Follow These Steps to Make a Duvet Cover


Duvet covers offer so many options from the added warmth of the actual insert to the comfort of using the light duvet cover alone.  Plus, make several so you can change up your bedroom for the seasons!

A bedroom should be a retreat, a place to let daytime worries fade away. One way to create a warm and inviting sanctuary in your bedroom is through the use of a coordinated interplay of patterns. It’s always safe to mix a pattern and a solid color. Safe, but boring. Instead, why not try a well-chosen mix of several patterns to add appeal to your room. This is exactly what my decorating partner, Matt and I did recently when we redecorated a bedroom.

We followed the large/medium/small formula. The bedroom was papered in a simple floral. The focal point of the room was the bed, which was centered between two windows. Using the wallpaper as our inspiration for color, we decided to use a large floral print on a duvet cover for the bed and for a drapery panel for each window.

The second pattern needed to be quite different than the first. It had to be about half the scale and in the same color family as the dominant pattern. We chose a plaid to contrast with the floral print, and decided to use it in decorative pillows, a bed skirt and a cornice board.

Finally, we chose a small check for our small print and used it as an accent. The check was used for welting and additional decorative pillows.

You can find coordinating bedding and window treatments in many catalogs, but if you’d like to create a unique look for your bedroom, you might consider sewing a coordinating duvet cover and window treatments.  Here are the instructions for creating your own duvet cove r!

Materials List:

  • Three coordinating fabrics
  • Welt cording
  • Buttons

The top and back of the duvet cover are each made out of three pieces–one full width of fabric for the center panel and a split panel with half sewn onto either side of the center one to provide enough width. The top piece is then cut in half widthwise to create the button opening that allows the duvet cover to close. This is good to know so you understand what you are cutting and stitching before you actually get started!

1. The first step is to measure both the length and width of your duvet from seam to seam. Add two inches (one inch for twin sizes) to the width for seam allowances and add 3-1/2 inches to the length for seam allowances and hem.

2. Next determine how many lengths of fabric you will need.  To do this, divide the width of the duvet by the width of the fabric you are using and round up to a whole number. For instance, if your duvet is 80 inches wide and your fabric is 54 inches wide, you would first add two inches to the width, making the total width 82 inches. Next, you would divide 82 by 54. Your answer would be 1.5. You would round up to the nearest whole number, 2, meaning you would need two lengths of your fabric.

3. Next, multiply the number of lengths you need by the actual length of the required fabric pieces. Using the previous example, if your duvet was 90 inches long, you would add 3-1/2, making your total length 93-1/2 inches. Multiply 93-1/2 inches times two lengths, for a total of 187 inches, or 5-1/4 yards. If you are making a reversible cover, you would need 5-1/4 yards of two coordinating fabrics. If the front and back of your duvet cover will be made of the same fabric, you need two lengths of 5-1/4 yards, or 10-1/2 yards of fabric. If your fabric has a pattern, you may need to add additional yardage to allow for matching.

4. OK, you’re ready to start. Cut the top and bottom pieces to length, which for the bottom is the length of the duvet plus seam allowances (1 inch if using ½” seam allowances). The top piece needs to be cut seven inches longer than the bottom so you have enough fabric to make the split to allow insertion of the duvet! Be sure to allow for half-inch seam allowances on the top as well.

5. Sew the side sections to the center section to form the full-size top and bottom pieces of the duvet cover.

6. Cut off a three-inch section running the full width of the top of the duvet cover. This will be used as a facing piece for the buttonholes.


7. Cut the remaining top in half widthwise, or wherever you would like to have the opening.  Some duvet covers have the buttons about 24 down from the top edge just so the buttons show past the pillows. If you have multiple pillows, shams and decorative pillows, you may need to cut the duvet top in half for the buttons to be placed appropriately.

8. Hem the center edge of the bottom half of the duvet cover by folding over the edge 1” twice.

9. Sew the cording and the facing piece along the center edge of the other duvet piece, and then sew in buttonholes where desired.

10. Match up the lower half and upper half of the top of the duvet cover and mark where the buttons should be sewn.  Add the buttons and button the upper and lower pieces together.

11. Next, sew cording all the way around the edges of the bottom piece.

12. Place the top and bottom of the duvet cover together with right sides facing.  IF there is any extra length on the top piece, trim it even with the bottom piece.  Pin the two together and stitch.

13. Turn the duvet cover right side out and insert the duvet.


A great way to finish off your new duvet cover would be to create a dust ruffle and shams or accent pillows from the coordinating prints you’ve chosen.  Or, finish it off by using it to take a long deserved nap!!


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