Saturday, October 27, 2012

DIY Duvet Cover - The Busy Momma's Guide

Why are duvet cover's so expensive? Seriously? It's a giant pillowcase! Even at Ross, TJ Maxx and Homegoods, they tend to be ridiculously expensive! I don't get it. I have bid on I don't know how many comforters and duvet covers on Ebay for the big little girls room, only to lose... (tear). After the last defeat, I started looking online for a similar fabric to the sweet Rachel Ashwell bedding I was lusting over.

I also don't get why it is so hard to find a decent looking cover - I tend to be picky about finding the exact right fabric for the room. You probably are too - searching fruitlessly for the exact. right. cover. Which probably doesn't exist prepackaged on a store shelf.

  For the boys duvet covers, I HAD to have a blue ticking stripe. Do you know how hard those are to find? And when I did, they were about $75 each. Um. No. So I made my own.

It was easy. Super cheap. And exactly what I wanted.

For Miss C's room, I had to have a soft pink shabby chic worn looking floral. Too much to ask? Nahhhh.

 SOOOO...are you wanting to make your own duvet cover

First - you need to SCOUR the internet/fabric stores/ flat sheet aisles and find the exact right fabric. I use for 99% of my fabric, and they have a huge selection of home decorator fabrics, which are great because they tend to be wider and a heavier fabric.  

For the floral duvet, I couldn't find anything that I liked, until I found the Athill Range by Moda collection. It was PERFECTION! Unfortunately, it was a little difficult to find the exact pattern I wanted in most online stores. AND it was a quilters fabric, so it wasn't the 54" wide home decorators was only 44".  Since I'm making this for a twin bed, that's ok. I figured I could find a coordinating fabric to run down the sides to get the width I needed.
I ended up finding the fabric on Ebay, and although it initially looked pricier than the other online stores, this seller offered free shipping and no tax.  I bought 3 yards. 

Second - I use a plain, white twin flat sheet to make the back side of my duvet covers. You could use a flat sheet with a coordinating pattern, or another fabric. I like using a flat sheet because it's all ready to go. I prefer a plain white so the pattern stands out on it's own. I buy mine at Walmart. They are roughly $8 for the twin size.  

Third - Now, this is where I may lose you if you like technical words and steps and stuff. I don't measure. I rarely pin. If you are a real seamstress, stop reading now. I live dangerously. 

I throw my comforter that I'll be covering on the floor, I straighten it. That's as technical as I get. Now, using my floral fabric in this case, I lay in on top of the comforter to figure out where I need to cut, and how much, if any, extra fabric I'll need to add to make it wide enough. Make sure you cut a little extra at the top/bottom/sides to give yourself enough for the hem. See. Not technical. We are just winging it. It will be ok.

Since this fabric was only 44" wide, I need a couple of panels on each side to get to the comforter width of 68". I didn't want to buy any additional fabric, so I dug through my stash for a perfect length (how did that happen?) of what I think is voile. But I have no idea. It's a wide crinkly soft fabric. I cut 2 strips and sewed them to each long side of my floral fabric. 

If you want  your entire top of the duvet cover to be the same pattern, purchase enough yards to sew together two pieces for the top. I had to do that with the boy's ticking duvet covers, and because it was just a stripe, it is not noticeable that there are two pieces stitched together. 

Four - After you have your top panel sewed, you can add trim to the sides or to the top. I added a pink piping to the sides, though I've never done that before. I just was after more frill. You can also hem what will be the top of your cover about an inch and get that out of the way. I don't mess with buttons or holes, for the kids I prefer velcro tabs, but you could do that part now too. I'm after easy peasy here. 

Five - This is where I lay my big square piece of fabric back on the floor and pin (finally, something done right) the sheet to the top of my duvet on 3 sides, right sides facing eachother. Then you just sew your edges. I usually do a little extra hemming to the top of the duvet now to make sure everything matches. I sew on small velcro squares down the top, stuff in the comforter, and I'm done!

 I think she likes it.

I had barely any floral fabric left from this project, but what I did have I used to make 1 coordinating pillowcase, and a stripe down the edge of a white pillowcase. I had some other Rachel Ashwell fabric left over from when I made the crib bedding (I used the Hydrangea bedding from Target about 2 years ago), and I used that to make the rest of the coordinating pillows. 

 All we need now is to get the bed in here!!

   Then I can show you the new baby nursery...


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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

It's all coming together

Now that I straightened out my head and realized I can't stray too far from my true style (whatever that may be...shabby industrial farmhouse?) and feel normal about it, I got to work again in this room, that your sick of hearing about...but I'm knee deep in it and laundry, so you choose. 

Just a sneak peek for today - I worked all day on it yesterday, remembering I had fabric and curtains stashed throughout the house, that I think I'm successfully pulling together in here. Time will tell. 

 The faux silk curtains scream shabby chic...they aren't reading true in the picture - but there is a pink stripe in there that seems to work in the room. The turquoise isn't nearly as bright as the picture shows. It's actually very pale and soft - weird.

The step stool is thrifted from goodwill last week. The dresser I just picked up off of craigslist and had planned to paint it white, but I'm realizing it adds warmth to the room, and avoids the whole matchy matchy problem.

 The pale pink (Pink Moire -BM) complements the turquoise well...those mirrors are only 16.99 at my local Target, regular price!

I started sewing new pillow covers today...and am hoping that the Ebay gods work in my favor and I get some shabby chic bedding that pulls the whole thing together. I'm excited to get this room done...because I still have a nursery to work on! Yikes!!

Till next time!


Monday, October 8, 2012

Staying {true} to your style

I've been working here and there are Caroline's "big" little girl room and thought I had it all planned out - turquoise with fun, bright coral touches. I have sewed all of the pillows. I painted the picture frames coral. I sewed coral chevron stripes down the edge of the white curtains. 

It is SO cute.

It is NOT me. 

I have found myself walking in the room and staring...thinking...what am I missing? Something doesn't feel right. Do I need to add another color? Do I just need to get the bed and dresser in the room for scale? 

These things make me C R A Z Y. You know that feeling...decorating addicts...when  you work so hard to put something together...have it planned out in every way...and then you start to put the room together...and you aren't happy with the result.

I love so many different designs and ideas, colors and patterns. I loved the idea and inspiration I had found for this room. It's easy to get swayed when you love design - because there is so much fabulous out there. 

But when it came time to put it together, I wasn't staying true to my real self. This room will be perfect when little girl is 10 or so...but she's still a baby. And I want a sweet, soft, feminine room to reflect that...because she has all sorts of time to grow up and demand fun patterns and bright colors.  And my style doesn't reflect the modern vibe that was starting to take hold in that felt like it just didn't belong. It also makes me realize whey I didn't finish her nursery in the same color just didn't feel...right.

So back to the drawing board...and the result feels so much better.

Unfortunately....all of that sewing I've already done, must be redone.  

So- in the meantime, I'm on the hunt for floral and feminine patterns. 

Think peonies and roses.  

I loved this picture the day I saw it several years ago in Cottage Living...Isn't it so sweet for a little girl?

Who am I kidding? I'm not a funky geometric pattern kind of girl...It was fun while it lasted!!