You may remember, when planning for B’s new room, we were going for a zebra print, funky tween feel, with elements of music or singing, because that’s B’s favorite thing. The colors were to be teal blue, kelly green or lighter and violet. I wanted zebra print to be obvious in the room, but not overpowering and I wanted some flexibility for the next few years as her tastes change. When it came to bedding, I needed the same things – flexibility, funkiness, with a touch of zebra.
We decided on a DIY Knock Off. So glad we did, because she LOVES it. Honestly, part of it we came upon by accident (there is a story in there), but nonetheless, it’s exactly what we were going for.
This is a lengthy, lengthy project – it was two days in total – It’s also not necessarily a simple project, but it’s more time consuming than difficult. My cost came in at $49 in total, so it was worth the time and effort I put in to it. You’ll have to decide for yourself whether or not it’s worth your time. Directions below are for a twin sized duvet.
You will need:
1 twin sized flat sheet – white
1 queen sized flat sheet – white
4-5 packages of single fold bias tape in coordinating color – I used white and it does not show through
A tub or other vessel large enough to submerge a queen size sheet
A down or down alternative comforter insert
A measuring tape
A sewing machine
Dying your fabric:
1. Prepare to dye your fabric. Choose one color to use first, and following the directions on your dye packaging, prepare your dye bath. I dyed only the queen sized sheet, as that is the visible side of the duvet, but you could do both sheets if you feel the need. I laid the queen sized sheet out on the floor and measured the total length of fabric, and divided it by three – one section for each color, and one for the middle white section. I used a piece of ribbon to tie off the first section. This delineates where you will “dip” your fabric to in the dye bath. I then folded my fabric, accordion style, to ensure it would fit evenly in the dye bath. Keep in mind, the top of the queen sheet with the large hem will be the bottom of your duvet – dye accordingly.
2. Again, following the directions on the dye bath, “dip” your fabric from the bottom up to the ribbon tied area. I dipped right up to the ribbon and then pulled some of the fabric out so that gave an ombre effect. I was able to do this near the kitchen sink, and placed the undyed fabric in to the sink during the dying process.
3. When they dying is complete, begin rinsing. Rinse, rinse, RINSE, I can not stress this enough. I would even recommend running a rinse cycle before the recommended washing of the item. Let’s just say, my duvet was accidentally dyed entirely green from lack of rinsing, when I washed it I learned this from experience.
4. Wash, dry and repeat steps 1-3 on the other end of the sheet with second color, leaving a non-dyed section in the middle of the sheet.
Assembling the duvet:
1. Measure the length of twin sheet and “even up” the length of the queen sheet by removing the large folded hem at the top of the queen sheet. Put this and the twin sheet aside for later use.
2. With the larger sheet laid out on the floor, measure the length and divide by 5. In my case, my sheet ended up 96″ long and my sections were approximately 16″ apart.
3. For the next step, you are going to begin gathering each section. Everyone has their own method, and if you are new to sewing, I found a great tutorial on the subject here and here, using two different methods. Whichever method you use, you will gather along the top and bottom, and then every 16″ (or whatever measurement) in between like so.
4. Measure the width of your twin sheet. Using this number, measure and cut 7 lengths of bias tape.
5. Lay your queen sheet out on the floor. Begin gathering by pulling your gathering threads – your finished width after gathering should be the same as the width of the twin sheet. I found it easiest to attach a cut length of bias tape to each end of the gathering strip, and gather against the bias tape for measure. Pin the bias tape well and even out the gathers across the gathering strip, one at a time. Stitch over bias tape, attaching it to the queen sheet. Again, I found this easiest to do one at a time. Your finished sheet will look like this:
6. Using the removed section from step 1, cut off any stitching holding the piece together. (Note: your fabric color will be dyed the same as the bottom of your duvet.)
7. Now, cut this piece in half. Measure and cut one half to the length of the width in step 4. Put remaining aside along with the other half. This will be used for closure ties, and for an interface for the bottom of the duvet.
8. Pin the first half cut in step 7 to the bottom of the duvet, right sides together, arranging gathers as necessary. Stitch, using 5/8″.
9. Turn interface to inside, press and stitch close to the seam – the idea is to create a flat edge and hide the gather.
10. With right sides together, align the twin sheet and the queen sheet together, place the top seam on the twin sheet at the bottom – there will be a slight difference in length. On the bottom, fold over the difference on the twin sheet to make up the difference and create another interface. Pin sides and top. On bottom, pin out 12″ from the corner, leaving a gap for the comforter to be inserted. The picture below shows the fold and width of stitching after sewing. Stitch together, using the original seam of the sheet as your guide (this hides the original seam inside the duvet).
11. Create and attach ties – There are many methods of closure for a duvet – I like using ties rather than buttons. For the ties, cut 16 10″ lengths out of the remaining fabric from step 7. Create ties by stitching two lengths together, leaving one end open, turning through this end. You will create 8 ties in total – 4 for each side.
12. Turn duvet right side and lay flat on the floor. Position ties, one on each side evenly spaced along bottom opening. Attach securely.
13. Insert the comforter of your choice, and enjoy!