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The 3 1/2 Hour Duvet Project

July 12, 2011

 I have created a simple duvet project as the first installment of our Make-over Your Dorm Room Series. I made it on a Sunday morning, and when I was finished, I wondered why I didn't have a wardrobe of duvets for my own bedroom. Simple sewing skills are necessary. You need to be able to sew a straight seam, and manipulate a lot of fabric while you are sewing. It helps to lay it all over a long table or even set up your ironing board next to your sewing table to handle the extra fabric lying around while you sew. You will also be ironing and matching patterns if you use a patterned fabric. Don't worry. I have some tips for that.

First of all we used the beautiful Wrenly Collection by Valori Wells for Free Spirit Fabrics for this group of projects. This is the Wrenly Home Decor Twill Gypsy Multi EK-823. You will need fabric for the front of the duvet and 108'' quilt backing fabric for the back, coordinating ribbon, thread, straight pins, scissors, a yard stick, a sewing machine and a serger (optional). Let's get started!

Here is how I figure the yardage for the duvet. Measure the comforter that you will fill the duvet with. Mine is 86'' long x 82'' wide. My fabric is 54'' wide, but I will cut off the selvedges and take a 5/8'' seam allowance, so I make the middle panel 52'' wide for measuring purposes. I will split another length of the fabric for the sides. I will also be matching a 12'' repeating pattern, so I need another 24'' added to my length. Lastly, I will fold back a 3'' hem around the opening of the duvet. Here's the calculation:

86'' + 86'' + 24'' + 3'' = 199 '' total

199'' divided by 36'' = 5 1/2 yards for the duvet



Whew! I swear the math is over. I use the floor to measure the fabric, cut it to length and split the remaining half for the sides. You see that the sides are longer than the middle. That's for lining up the repeats to match across the duvet.










cutting out.JPGThis is showing you that I cut down the sides to the correct width. My duvet is 82'' across and my center piece is 52'' wide. I cut two 16.5'' wide pieces for a total of 33 inches to make the width of the duvet and accommodate for 5/8'' seam allowances.









matching pattern.JPGHere is an example of the pattern matching. I found the first motif on the center piece and the first bird on the side piece and matched them together. Everything else fell into place and matched beautifully. Pin both sides every three or four inches just to keep it all together while you are moving the duvet top from the cutting area to the sewing machine.







Sew the sides to the center piece. There will be a lot of fabric to manipulate. Take your time and keep the fabric of the side you are sewing loosely piled in your lap so it is not straining through the machine. Keep one hand on the fabric at the back of the presser foot for guidance only. Do not pull from the back, just guide. Press the seams to the center of the duvet sewing seams.JPGwhen you have finished stitching.










serging.JPGYou need to finish the seams in some way on the inside. I love my serger! It is perfect for enclosing the seams and trimming off the excess fabric. No problem if you do not have a serger, just zigzag the seams on the edge to enclose the raw edges.









sewing backing.JPGI used 108'' wide quilt backing for the back of the duvet. You will only need one length of the duvet for your yardage measurement since the quilt backing will be wider than the width of your duvet. Also, you will not have to piece it. That's 2 1/2 yards for my project. Cut the backing down to size and place it on the duvet top with right sides together. Pin every three or four inches on three sides leaving the bottom of the duvet open. Stitch around the three sides and then finish the seams with the serger or a zigzag stitch.






haf inch edge.JPGPress in a 1/2'' hem at the open end (bottom) of the duvet and then....










3'' finish.JPGthen fold and press in a 3'' hem. We'll go back to the floor for the next step.









measurinf for ties.JPGLay the duvet on the floor to place the ties on the open end. Cut six pairs of ties to keep the duvet closed (you could also make button holes and buttons). I used some polyester grosgrain ribbon that will be washable. Find the middle of the duvet and measure in even increments to place your ties. I actually fooled with mine a bit after the measuring to get them where my eye thought they should be. Pin them in place front and back.

I allowed about an inch above the fold of the hem for the ribbon to tuck into the hem as I stitched everything in place.



tucking ties into seam.JPGRemember, these will tie together,so line up the ribbons on the top of the duvet and then place the other ribbon directly beneath on the back of the duvet and pin that ribbon the the backing of the duvet. Take them to the sewing machine and stitch it all in place at once.








beauty shot.JPGCongratulations! You have a brand new duvet for only the cost of the fabric and your time! And, more than likely, it's exactly what you wanted instead of settling for whatever the stores have to offer. I have a twin bed with a duvet made just like this one, but I used a pair of damask sheets I found on sale. If you use that trick, you can skip half of this tutorial and go right to sewing the back to the front, hemming and adding the ties. That's almost instant gratification!


Happy sewing!

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Love the duvet! I want to make one but think that I would do a tuck flap at the end and perhaps use buttons or velcro for a finished edge as I don't care for the ribbon showing.

Thanks so much for posting these directions. I have always wanted to make a duvet cover but was intimidated by the amount of fabric! I have a daybed in my kids playroom that needs a never cover. Maybe I will give it a try!

I bought a duvet cover from LLBean. The nicest thing about it is there are ties inside in all 4 corners. The is to tie the corners of the comforter into the corner so it stays in place inside the cover. The ties are tape that is used to stabilize shoulder seams. Makes it easier to put the cover on also.
The next cover, I will make and it will certainly have the ties in the inside of each corner.

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This page contains a single entry by Kristl Pelz published on July 12, 2011 7:41 AM.

Using an Umbrella Yarn Swift was the previous entry in this blog.

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