Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Cover Me

Hey there, everybody!

So today's post is one for the beginning sewer (or do you guys prefer 'sewist'? Frankly, I don't really care...), and it's super easy. You only need to be able to sew straight lines. Duvet covers are a fabulous way to change up the decor of your bedroom on a regular basis--or, if you like to sleep European-style (no flat sheet), they're a regular bedding staple.

The problem is duvet covers can be really, really expensive. So I've got a great, easy way to keep costs down and upcycle at the same time (if you want)!

The first thing you want to do is buy (or repurpose) two flat sheets in the size of your bed. For my purposes, I'm using Twins. I made two duvet covers, one using brand-new sheets, the second using thrifted ones.

Wash your sheets and iron (if you like. I'm a rebel that way.).

Two purty thrifted sheets.
Then take your two sheets and put them right sides together, matching top and bottom edges (they usually have distinctive edges; the tops are wider for decorative purposes).

Sew from one long edge up across the top and down the second long edge. Choose whatever seam allowance you like, close to 1/4" is probably best. I used the existing hemmed edges and sewed right next to them.

As for the bottom edge, or the part you leave open, you can finish it a number of different ways. You can sew short sections on either side closed, leaving approximately a two-foot gap in the center (which is what I did), or you can leave the entire bottom open and hand-sew large snaps along the edge, every 8-10" or so, or you can use handy-dandy snap tape. Snap tape is a long ribbon that already has snaps attached to it and you simply stitch it in place wherever you want it.

I chose to finish my cover by just leaving a gap (IKEA's covers are like this, or ones from other European countries, too) at the bottom. It's the least labour-intensive method. Hey, Mama didn't raise no fool.

You can also customize by sewing short pieces of ribbon inside in the corners to tie to your comforter/duvet to keep it from moving around too much, if that bothers you. I've never worried about that, and I don't find the duvet to shift at all.

Oopsies. Edges no matchy-matchy. :P
The only other thing I wanted to mention was the hazard of upcycling thrifted sheets.

What? You're asking, How can thrifted sheets be hazardous?

Well, the hazard comes from using two randomly chosen sheets...that end up not being exactly the same size. Oops. Oh, well. I just sewed across and trimmed away the excess fabric (with pinking shears to ensure minimal fraying. Everything is hidden inside, after all.).

On the plus side to using recycled sheets, you get two different looks for the price of one, as it were. I can decide whether or not I want to put the floral side up, or the cutesy hearts-and-flowers side up.

Finally, flip that sucker right-side-out and shove your duvet inside. Sadly, I have no helpful instructions on how to get it in there with a minimum of foul language and without ending up sweaty, but I'm sure you smart folks can figure out the way that works best for you!

All done! Pretty and practical!
So there you go! I don't have a shot of them in action, so you'll have to take my word for it that these two are the finished products.

Enjoy your new bedding! Just don't get irritated with me when you find yourself making a bunch of them -- because they are that easy. (If you're at the thrift store and you see matching pillowcases, grab them, too! That's an extra, added bonus!)

Catch you on the flip side!


Canucks In France said...

Fabulous, Tanya! I love to upcycle. At the moment, I'm trying to make a quilt from our old jeans. I'm using random shapes, pockets and I've found some antique ribbons and buttons in blue that I want to add to embelish it. I haven't decided what to use for the backing and I may have to buy something but we'll see when the time comes. Julie

EditorTanya said...

Hi Julie!
Thanks! I follow some really wonderful blogs of ladies who do some amazing upcycling -- I only wish I had half of their talent! (We plan to highlight some of these other blogs sometime down the line!)

Your denim quilt sounds lovely! Have you considered using a flat sheet as the backing? I've seen that done before. I hope you'll post some pictures somewhere and let us know about it!