Tutorial: Duvet Cover

I made a duvet cover.  Wanna learn?  Sure you do!  Below is what what I'm working with... AKA, the before.  When I got this white duvet cover 5 years ago I had visions of cozy luxury hotel bedding all squishy and fluffy.  Fast forward to now... I looks like an old flat sheet thrown on the bed.  Like I gave up and went with white because I couldn't pick a color. Not cozy.  By the way, there is a 3 year old in the pillows there.  Apparently there is a rule that she must jump on and destroy all made beds while flinging cheerios, juice and snot.  It's probably because made beds are rare in my house and she doesn't see them often.

What do I need?

• All your regular sewing crap. (machine, thread, scissors, measuring tape, pins, etc.)
• A LOT of fabric.  I measured my old duvet insert.  Remember you need a top and a bottom, so double what ever measurements you come up with to determine the amount of fabric.
    - Side note: I used a set of king sized sheets for the majority of my duvet.  I only put the expensive fabric on the top where you can see it. If you wanted your duvet reversible... use a different fabric on each side. And remember this is what you will be sleeping with... make it comfy.
• Fasteners.  You need a way to close your duvet at the top.  You can add ties, snaps, buttons, whatever.
• Space.  You have to lay your fabric out somewhere to cut, measure, pin...  I have a king size bed and not a king size living room.  I had to move the couch every time I worked on this.  Not fun.  Be prepared for it.  It's big.

Here are the two fabrics I bought at JoAnn's.  I never ended up using the brown one.  I might still make a pillow or something one day.  
Very important note!  Wash and dry all of your fabric before you start!  Here's a good example why....  My "expensive" fabric from JoAnn's was dry clean only. There is no way I'm taking my duvet to the dry cleaners... who has time for that?  Anyway, I decided to wash and dry in the same manor I intended to wash and dry it when it was complete. That way, any shrinking would be taken care of and I could wash and dry at will down the road. Holy shrinkage! (I was in the pool! I was in the pool!  George Costanza?  No? Never mind.)

Yes I realize that because it was dry clean only it shrunk more than other fabrics, but they all shrink to some degree.  See how wide it used to be? Don't go through the effort of making this to have it shrink to an unusable size later.  OK, enough shrinkage lecture.

Let's get started!
I took out my duvet insert and measured it.  It was 105" wide.
I then rolled out my expensive fabric and cut it to 110" wide.  5" bigger for seam allowance and wiggle room for the insert.  
Because I only had one roll of this fabric I knew I wanted it to be a stripe across the front of my duvet.  Like this...
Then I laid out my sheet to cut the top and bottom "stripes".  Because I was not smart enough to buy two flat sheets, I had to use the fitted sheet for the stripes (I cut out the elastic) and the flat one for the back of the duvet cover.  Make life easy on yourself, buy two flat sheets if you are going the sheet route.
See that thingy there?  It's a laser level and it came in super handy for cutting such large pieces of fabric square. (See that juice cup way back there?  Probably some rancid milk in there for me later... sweet)
After I had all of my "stripes" cut, time to sew them together.  I used french seams which I also used in the Tank Revamp Toddler Dress.  Soooo much nicer to have a perfectly finished project inside and out.  Check it out.
See the little pocket it tucks all of your raw edges into?
Then I top stitched both of those seams to make it look professional.
Then I felt like this toward my duvet cover...
That's it in a giant pile on my floor.  So tired of all the measuring and endless lines of sewing! It's not a hard project, just BIG!  Ugh.  

Once my funk wore off I layed the whole thing out again (move the efing couch, AGAIN). Make sure at this point to hem what ever is going to be your top on both the front and the back of your duvet.  
Then put the pieces together, pin, and sew a giant "U" around 3 sides (both sides and bottom).  I again used french seams.  Leave the top open so you can stuff your duvet insert (or old comforter) in there.
Last thing to do, add your fasteners to the top to close it.  I used snaps with this thingy.
Aren't they pretty?
And now that you've moved furniture and crawled around the floor for days, take a nap in your new finished duvet cover!

Had to post this.  My husband and son were waiting for me to finish taking pictures so they could wrestle on the bed.  I told you made beds don't last in my house.


  1. That is so impressive! Big project ts like that -- like literally large -- freak me out! Doing my roman shades almost did me in. Looks fantastic!

  2. Looks great. I've wanted to make one for ages, maybe I will now!!! Love the wrestling. Oh, and I do get the Seinfeld reference ....hehe
    x Marnie

  3. Marnie... I'm so glad you got the Seinfeld reference! I was just telling my husband last night that I don't think anyone got it. hahaha

  4. The laser level is brilliant! Cutting straight & square is a huge challenge for me. So did you just cut along the red laser line, or did you trace the line with a marking pen?
    Beautiful proect - thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks! I know... I could not figure out how I was going to cut these giant pieces of fabric square... then it dawned on me! Laser level. I marked little dashes along the red laser line, then cut. Thanks for reading!

    2. Little dashes - got it! Thanks again!

  5. Love the seinfield comment:). When I was young and broke, (compared to now when I am old and broke) i used to make duvet covers out of bed sheets. very cheap and then my sheets all matched.

  6. I really enjoyed your tutorial and I made a duvet cover in super king size for my bedroom. I can't believe that your tips works so well. If I have the access to submit the pics of my home made duvet cover than I must upload it here.
    Thanks a ton for the wonderful share!!!

  7. Wow. New to your blog. Love your tips and tutorials. Totally got the Seinfeld reference. Glad to know me and my husband aren't the only cooky couple who understand and make references like that. I am an avid blog lover and sometimes the breakdowns in tutorials aren't as clear as yours. Absolutely loved your tutorial on the quartrefoil stencil. So psyched about diving in to some projects!

  8. Love the fabric. And fab tutorial.

    I would love for you to share this at Empty Your Archive - we are linking up posts on bed linen this week, Alice @ Mums Make Lists


  9. Ideally, use a "French Seam" but if you have not left enough fabric for that, then I would place the top on the bottom, right sides together, and sew round three sides, leaving the bottom end open for the fasteners. It may be an idea to turn a bought Duvet Covers cover inside out to see what the manufacturers have done,

  10. Great post we always agree with your tips and tutorial..
    I am very happy because you think everybody when you design best duvet covers ,and pillow.I am always read your tutorial and got more knowledge...

  11. Wow! That made a gorgeous bedroom ensemble. Really love the floral. Thanks for the tutorial. Handy hint with the laser beam. It's hard to cut large pieces that straight. Thanks! (btw, I believe "layed" is spelled laid, just a tip from me.) Thanks again!

    1. Haha, thanks! I'm going to go back and fix that! It's funny, my husband always proofs my posts now but he didn't back in 2011. I'm sure his head would be hung in shame. lol

  12. I love your tutorial! You sound like me working on projects that take over entire rooms in my house. Keep up the great work and remember, making the bed every day is highly overrated!!!

    Can't wait to make this one.


  13. I have been thinking about making something for my king size bed. This is very helpful. As soon as I find the right fabric, I am going to try this. Thanks for sharing.


  14. I like your tutorial it is really very nice and helpful.

  15. I like your blog, search a amazing Bed Sheets, You definitely inspired me.