Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Duvet Cover Part I

.Yesterday I made the front side of my daughter’s duvet cover (she’s almost 3).I know she's probably going to stain it, but I got all of this sweet fabric for basically nothing ($2/yard) as a barter for a sewing job I did for a fabric store. Damn straight I’m gonna use it. I’m sure she will let me know when she grows tired of it (hopefully for at least 8 years).

Now for the measurements of the actual top – I searched online for down blankets to get a ball park range of how big to make it. Ideally, you will want to make it exact otherwise the blanket won’t reach the edges and you will have “cold” spots or it will be too small and the blanket will bunch up around the edges and then you’ll have “hot” spots.

So pick a blanket you think you will buy – better yet buy it, and add 2” to the length and 2” the width. You could go only 1” to each side – but my seams always end up being wider after I attach the piping and ruffle.
Segue to my design – a contrasting piping with a 2 ½” ruffle. More on this in my next post.

Now for a twin the dimensions I got were 62” x 87”. Obviously this is wider than most –strike that-all home décor fabrics. You will need to piece together two equal lengths (I cut mine to 89”) and match up any patterns. To do this, cut out the first piece and then line it up matching the patterns and pin down. This is where you will cut the top of the second piece. To get a straight line, make a slit in the side of the fabric and tease out one of the horizontal threads and gently pull it. Keep pulling it and gathering it. The thread will usually break. Pull the fabric flat again and you will see a line where the thread used to be. Cut along this line until it disappears. Start again by finding a new thread to pull in this cut line and pull again. Repeat to the end.

Line up the bottom edge of the fabric making sure that both pieces are the same length. You can also check it by matching up the pattern. Make a small cut for the bottom of the second piece and pull thread again. Don’t go all the way across though. You only need to pull it 64”-54” / 2 = 5 + ½ for seam allowance”. At the end of the 5 ½ ” mark, make a cut vertically and pull the thread again. PULL THE LEVER – I mean PULL THE THREAD. Fabrics have repeated patterns in their design - hence the repeat in the fabric. To figure out what this repeat is, measure from one pattern to the exact same pattern running vertically on the fabric and repeat it horizontally. This repeat also does not run completely horizontally. I found this out the hard way. I tried attaching the same piece to other side of the fabric and it didn’t match up. Sh*t. My bad. I always dive into projects head first. It’s ok though because I will be using the non-matched side up against the wall. No one will see it.

Now that you have two pieces with matching patterns bust out your stitch “witchery” aka fusible tape and iron down one side of the fabric. Iron down one side of the fabric and make sure the selvage aka non printed side of the fabric is not showing. Line up this newly ironed edge with the second piece of fabric to create a seamless seam (sorry that is a bit redundant but you get the point). Place the stitch “witchery” between both pieces and iron down. Do the entire length. Now, “open up” the ironed piece and sew along this crease. The straighter you are the better. Cut the excess off the seam and use your overlock machine to make sure it doesn’t fray in the wash. I have washed my duvet cover (my mom made it for me) a half dozen times because my cat keeps puking on it. DAMN YOU FIONA!

Now for the other side, match up the fabric again starting as high up as you can on the leftover cut piece. You can save a ton of fabric by using this technique. If you are making a king or queen sized duvet cover, then you will need the full width of the fabric. Cut across 5 ½” and you know it – pull the thread again and repeat vertically at end of cut piece. Iron down the selvage side of the fabric again, match up the patterns and iron down the pieces with stitch witchery again.

Tune in next time for the piping and ruffle.

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