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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  1. Very pretty and great job! - Rana

  2. Wow! That looks great. I totally agree with you that Duvet covers are way too expensive. I may have to sew my own as you did whenever I finally get to re-do our bedroom.

  3. Thanks for this excellent post. It will really help a lot of people.
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  4. Oh my! I was thinking of making my own duvet cover the same way - but as a novice sewer, I thought "It can't possibly work. There have to be measurements and adjustments and non-understandable instructions in order to work." I'm glad to find out that it is possible and will make DD's this weekend.
    Thanks for the inspiration - I'll now bookmark your blog to make sure I remember that life doesn't HAVE to be so complicated.

  5. OMG these duvets cover looks so pretty and fantastic. I would like to make some same cover for my duvets with goose and down filling. I am gonna to make it and will advice to all my friends to take a look on your tips.

  6. Such pretty fabric and I love the ruffle.

    I would love for you to share this at Empty Your Archive - we are linking up posts on bed covers this week, Alice @ Mums Make Lists

  7. I have heard about people from countries like Ireland and England who didn't use top sheets until they came to America, but I really don't know how the trend came around. I think it's mostly got to do with keeping your comforter or other blankets clean. I personally like the feeling of sheets on my bed, and I think nowadays the kind of bed linens that people use can be more personalized then they used to be. I think maybe another reason is that Sheets
    are more comfortable than the blankets are, so maybe people use them because they're softer or something?

  8. you can get hungarian goose down duvet here you can get Microfibre Duvets and Pillows, Scatter Cushion Inners and Bed Linen at

  9. you can buy pillows and duvets by your good choice at

  10. Thanks for sharing information on boys and girls duvet covers. V and A duvet covers

  11. I like your blog, search a amazing Bed Sheets, You definitely inspired me.

  12. My pleasure, Good luck with your blog
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  13. cushion. And you'll be able to ring the changes as usually as you launder your sheets. carry an elegant, pale-grey set with successful of hot pink, or add another dimension to a caffe latte bed linen
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  15. Oh, my goodness! I considered making my own duvet cover in the same manner, but as a novice sewer, I was hesitant "It's not going to work. To function, there must be measurements, modifications, and instructions that are difficult to understand." I'm relieved to learn that it is possible, and I intend to visit DD this weekend.
    Thanks for the motivation; I'm going to bookmark your site so I don't forget that life doesn't have to be so complicated...

  16. I have heard about people from countries like Ireland and England who didn't use top sheets until they came to America, but I really don't know how the trend came around. I think it's mostly got to do with keeping your comforter or other blankets clean. I personally like the feeling of sheets on my bed, and today I believe that the type of bedding used by people can be more customised than before. Another reason I think is perhaps that sheets are more comfortable than blankets, so perhaps people use them because they're softer or something...