A new duvet cover

My room decor is mainly black and white.  Last year I got a duvet cover but I’ve never been that fond of it.  It was a budget choice rather than what I really wanted.  This is the cover we’ve been using.  Nothing wrong with it, but I don’t love it, and it is a little more floral than my husband would prefer.

Duvet cover

Now that I am gainfully employed, I decided to sew one that I would like better.  I waited until one of the fairly regular Fabric Depot sales happened and got this stack of black and white fabrics:

Black and white fabric for duvet

I ended up deleting the mini polka dots from the project, but all the others made it in.

This was my original design plan (I lost the pencil half way thru somewhere in the piles of fabric in the craft room.  I have entirely too many projects going on right now!) –

Duvet design plan

Not the most formal of designs, but the general idea was one long strip of the main fabric – the circles -with different width blocks of the other fabrics on either side.

Duvet cover in progress

But when I got the three main center strips sewed together, I didn’t like it. The center one fabric strip just looked weird and the whole thing didn’t balance.  I neglected to take a picture of it, so you’ll have to take my word for it.

I went back to the cutting table and slashed and sliced and added new columns and halved others.  I like the results much better than the original plan.  I’d started out with French seams to prevent it from getting ragged in the wash – it made for a lot of extra sewing once I added in all the extra pieces!

Duvet cover in progressAs I sewed I laid the strips out on my bed to make sure that none of the prints touched the same fabric in the next colum.

In this pic you can see the five fabrics I used.  Two are batiks and three are regular prints.

Duvet cover fabrics

The backing fabric is still in the mail – I ordered a gray and white wide backing fabric – so it won’t get finished today, but it is already an improvement on the former cover.

Making things for Mom

My mom wanted a simple duvet cover, which should have been the kind of thing that can be whipped up in an hour.  But, because it is us, it took two days.

First the two hours at Fabric Depot, because she isn’t good with decisions.  Normally I’d make this by sewing two sheets together, but she wanted more choices.  After we touched every bolt of cotton in the place and debated nearly every color in the rainbow, we settled on a pretty neutrally floral print, “Jardin de Provence” from Windham Fabrics.

Jardin de Provence fabricSince 42″ fabric doesn’t make a queen size cover, we decided to put black accent stripes in as well where I added in fabric on the sides, which gave me a chance to try French seams for the first time.  I’d been reading about them and it seemed like a good way to keep the seams tidy on something that will go in the wash fairly frequently. But the stripes and the special seams added a lot of sewing of long straight lines, never one of my specialties!  Luckily I’d gotten a lot of practice on the king size quilting earlier in the week.

I also added top stitching around the edges to keep everything square when the fluffy comforter is inside, and then decided to make ties rather than snaps for the closure since my cover’s snaps just don’t stay fastened. Lots of turning tubes right side out.

The finished cover stretched over my bed, without the comforter inside:

Jardin de Provence duvet cover

There was extra fabric, so I made new edges on a couple of white pillowcases.  I followed this tutorial: pillow trim directions.  Having the narrow black edge made it really easy to top stitch down the border.

Making a pillow case border

Making a pillowcase border

I changed the directions just slightly during the second pillowcase.  It was easier to get the size of the border just right by sewing it on first and then making the side seam to match where the side seam was on the pre-made pillowcase.

Finished pillowcases

I foresee lots and lots of pillowcase making in the future!