Sunday, December 8, 2013

Bedroom Makeover: The Duvet

Alrighty folks, this is the big one.

After much debate, fears, tears, and mental swearing, I have a new duvet! YAY!!!!

Why can't I just dream small for once? Oh, no! It's impossible. Once I get a mental picture of what I want, I have to go for it. And it always is way more complicated that it really needs to be. I think it's a disease. (Exhibit A: New Christmas Stockings)

But go big, or go home, right? RIGHT?! Please someone agree with me...

So I went big. Lit-trally. (hehehe)

My duvet is King size. Yup. I have a Queen size bed. But I really wanted the blanket to go down the sides of my bed. Especially with all the ruffles. It looks so pretty on the sides. :)

Originally I was going to do a pretty, light turquoise/Tiffany blue color for the duvet with white sheets. But that turned out very difficult to do unless I wanted to pay major bucks. Turns out that its really, really hard to find 6, yes SIX, king size flat sheets in that right blue color. Even online. boo. I did find some at one store, but it was $40--just for ONE flat sheet. Yikes!

I considered getting white sheets and then dyeing them the color I wanted. But then I got really worried I wouldn't like color and would have wasted everything and that the project was going to fall apart. [taking deep breaths]

So, hello compromise. (You'll be so proud Mom--I am flexible in my grand plans!) I decided to make a white ruffle duvet and use pretty blue sheets. I found soft, nice sheets at Target. Turns out white is MUCH easier to find. Imagine that.

Several paychecks later, I had enough sheets. :)

And then came the sweat, fears, tears, and mental swearing.

I used this fabulous tutorial to help guide in my adventure. I started measuring, cutting, sewing, ruffling, pinning and sewing.

Thankfully Caitlin volunteered to help and was willing to iron. I think she just wanted to make Nick watch the kids all day. :)  WHY IS THERE ALWAYS SOO MUCH IRONING IN SEWING?!


Caitlin had been convinced that we could bust out a fully ruffled KING size duvet in one day. Ha! Even I knew that would have been impossible. It took hours and hours and hours and many episodes of Ugly Betty to get only part of the strips ironed.

But I slowly worked on it. Then I got really worried...what if I actually finished it....and then I hated it. All that work for nothing!  Caitlin's nonchalant words of comfort: "Well, you could probably sell it if you don't like it." Oh, okay. Gee. Thanks.

Good thing that didn't happen. I do love it. Like really love it.

So...let's take a moment to talk about how much fabric was involved here. Remember SIX King-sized sheets? So the base the ruffles are sewed to and the actual bottom of the cover are 92" wide and 104" long--which is slightly cut down from the sheet size.

For each ruffle strip, I cut 4 sheets up into 52--7" strips which were 104" each. Then I took two strips and sewed them together to make one horrendously long finished strip (208" long)--of which there are 27 on the duvet. Yeah, doing the math, my duvet has 156 YARDS of ruffles. That's a lot of ruffles. 

Each side has a 1/4" double turned hem, leaving the finished strip 6" wide. Then one of the long sides was ruffled. I tried to use the finished edges as much as possible to save me some sewing.

Each ruffle was sewed 10 cm apart so there would be about a 2" overlap of each ruffle, making the ruffles fuller. I took the time to draw lines every 10 cm on the base sheet. This saved a lot of time and frustration later when I had to pin and sew the ruffles on.

Doesn't the ruffle foot look terrifying? It sounds scary too! I kept thinking that something was going to break because of all the loud metal clicking, but nothing did. The foot worked like a charm. Best investment. And I love that I found it on Amazon for $10 with free shipping! Sure beats the $45-60 I saw everywhere else!

Sewing the ruffles on was hard and I very quickly discovered it was much faster and easier to sew with the ruffle than against it.

I actually had fun sewing--in between all the broken needles, broken threads, and bobbins that wouldn't wind. I should have bought a sewing machine years ago. Apparently that was all that was necessary for me to get over my inability to sew. :)

Here's a peek at the back of the top. I loved the way the zig zag strips look on the back.

After a couple of months, I finally finished. It is sooo hard to find time to cut, iron, sew and sew and sew between working full time and going to school full time. The only reason it got done so quickly was because it's getting cold and I need a blanket. hahaha. We won't talk about what should have but didn't get done while I sewing. :)

The comforter had corner loops to tie to a duvet, so I sewed in some ties, which were just 1/4"   white bias tape, cut in 8" strips, folded in half. I also sewed some 4 additional loops and ties along the top to help keep the comforter in place. 

I have yet to sew in a closure at the bottom. I think I'm going to eventually put in velcro.

So here it is, all done!

I really do love how it turned out and the thin comforter I put in it is the perfect thickness. The duvet is freakishly heavy when carrying it around, but when it's on my bed it feels quite thin. It's perfect.

Future plans: Eventually I will have blue sheets and a blue bed skirt under the duvet. And I have plans for a cool tufted headboard. Thank you internet for all the inspiration!


  1. I love it, so pretty and chic. I've been wanting to make my own duvet cover for a while and totally get the lack of time. A tufted headboard would be a perfect addition.
    Stopping by from Not Just a Housewife.

  2. What an awesome duvet! I LOVE all the ruffles! What a labor of love. I'm sure you'll enjoy it for a long time.
    Cheers from your neighbor to the left (Merry & Bright Home tour) on Party Palooza ;)
    Therese @ Fresh Idea Studio

  3. Love it! This is exactly my style! :)


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