Thursday, February 14, 2008

Tutorial: How to make a simple duvet cover

I’m going to use this white down comforter as an example…. And this red toile bedding set to give you a visual (I’m a visual person). The white comforter is from and the red toile bedding set is from

It’s 90” wide X 98” long
* For Facing- two cuts of toile, three yards in length each
* For Backing- one queen size sheet in white/cream/or other coordinating color (for this example, a deep red would be great) (or same amount of muslin or other fabric as mentioned above)
* A mans tape measure (since most of our dressmakers tape measures aren’t long enough… this will keep it easy)
* Thick grosgrain ribbon or similar (for tieing the duvet to the cover so it doesn’t shift around inside the cover)
* Pins etc…. the usual sewing must haves.
~~ We’ll be using a 1” seam allowance
Step 1: What do you want it to look like? Use the google image search to find coordinating colors you like (for the lining, bed skirt, shams, etc…. if you choose to do those as well)
Step 2: Measuring. Measure the length and width of the comforter/duvet/etc you’ll be using the duvet cover on and adjust needed yardage etc if your comforter is wider/longer than this example.
* Calculate how thick the comforter is, you’ll add twice that to the width of the cover width (so if the comforter is about 1” loft/thickness, add two inches to how wide you need the width to be. So now instead of the width of the cover being 90”, it’s 92” plus a 1” seam allowance on each side…. So a total of 94” wide.
* Adjusting the length depends on the type of closure you want (envelope, buttons, ties, etc… I personally think ties are the easiest to do, so that’s what we’re going to do in this example. Add 2” to the length of the comforter (same reason as above) and add another 3 inches for the closure and 1” for the HEM around the top of the closure….. So we’re adding a total of 6” to the overall length of the facing….. Grand total length of the facing = 105” (length of facing fabric = 108”)
Step 3: Stitch the facing. Trim 3” off the bottom of the toile fabric, you won’t have to adjust the length of the facing again. Stitch the two 3 yard pieces of toile together using a 1” seam allowance, right sides together of course…. This is the front.
Step 4: Lay your lining sheet right side up on the floor; lay the toile right side down on top of the sheet.
Step 5: Match the toile top 4” above the top of the sheet lining (check and make sure the direction of the toile is going the right way….. you want the 4” overhang part to be for the top, so check and make sure your print is going the right way). Pin the top in place. Doing it this way will prevent you from having to hem the top of the sheet.
Step 6: Pin the sides of the cover. Since the width is a total of 94” (including seam allowance) and the fabric itself is 108”, pin the fabric 7” from the edge of the toile (so you’ll be cutting off 7” from each side). Before or after you’ve pinned it, you should use something (dressmakers chalk, ink pen , etc) to draw the line on the fabric so you know where to trim the excess. Check your lines to make sure the width is 94” from top to bottom (check every 6” or so). Trim the excess from the sides; use the line as your indicator on where to cut.
Step 7: Pin the bottom. Since you’ve already established the width, pinning the bottom will be a sinch. After you’ve pinned it, trim the excess lining fabric.
Step 8: Sew it all together. I’d do the bottom first, then the sides. Remember to use 1” seam allowances.
Step 9: Adding the ribbon. You can add as many as you think you’ll need. I used four on mine (two on the bottom, two on the top… about 4-6” long each). Sew the ribbon onto your seam allowance. Back stitch and stitch over it again a few times to make sure it’s good and secure. Some duvets come with ties already in them. If yours doesn’t have them, follow this step again sewing a ribbon onto the corners of the comforter/duvet.
Step 10: The closure. Sew 8 tie strips using the fabric, I’d say ½” wide by 6” long. To do this you’ll want to cut a piece of fabric 2” wide, fold it in half, then fold under the raw edges. Basically you’re making bias tape except sewing the edges together. You can use your scraps to make these. Hem the end of the toile (1” seam allowance). Determine how far apart the strips should be. I’d say place one 12” before the corner on each side then two toward the middle (math says these should be placed 34” away from the ones near the corners…). On the toile side, sew four of the strips 3” before the end of the fabric, on the right side. Sew the strips onto the lining, right at the edge, on the wrong side.
Now you’re done. Your excess toile fabric will be tucked under the lining fabric (so the duvet doesn’t show) at the closure. Scraps could be used to make coordinating pillows. If you buy extra fabric to make pillows/shams/valances with, get it cut separately from the cover fabric so you won’t have to worry about cutting it.
If you’re good with measuring, this will be easy. It sounds like a lot, but it’s really not…. I just went into a lot of detail. This is also posted at If you have any questions, feel free to ask!!! Have fun!
As for yesterdays little to-do list... I didn't get to any of it. Not even sewing! I got home from work a little later than usual. Traffic was horrible. Then I had to go to the grocery store which I planned on doing on the way home but I didn't have my debit card on me. Hubby told me to go ahead and get a lot of groceries. By the time I got home from the grocery store it was 8:00!! I cooked Salmon, which I LOVE, but we were out of foil so I had to bake it... it tastes MUCH better off the grill. We had some cheezy tortelinis too. Yum! I picked up some Alli at the grocery store. I'm going to start it tomorrow because today is Valentines day, so of course there will be lots of fatty foods.

1 comment:

Yvonne said...

I really like this. Can I post it with a link on my blog.