Friday, April 6, 2012

Duvet Cover Sewing Project

In preparation for the baby's arrival (the due date is 4 weeks from today!), we've been rearranging some furniture around here, which has thrown off some of the color schemes.  When we moved the twin bed into the nursery, we had a navy blue comforter amidst the gray, golden yellow, and dark turquoise color scheme, which bugged me every time I walked in the room.

Fortunately, we have an extra twin-sized comforter that is nice and fluffy, but we weren't using because not only did the the color clash, but the fabric was discolored in some places.  As we've been trying to stop spending money on home decor for this house, buying a new duvet cover or comforter wasn't an option.  I've been sewing a lot lately and decided to sew a duvet cover that would match the room.

However, finding fabric wide enough for a duvet cover (without piecing it together) is not easy.  Not to mention trying to do this as cheaply as possible.  I found a plain gray twin-sized sheet set at Walmart for only $10, and though I knew I'd have a tight fit as the dimensions wouldn't give me any breathing room, I decided to try to make it work.  In retrospect, the hardest part of this whole project was working with the twin-sized would have definitely been easier to buy a sheet set that was a size larger, but Walmart was out of full-sized, and the queen-sized added another $10 to the price.

Sewing a duvet cover is not a hard task (there are plenty of people that have already written great, easy to follow tutorials online), but I didn't just want to use the sheets as they were, because I thought it'd look like a cheap giant pillow case.  After looking up ideas online, I settled on the idea of using pintucks to add visual interest (and distract from the fact that it was made out of cheap bed sheets).

The width of a standard twin comforter is 63" and the width of the flat sheet (after pre-washing) was 61".  With 1/2 inch seam allowances, the duvet cover would be about 3 inches too small.  This wasn't really a drawback, though, because it would give the comforter a little more body instead of seeming flat around the edges.

After ripping the seam along the top edge of the sheet, I had about 12 inches of extra vertical length to use to make my tufts.  I followed a tutorial I found online to make the pintucks, arranging them about 12 inches apart in each row, with rows spaced 6 inches apart.  I laid the sheet out on the living room floor for this step, and it should be noted I do not recommend this project for women who are 8 months pregnant. :)  After marking the location of each pintuck with safety pins, I started sewing the pintucks.  I expected this part to take forever, but it actually went faster than measuring and marking the locations.

Finally I was ready to actually assemble the duvet cover!  This part when quickly compared to the rest of the project.  I lined up the edges of the top and bottom piece (the bottom piece was the fitted sheet with the elastic taken out and extra material sewn together to make it a perfect rectangle, but as it won't show, that didn't bother me), with right sides together.  I sewed around three sides of the duvet cover, leaving the middle of the bottom edge open (to make the corners crisp on this fourth side, I recommend sewing about 8-10 inches on each side).  I used pearl head snaps on the bottom edge, as they were easy to attach and look nice with the gray color.
Dylan helped me slide the duvet cover on the comforter, and after a bit of adjustment, I laid it out on the floor so I could see if all of the time and effort was worth it.  The verdict?  I love it.  100%.
I left it laid out on the living room floor for a couple of days and smiled every time I saw it.  Even after I finally put it on the bed in the nursery, I walk by the room and get excited just looking at it!  It definitely doesn't look like two cheap twin sheets sewn together (as I think it might have if I hadn't added the pintucks), and I know we'll want to keep it for use in our next house.

1 comment:

  1. Looks awesome! I've had my eye on the way too expensive one from west elm, but they don't have the twin size I need anyway...going to try this!