

    Dude you totally cray cray, but not about this. No way uh huh.

  18. You are so right…and by the way even if you weren’t i do hope you wouldn’t even THINK of saying that to him!!!4 beds in one day….what a legend, i hate making the bed so alternate the weekends now!Your sheets are so bright and cheery btw!You have made me miss my holly hobby sheets now!!!

  19. That’s the way my mum taught me n ur right it’s meant to be when u turn the sheets everyone can see the pattern patterned sheets or not. My husband thinks the same as you’rs, I’ve relented at the moment so the sheets r the opposite the wrong way but makes just that bit anxious that there wrong but it will have to do for now! Keep up the sheet turning!

  20. Pattern to the body – no danger of being wrong on that one. I didn’t have the sheets but my neighbours did & I was jealous.

  21. Ummm, when will husbands learn? ๐Ÿ˜‰ OF COURSE it’s pattern side down & prettily folded so the world can see! I too am of the “clean in order to avoid things” ilk. When my mr and I argue I instantly go into a major cleaning frenzy. Control the controllables or some such thing being my self talk. Xxx

  22. 1000% correct!
    Funny, my husnabd and I had an actual real argument about this exact thing just last week. That and the fact that the blankets are NOT made square, therefore must be positioned correctly in order to have equal blanet portions on each side of the bed. I am a little crazy too. Totally fine with that.:)

  23. Your bed is beautiful!! I lve LOVE LOVE those sheets!
    Now if only I could convince my boring man of blue to allow such a beauty into our bedroom!

  24. I do them the way you do Beth so if you’re crazy then so am I. Never thought of folding the top sheet over and seeing the ugly side. And I always do a top sheet because then you don’t have to wash the doona cover as much and this is very practical when you have lots of beds to make like I do. Or maybe I’m just lazy ๐Ÿ™‚ These are the little details that I always wonder about but never get around to finding out…so thank you! And PS – making up bunk beds is just wrong isn’t it? I had to ditch ours for that very reason!
    PPS – thats some very lovely bedlinen there ๐Ÿ™‚
    Mel x

  25. Thanks so much for raising this question….I have been in two minds about this for a long time (preferring your way) but never really knowing if it was right. I have even gone as far as “mixing it up” a little just to see. I know. Crazy.

    Pattern to the inside from now on x

  26. You are completely right. Pattern down so it folds back and looks pretty over your blanket.

    I had Holly Hobby sheets and a matching bed spread (it was pre doona days back then).

    Your sheets are beautiful.

  27. Absolutely right! Might be a cultural thing – possibly English high tea type as someone mentioned. My partner’s South American and none of his family do it – drives me mental! But, I mainly wanted to comment though to say your sheets in that combination are SO SO beautiful – where are they from? : )

  28. um no I’m with your hubby on this one, never heard of doing that way – you are definately Cray Cray – but we all knew that anyway didn’t we?? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I’m going to be very brave & also put myself out on a limb here, and agree with your husband, Beth. (insert audible reel of shock here, lol). I think it is each to their own. And I dare say upbringing has a lot to do with it (& here we are worried we won’t be leaving a lasting impression on our kids…Daisy may just have this same discussion with her future husband). We didn’t use top sheets except on really hot days. Then it was pattern side showing on the outside (with a bit of nice plain contrast at the top when turned over). Mostly because the doonas were not on the bed. Plus, I wouldn’t notice the pattern if it were lying against my body, much prefer to lie in bed and look down and see pretty pattern on top of me.

      But i did giggle at the term of endearment your husband used whilst discussing this issue, “you are mental”. Whilst I disagree with this statement, you’ve got to love a man who realizes he hasn’t got a hope in hell of winning said argument and counters with such brazen words. ๐Ÿ˜€ Too funny.

  29. I’m with you Beth – top sheet facing down – definately. Don’t let anyone tell you any different.

  30. What would be the point of having a pattern the other way? No one would see it, because it would be under the blankets, and when you turned the top over, you would only see the back of the sheet with out the pattern. If you were going to do that you might as well buy plain sheets, and they are not as fun!

  31. I am the daughter of a nurse, so bed making was always going to be something that I did well! And you are quite right, the pattern side goes down so you can fold the top part over and display its gorgeousness to the world! Even white sheets have beautiful stitching to display on the ‘pattern’ side.

    PS. I love those sheets you’ve got there! x

  32. It is OK Beth, you have it right. I must of had the Holly Hobbie Sheets before you and have always made my beds with the pattern facing down so that when you fold the sheet down the pattern is facing upwards. Love Sarah

  33. You do know that no matter how many comments you get Mr BabyMac is only going to keep referring to your mothers comment.

    For the record I agree with you and have the same argument with my husband everytime he helps me make the bed.

    For me it is not about patterns etc but you feel the same side of the sheet on your top and bottom halves of your body…does that make sense

  34. my mum is a nurse and has made my bed with the sheets facing down for the past 22 years (including hospital corners) as she was berated by the matron back in the day for doing it incorrectly! so you are doing it completely right beth!!

  35. Its the corners I can’t get right, Mother and sister are hospital trained and have a certain way that things must be tucked…I just lift the mattress and stuff it in, it drives them crazy.

    But, major excitement I just undid and placed brand new linen on our bed…the cushion problem is now looking ugly and I am in need of going cushion shopping for the new colours…if I must.

  36. You’re definitely right and it drives me nuts when the husband neglects to put the sheets the correct way, but it is rare that I am not the one making the beds, so my sanity is somewhat intact.

    ‘Pain in the arseness’ is my new favourite phrase. Thanks for that.

  37. You’re right. x

  38. You are completely sane, Rob is the cray one. Also – Holly Hobby! bwahahahaha ๐Ÿ™‚

  39. Anonymous says

    Your mum is way cool and has a big loving heart from what I read between the lines/sheets…like mother like daughter?

  40. Oh gosh of course out’s face down! That way when you fold the sheet over you see all the prettiness. Took a while for my husband to get it but he can now be trusted hands down to make the beds.

    Oh and I had the golden yellow holly hobby sheets and doona cover – Mum recently used it on a trundle bed when had all the grandkids home – memories!!!

  41. You’re right Beth. Brave of hubby to question it I would say.
    And I love your mum and sis’ comments.

  42. I think know how this has happened. Back before Doonas were invented everyone had bedspreads. No one saw your top sheet, only your bedspread was visible. The top sheet was turned out over the bedspread and then turned back over the top of your pillows.

    I would also like to add there was no fun in our house as kids and if there was a miserable way to do something that’s what we were taught.

    Go with it Rob – ya know it makes sense & it feels good!

  43. WHY DID MY MOTHER NEVER TEACH ME THIS?! All these years I’ve been doing it wrong…

  44. Anonymous says

    Yes. You are perfectly right. This is the correct way. I love reading your blog. We have so much in common that I you might be my spiritual gollophedger thiny that FatMumSlim wrote about the other week – except we look nothing alike. Here is how I know this. I swear – ALOT. I love to sweep. We have the same bin and no one gets it! Ido. The sheets. I had Holly Hobby as a wee girl…… there is more but I need to pick the kids up from school. You make me laugh, you lift my spirits so thanks. Stop being hard on yourself – you are doing a great job.

  45. Ah, the patterned top sheet dilemma!! Sometimes I have our patterns face down so I can fold over the top lip over the doona or sometimes I’m all about showing off the pattern and have the whole sheet pattern side up with no fold over. Maybe go crazy with a wacky double fold… oh the options!!! But how much more fun are patterned sheets! Sx

  46. You are correct. Pattern touches the body, so when you fold it over, the world see the pattern…der ๐Ÿ˜‰

  47. I was taught by my Mama that top sheet was to be pattern facing down also. It’s how I’ve always done it and how I’ll always do it. I’ve wondered at times why it is so, but who am I to question matters of the domestic kind xo

  48. Flickster says

    I know everyone else has put in their two cents but…
    Originally everyone had blankets, which were scratchy and woolly. So, what you did was turn the sheet down over said wooly/scratchy blanket to stop it scratching your face when sleeping. So the sheet used to be applied pattern down so when you folded it back the nice edge or pattern-y sheets show.
    The only thing I have to ask now is why do we still fold our sheets down even though I would suggest almost all of us probably now use Doonas/duvets(i.e. no scratchy-ness)? Doesn’t matter, except that you Beth (in my opinion) are right! Yey!

  49. I tried and gave up on the doona – always slipping off the bed. I much prefer a good wool blanket or two with a bedspread – and the top sheet turned over the top of the blanket to stop said scratchy feeling under the chin. It feels very nostalgic.

  50. All I know is that your sheets are nicer than my sheets. Cheers.

  51. From a bloke’s perspective you are absolutely right but not for the right reason. The real reason is that the
    ‘nap’ or whatever you call it is smoother on the ‘pattern’ side and the sheet is coarser on the other side. The way you make it is correct as the smoother side rests on your body. That is particularly important in summer when you often only have a sheet on. (Milt)

  52. Those sheets are gorgeous. I am lucky to get into a made bed at the end of the day. I would be happy if I could be bothered with top sheets, donnas all the way here!

  53. I just asked my hubby which way he would make it and he looked at me like an idiot and replied ‘pattern down, der so when you fold it over the blanket you can see the pattern.’ Sorry Rob but even my bogan miner husband knows it : )

  54. Ah well, I am nutso too. I have plain white very thick cotton sheets (actil first line) with no pattern and I find the ‘Right’ side of the sheet so that the stitching can look nice when I turn the sheet back over the blanket and white quilt. You are lucky to have a hubby that helps you with the task. Mine just refuses saying it hurts his bad (and it is really bulging disc bad!) back. Rarely can I even get the kids to help. I loathe the job. So insist that everyone has to have a shower at night and be clean when they go to bed- I get the 2 weeks out of the bed linen!

  55. I am laughing as I scroll down through these comments. I read this post the other day and didn’t post. I don’t use a top sheet so had no idea. I love that your post on which way up the sheet goes on the bed has prompted 63 comments about sheets on beds. Love it. You make me laugh (and everyone else who has commented). Well done! Life is for laughing and not being serious all of the time

  56. You are completely right Beth. My mum taught me the same, oh and hospital sheet folding all the way! Can’t believe Rob even questioned you!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  57. I have just read this post and I agree with you. That is how I was taught and I have also shared on my blog to see what my readers think?

  58. This has me laughing. It’s a debate my parents had for years. And now a debate Joel and I have.

    I like the top sheet face down, and folded over (like you). Joel likes the top sheet face up, but not folded. He just pulls it all the way up. CRAZY. NO FOLDING OVER THAT BIT (you know the bit I mean). Insane.

    So basically, it comes down to whomever makes the bed. And as the quilt is heavy and I’m physically unable to lift it above my head (can’t lift my arm above my head), he makes it. So he gets to decide.

  59. Also. I LOVE that bedding in your photos!

  60. You emailed and told me it was grounds for divorce. I ought to have listened to you. It gets so much worse!!!! http://www.thethingsidtellyou.com/2012/05/our-shameful-secret.html

  61. I was taught the pretty side faces out. That way when you are in the bed and are a little too hot, you can fold the comforter down half way or all the way and you still have a pretty cover on you.I don’t get just the top part folded down being pretty , don’t most people then put their pillows on the part that is folded down so you don’t see it anyway? My husband was taught face down I was taught face out, so whoever makes the bed does it their way at our house.

  62. Anonymous says

    yes the pretty side faces the bottom sheet..Because when you fold it down it has a pretty edge that goes over top the pretty blanket or whatever you put on top of it but far enough to turn the top pretty bit down,…..you get what i am saying dont you?….lol…Tanya Gibson ๐Ÿ˜‰


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