Tuesday, May 10, 2016

How to Make a Pillow Case and Duvet Cover

Most of my regular readers know that I have been redecorating my son's old bedroom into a "Beauty Room" for myself.  If your new here, and have no idea what I'm talking about,  here are links to all my old posts:

The Beginning:  Tearing the Room Apart
Getting Somewhere:  The Drapes and Flooring
Making Progress:  Bed Construction and New Furniture
Little Touches:  Personalized Art Work for the Room and A Custom Made End Table

I am happy to report that the Beauty Room is almost finished and will soon be ready for the "Big Reveal".  I just need to hang two more wall hangings, and finish making two little pillows.  The bed that my husband built turned out AMAZING!!!!  You will die when you see it.  I sent pictures of it to my kids and they couldn't believe the transformation.  I can't wait to show you and I am planning on doing a video as well as photos...so hang in there!  I leave for vacation in less than two weeks and may not be able to do the big reveal before then.  So it may be another month,  but in the meantime...I have some sewing projects to show you.

I really did not want to sew anything for this room, but circumstances forced me to.  I could not find any comforter in a twin size that I liked or that was in my budget.  I couldn't believe how much comforters cost!  This is only a guest room, that would probably be used twice a year, if that...seriously, I did not want to spend up to $300 dollars for a bed covering that is never used.  Then the other issue I had was that because it is a twin bed, my design options were very limited.  The majority of twin bed comforters are made for little kids, tweens, or college students.  So no, as much as I love The Little Mermaid, I did not want her sprawled across my bed.  Thus I was forced to make a duvet cover and matching pillow case, using my son's old college comforter as the insert.

A fabric store in my town is going out of business and I was able to find a beautiful grey soft satin fabric for $2.99 a yard.  I bought the entire bolt...which after discounts came to around $20.00.  With that material I was able to make one pillow sham and a duvet.  But first lets talk about the pillow sham.  Here is the finished sham:

Long ago I taught a 'How to Make a Pillow Sham with a Cuff" class to little kids.  I still had the instructions, but I was able to go from memory and just by looking at a pillow case I previously made for the class.  You can find the full instructions HERE (they include a contrast trim, which I did not do)  and I will just give a brief summary on my post.

The instructions are for a standard size pillow case.  If you need a bigger case, just measure your pillow and adjust.

I simply cut two pieces of material the size I needed for my case (minus the length of the band), and pinned wrong sides together then sewed them together.

Then, I made a band.  Now, you could make the case without the pillow band, but I think it's a pretty finishing detail.  It looks really nice if you make the band with a coordinating, but contrasting fabric too.  I just used the same fabric for my band.

I cut two lengths of material 9 inches wide and sewed them together.  Then I folded it in half, ironed it, and basted the ends using a long machine stitch.

If you've never sewn before and you don't understand what a basting stitch is...it is just a simple, yet effective way to keep the material in place till you can formally sew attach it.  It is also used to gather material.

 From there I just sewed the band to the pillowcase, gathering it a bit using the basting stitch threads to fit.

I did not like the way the pillow was open so much on the end (I could have made the case bigger to prevent this), so I decided to add two buttons to keep it close.  I have a button hole feature on my machine, so button holes are super easy for me to make.  I understand a lot of people would find making buttonholes intimidating, so you could easily keep it closed with snaps, Velcro, or ties too!

And here is the finished pillow sham with it's coordinating duvet cover!  Isn't it pretty?  And if your wondering about those pretty white chenille pillows behind the silver pillow....I made those too!  But I'll wait for next week's post to share how I did that!

Now duvet covers can sometimes be a real challenge because they do not sell material wide enough to cover most comforters.  I got really, really lucky as my material was wide enough to cover my son's old comforter.  If your wondering what the old comforter looked like...here's a peek inside.  It was just a blue standard college dorm room comforter for a twin bed.

This was probably one of the easiest things I ever made.  Because the material was the exact width I needed all I had to do was fold it in half, wrong sides together.  Then I just sewed the long sides, leaving the shortest side open.

For the open side, I made a long band using the same technique I did for the pillow sham.  I added my button holes before I attached the band to the duvet cover.  Then I sewed the band on, added buttons, inserted my comforter, and wa-la...I had all new bedding for twenty dollars instead of over three hundred dollars had I bought it new.

Here is the finished band.  If you'd like further instructions, Martha Stewart has a great tutorial HERE on how to make a duvet cover out of sheets and velcro.

Now I know I got lucky and saved myself a lot of extra work because my material was as wide as my  comforter in the first place.  But I have had to make duvet covers for queen size beds, and, yes, it is more work and involves piecing material together to make it wider, but it is still fairly simple.

Here is a handy chart if you need to make your material wider to fit your comforter:

If you have any questions about this topic, I'd be happy to answer them in the comment section below!

Have a Great Day!  Amy


  1. You are so talented! I'm not that great with the DIY projects! Pretty color for the pillow too :)



  2. I just recently made my first ever pillows and it was easier than I thought it'd be... they are envelope closure pillows, so a little different than yours. It is interesting to read about how to sew different pillows, though. I love the fabric you chose and how they turned out!


  3. What a great price you found for the fabric! And you make this sound so easy! The pillow covers do look easy to make, but I don't think I would have enough patients to deal with so much fabric you need for a duvet cover. I want to give my living room throw pillows some new covers, been putting off that project forever!


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