In New Zealand everyone uses duvets and duvet covers. I move here and use the word "duvet" (doo-vay in case you were wondering) and my husband looks at me like I'm speaking a foreign language (Maybe it is a foreign word. Is it French? Ok, so maybe he had a point). So since I'm all "when in Rome" I was doing the Roman thing and buying comforter sets. See the (s) at the end of 'set'. Yup, multiple. Here's the problem, we actually sleep in our bed. Kids get in our bed. Dogs jump on the bed. Cats hide from dogs on the bed. It is possible that I eat in the bed (get over it husband). Over time that thing gets naaaah-sty! So I proceed to try and stuff it in my washing machine and wash it. And my washing machine proceeds to eat it. And being cheap, I put it back on the bed thread bare and still kinda gross. Yes, we are disgusting nasty people.
Thus I decided that I was going to buy a duvet cover. I fell in love with this one...
Its gorgeous. Its from Pottery Barn. It's $179 for just the cover. Ouch, So being
I got to work right away (ie. before my husband got home and tried to talk me out of it) and here is my version:
It's no Pottery Barn but I'm pretty stoked with it. Want to make one? Well, I'll do my best to talk you through it.
1. Three flat white sheets. You can get these on sale from Walmart for around $10. They're 200 count and pretty nice and soft yet sturdy enough to stand up to wear and tear from being on the bed.
4. Sewing machine
5. Twill tape or ribbon
Clean your floors. Seriously. You are going to have loooooots of fabric and it's going to be all over your floors and its white. Need I say more?
Open your sheets. I should tell you to wash them first but I didn't. Do as I say not as I do.
These are the ones I purchased. I used two queen size sheets for our queen bed.
Cut off the top finished edge off of one sheet (leave the top edge of the other sheet) and the bottom finished edge of the other sheet.
Sew the raw bottom edge of one sheet to the raw top edge of the other sheet. You'll now have a reeeeeally long piece of white fabric (see why I told you to clean your floors!) Now here's why I didn't wash my sheet. When you unfold it there are all these lovely straight lines running down the entire length. I used these lines as guidelines for where I was going to gather. If you were a good little seamstress then you're going to need to get the old iron out and press your creases as guidelines.
Decide how far apart you want your gathers. In hindsight I would not have done as many gathers as I did. You'll definitely want one on each edge about 1/2" from the edge. Then at least 2 in the middle of the sheet.
To gather set your machine on a its longest, biggest stitch and sew all the way down it. DO NOT back stitch at either end and leave long threads for gathering. If lots of fabric jammed into a machine scares you, I suggest you look away...
Lay out your duvet and cut your backing sheet to fit. Make sure you leave some seam allowance.
Take your twill tape or ribbon and lay it the length of your duvet to measure how long it needs to be.
Gather, gather and gather some more. Don't worry about the correct length just yet. You'll adjust it later.
Place your cut twill tape or ribbon onto of each gather and adjust your gathers to fit. This is not an exact science and the gathers are very forgiving so don't obsess too much over it. Use like a gazillion pins on each row of gathering. Don't skip this step (and don't blame me if you do!) Now sew down the length of each piece of twill tape close to one of the edges. When you get to the end, turn around and come back up the other side. Do this for each row of gather except the two outer edges.
Sew your duvet top to the bottom rights sides together.Use pins. Pins are your friends. Don't sew along the entire top (the one with the finished edge). I sew about 8" in on each side. Turn it right side out and squeal a little because it's almost done!
For the closures for the top I used snaps but your can use buttons or ties. Whatever floats your boat.
Stuff it and throw it on your bed. Toss yourself on top and snuggle. :)
Not too shabby, huh? One thing I did to my cover was add snaps to the inside corners of the cover and to the four corners of the duvet. This helps keep the duvet in place. Don't worry if your don't have a snap press. When I was growing up I remember my Mum using safety pin so you could do that instead.
So my biggest fear in making this (aside from the ruffling - ahhhhh) was the fact that it's white. But let me tell you, white is your friend. White you can work with. White you can bleach. Colors or patterns you cannot bleach. I am all about the white. Also, it hasn't gotten dirty at all. Perhaps we just aren't as nasty as we used to be, I don't know. And another plus, it gets dirty? You whip that sucker off the bed and toss it in the laundry. And because it's not bulky your washer shouldn't eat it.
You should definitely make one. Don't be scared of the ruffles. It took me about a day of on and off work (the small people were making demands on my time!). You can totally do it!