I don’t know about you, but I use a down comforter year round. I may kick it off throughout the night in the summer, but I just love how comfortable they make a bed feel.
Harlow has a twin size comforter on her big-girl bed, and I’ve been itching to get a cover for it. For how often we are changing the sheets — naptime and overnight accidents are the most fun ever :) — it’s easiest to not have another quilt or coverlet on top of her down comforter.
I had a few parameters for this project:
- Inexpensive. I’m shocked at how expensive duvet covers can be, and I change my mind way too often for that. I wanted to be able to make a new cover to give her room a new pop of color for not a lot of money.
- Quick and easy. I had already been meaning to make this cover for a while, so I knew I needed something I could tackle quickly.
Immediately I thought of using two flat sheets to create the duvet cover. I figured a twin sheet is already relatively the right size and hemmed, so I’m not even dealing with raw edges. Add to that, it’s fairly easy to find inexpensive twin sheets — that are also super cute! — and when you compare that to the yardage needed to make this cover, it would be hard to beat the price.
Win. Win. Win.
The only problem I saw was if I bought a full sheet set, make that 2 full sheet sets, I’d be stuck with 2 fitted sheets, but not flat sheet to accompany them.
I was pushed to go out and purchase the sheet sets when I was told a great trick by a fellow toddler mom. I now make Harlow’s bed in multiple layers, so I’m more prepared for the accidents. Mattress –> waterproof pad –> fitted sheet –> waterproof pad –> fitted sheet –> flat sheet –> down comforter. This way, when an accident does happen, I can remove the top fitted sheet and pad, and I’m left with another.
And you thought this was just a tutorial. Let’s get on with that now — I just wanted to give you a few extra tips as well. :)
|| Supplies ||
- 2 flat sheets according to down comforter size. I have always found the comforter to be smaller than flat sheets assigned the same size (twin, full, queen, king), but check if you are worried that your flat sheet won’t be large enough.
- Down comforter
- Sewing machine
- Pins/thread/sewing supplies
I also like to make sure the down comforter doesn’t shift around inside the cover, so I will show you how to add interior ties as well. You can skip this part if you desire.
- 1/8″ ribbon cut into about 10, 4″ pieces, folded into a loop; 20, 10″ pieces.
1|| Lay out flat sheets to check sizing and measurements. My mom is appalled right now at my lack of ironing, but I really want to show you how quickly you can accomplish this project. :)
Check to be sure your down comforter will fit inside your comforter. You will also want to decide how fitted you want the cover to be — are you okay with a few inches around the perimeter that isn’t filled with the comforter? Or do you want the cover to fit the duvet cover super snug?
2|| Fold over one of the flat sheets to create the opening and pocket. Remember we are sewing right sides together, so when this is right-side out, the comforter will nest under that flap. Be sure to provide enough space lengthwise for the comforter when folding the flap over and pinning. The other flat sheet will fold over and close with velcro strips.*
*You can also use buttons, if you’d like, but I like that velcro sits flat, so I opted to go that route.
3|| Sew around the perimeter of the cover. Begin at the top of one side of the folded down flap, and make your way around to the other.
4|| At this point, you can continue on by creating ribbon loops and ties to keep your comforter in place, or you can skip each of the * steps.
Take your cut strips of ribbon and light a candle. Yup. Carefully melt the ends of each piece to keep from fraying. On the smaller pieces, carefully press the ends together after melting to form a loop. Don’t burn your fingers! :(
5*|| Measure and mark your distances around the perimeter of the cover. I chose to put ties at each of the bottom corner, 3 across the bottom, 2 up each side, and 2 across the top.*
*Bottom: I will refer to the closed, short edge as the bottom. Top: I will refer to the open pocket/flap, short edge as the top.
Pin in place, and use a small stitch length to tack ribbon in place.
6|| Turn your duvet cover right side out and press seams. I wanted to give a nice edging to my cover, so I did a top stitch about 1/4″ and again at 1.5″ in from the edge. You can skip this stop, but I think this seam is one of those that takes your project from “oh cute, that’s definitely homemade,” to, “oh wow! you made that?”
If you’d added your ribbon ties, be sure to keep them out of the path of your seam — or you’ll be doing a lot of ripping up and sewing again. :) Not like I’m speaking from experience or anything!
7*|| Turn your cover inside out again and lay out your comforter as you want it to sit in the cover. Line up your ribbon ties and pin your loops to the edge of your comforter. Using a short stitch length, tack these loops in place.
8|| Okay! Last steps! We just need to add a closure to the top opening of the cover. I’m lazy :) so I like to use velcro with adhesive — I still sew it on, but I hate pinning velcro, so this saves me the hassle. It does gum up my needle a little bit, so I’m sure to clean my needle well or simply replace it after this step.
Measure and mark where you want your velcro closure to sit. I used 6 velcro pieces about 5″ in length across the top of my duvet cover about 1″ down from the top. This measurement is from the edge of the piece that being folded over to close the opening of the cover.
Place the velcro across the top, and then fold over as you want it to lay when finished.
Fold back the edge of the top flap, and line up the matching velcro accordingly. Is this the most perfect and measured way of lining this up? No. Did it work well? Yup. :)
9|| Sew around the perimeter of all 12 (or however many pieces of velcro you used) pieces of velcro.
10|| Now’s the fun part! If you skipped the ribbon steps, simply stuff that down comforter in there.
To tackle the ribbons, you’ll want to start with the cover almost inside out, so you can match up the bottom loops and ties. Andy thought it would take me forever to tie and get it together, so I timed myself: 7 minutes from start to finish. Totally worth it to keep the comforter in place within the duvet cover!
Simply match up each spot and tie a bow. As you work your way up each side, the cover will flip back right-side out. Then I closed up the top with the velcro, and went and made Harlow’s bed.
I couldn’t forget her stack of favorite books — she’s pretty particular about which books she has in bed to read during nap and in the morning when she wakes up. Are you at all surprised by the book on top? (thank you, Aunt Cori!)
All in all, I’m super happy with how this duvet cover came out! I bought cheap sheets from Target, and while they weren’t even perfectly squared — or even the same length — the duvet cover turned out so great. Harlow’s been using it, the comforter hasn’t shifted at all, and she seems to love it as much as I do.
I once again used my new favorite machine, the DZ1500 to sew this cover. The sheer speed of this machine–and the fact that I was sewing just a bunch of long, straight lines–made this cover go together in record time. The size of the work table it includes helped me manage the weight of so much fabric.
I think I might try to do another one with a jersey sheet, but begin by adding some embellishments to the top of the duvet cover. I need to think about what on earth I even mean by embellishments, but when I have more of an idea, I promise to let you know. :)