Snappy Duvet Cover | Purl Soho

A duvet cover is such an effective design tool, wielding the power to dramatically transform a bedroom in a snap! I’ve always wanted to make one, but the truth is, I’ve never known where to begin. Sure, I understood the basics, but I could never figure out a tidy way to cut and sew such gigantic pieces of fabric. That may sound crazy since I sew almost everyday, but my comfort zone is at a much smaller scale, and at 90-inches square, a queen size duvet is anything but small!

To conquer this apprehension I decided to simplify. I would not try to cut a 90-inch straight line with a rotary cutter or scissors nor would I attempt to pull a thread every time I needed to cut. I would tear the fabric! Also, instead of trying to make the back and front into two perfectly matching huge squares, I would just cut and tear the back panel out of an extra wide piece of muslin to match the finished front. Armed with my new rules of simplicityI was surprised at how easy it actually is to make a duvet cover!

Snappy Duvet Cover | Purl Soho

For the top, I used a gorgeous new linen and cotton blend from the awesome Japanese designer, Yoshiko Jinzenji. My cover’s happy yellow color and painterly dots are going to add a lot of pizzaz to my room, and I love that it’s truly an original! I also love that, with the help of a snap tape closure, my duvet will actually stay inside its new cover. So simple!

Materials

Snappy Duvet Cover | Purl Soho

To make one 90-inch by 90-inch queen size duvet cover:

Cutting and Sewing the Top

Snappy Duvet Cover | Purl Soho

You’ll be cutting and sewing the top of the cover first and then cutting the backing fabric to match it. The easiest way to get a straight line along a long length is to tear your fabric so you’ll be tearing a lot in this project. This results in a bit of a stretched out raw edge but that will be hidden by the seam allowances.

Tear a 92-inch length of the top fabric from the master length of fabric.  This is piece A.
Snappy Duvet Cover | Purl SohoPin the master length of top fabric to one of piece A’s selvage edges, right sides together,  until the end of piece A.

Snappy Duvet Cover | Purl SohoTear the long length to match piece A. This second piece is piece B.

Sew piece A to piece B along the pinned edge with a 1-inch seam allowance.

Pin the remaining master length to the unsewn selvage edge of piece B in the same manner as you did in the previous step. Tear the fabric to match the length of piece B. This newly torn piece is piece C.

Sew piece C to piece B along the pinned edge with a 1-inch seam allowance.

Snappy Duvet Cover | Purl SohoCut off the selvages of the seam allowances and zig zag stitch the seam allowances together. Press them to one side.

Snappy Duvet Cover | Purl SohoFold the sewn piece in half along its 92-inch length, wrong sides together matching the selvage edges of piece A and C together. Mark 46 1/2-inches from the fold on each side (on piece A and piece C). Tear piece A and C along this mark (you’ll be tearing off approximately 17 1/2-inches from each side.)

Snappy Duvet Cover | Purl SohoYour top piece should now measure 92-inches by 93-inches. Double fold one of the 92-inch sides over twice 1/2-inch towards the wrong side. Press and pin down this fold.

Snappy Duvet Cover | Purl SohoEdge stitch the fold down with the matching thread. This will be the snap tape edge.

The top piece will now be a 92-inch square.

Cutting the Backing and Sewing on the Snap Tape

Snappy Duvet Cover | Purl SohoTear the wide muslin from selvage to selvage to make a 92-inch wide piece.

Snappy Duvet Cover | Purl SohoCut off one of the selvages (as neatly as possible) with scissors or a rotary cutter. Double fold this side over twice 1/2-inch. Press and pin down this fold.

Snappy Duvet Cover | Purl SohoEdge stitch the fold down with the matching thread. This will be the snap tape edge.

Snappy Duvet Cover | Purl SohoPin one side of the snap tape to the wrong side of the top piece, along the snap tape edge, 1/4-inch from the top of the fabric. Cut off the end of the snap tape to fit.

Snappy Duvet Cover | Purl SohoPin the opposite side of the snap tape to the backing piece in the same manner.

Snappy Duvet Cover | Purl SohoSnap the two pieces together. Make sure these sides match up perfectly. If one side is longer than the other, cut or tear it to match.

Snappy Duvet Cover | Purl SohoUnsnap the tape and sew it on to each respective side along both long sides of the tape, using thread to match the fabric and a zipper foot. You really need to use the zipper foot here so you can stitch along the edge without having the foot travel over the snaps themselves. Sewing the snap tape on might take a bit of patience. You can practice with the leftover snap tape and some scrap fabric beforehand if you like.

Sewing it all Together

Snappy Duvet Cover | Purl SohoLay the backing, wrong side up, smoothly on a clean floor. Snap the top to the backing and lay and lay the top, right sides up, on top of the backing. The left and right sides of both pieces should match up (of they don’t you can cut or tear them to match) but the bottom side of backing will be a lot longer than the top.

Pin the left and right sides together.

Snappy Duvet Cover | Purl Soho

Pin the bottom edge of the top piece to the backing where it lays. Cut (do not tear) the backing to match the top.

Sew the two pieces together along the three pinned edges with a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Trim these seam allowances to 1/4-inch.

Snappy Duvet Cover | Purl Soho

Unsnap the snapped edge and turn the entire piece wrong side out through the open side. Pin along all three of the just-sewn edges. You’re pinning the top to the backing and thus trapping the raw 1/4-inch seam allowance. Sew along these three edges with a 1/2-inch seam allowance.

Snappy Duvet Cover | Purl SohoYou will probably have to cut out the snaps at the edges of the snap tape in order to sew across the snap tape.

Snappy Duvet Cover | Purl SohoTurn the piece right sides out (making sure to pull out the corners) and you’re all done!

Snappy Duvet Cover | Purl Soho