How to Make a Patchwork Duvet Covercomments (9) October 3rd, 2008
There’s nothing like a fluffy down comforter when the air turns nippy. But a down comforter is hard to launder, so it needs a cover to protect it. Here’s a great way to make a removable wrapper and give your bedroom a new look, too. I made this cover with a foldover button closure at the top and an opening at each lower corner so I can put my hand through and pull the comforter to the bottom (the hardest part when making the bed!). The top of this duvet cover is composed of large blocks of fabric that are all 18 inches wide but vary in height. I used some home dec fabric remnants as well as some quilt-shop cottons. But this is a great way to use recycled fabric (like some drapes you no longer use or some tablecloths from a tag sale) as long as it’s in good condition. Whether new or used, always prewash the fabric with a little mild soap and dry it in the dryer to avoid shrinkage later. And if those “flea market finds” are going to fall apart and don't survive the agitator, you’ll know before you put all that work into your project!
What you’ll need:
- Enough compatible fabric pieces to cover the top of the comforter (Comforters don’t come in standard sizes like sheets, so measure your comforter from top to bottom and side to side. Allow some extra for seam allowances, plus about 6 additional inches across the top for the button closure.)
- A sheet for the back, or enough fabric to make the back
- About a dozen small buttons
- A strip of lightweight fusible interfacing
Here’s how to do it:
1. Cut out the fabric blocks (be careful to cut or tear them on grain), arrange them, sew into strips, then sew the strips together. Use 1/2-inch seam allowances and press seams open. Unless the fabric tends to fray a lot, or you intend to wash the cover frequently, I don’t think you'll need to finish the seams—just keep the cover right side out when washing and drying so seam allowances are less exposed. Make the top the size of the comforter plus 1/2-inch seam allowances at the bottom and side edges and a 5-inch extension at the top.
2. From a large, flat sheet, cut the cover’s back to equal the size of the pieced top. You can make the back from fabric as well. (Some quilt shops carry extra-wide fabric for quilt backs that's about 108 inches wide, or you can seam together narrower fabric.)
3. Pin the pieced top to the back, right sides together, matching the edges. Sew the bottom edge first, starting along one side about 2 inches from the bottom. Pivot at the corner, sew the bottom edge, pivot at the next corner, and sew about 2 inches up the other side. Be sure to backstitch at the start and end of stitching.
4. Sew each side edge, leaving a 5-inch opening at the bottom. Sew to about 5 inches from the top edge.
5. Turn in the seam allowances at the corner openings 1/4 inch and stitch down to finish the openings.
6. Double fold the top of the sheet, creating a 2-1/2- to 3-inch hem, and sew in place along the fold.
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