Cozy Sewing: How to Sew a Duvet Cover

With the weather getting cooler, many of us are bringing out heavier blankets to pile on our beds at night. A quick way to give your bedding an affordable makeover for the fall season is to learn how to sew a duvet cover out of two flat bedsheets.

Choose fuzzy flannel or soft linen to create your own removable duvet cover that closes with buttons for easy washing. It only takes an afternoon of sewing and will leave your sleeping space feeling refreshed.

Follow along this step-by-step tutorial to learn how to sew a duvet cover:

duvet cover completed

 To learn how to sew a duvet cover, you will need:

  • Duvet or comforter insert to fit your bed size
  • Two flat bedsheets that each measure larger than your duvet or comforter by at least 2 inches in width and at least 10 inches in length. (You can always cut sheets down to size if necessary, or choose to sew in strips of coordinating fabric to make them larger.)
  • Fusible interfacing to strengthen buttoned overlaps. (This is optional, depending on how much strain you expect to put on the buttons due to removing the duvet cover for washing, changing, etc. The amount you need depends on the width of your duvet. My duvet is 86″ wide but I cut shorter strips of interfacing to piece together to save yardage.)
  • Measuring tape — the longer the better!
  • 5 – 10 large buttons (about 3/4″ or 7/8″ in diameter) depending on size of duvet cover and your preference
  • Sewing machine with straight stitch and buttonhole capabilities
  • Matching thread
  • Pins, scissors, iron, marking tool

Step 1.

Measure the length and width of the duvet or comforter insert that you would like to cover. Often you can find these measurements listed on the packaging or on the tag at the bottom end of the duvet. If your duvet is very thick or fluffy, be sure to measure over the top of it from end to end to accommodate its height as well. My duvet measures 86″ x 86″.

duvet cover measurement

Step 2.

Cut the top sheet (the sheet you want as the top of the duvet cover and thus displayed on your bed) so it is 10 inches longer than your duvet insert and 2 inches wider. We will be creating an overlap on the underside of the duvet cover that closes with buttons. Note that one short end of this top sheet will be hemmed (with a 2″ hem allowance) instead of sewn shut.

duvet cutting sheets

Step 3.

Cut the sheet that be will the underlayer of the cover to be 6 inches shorter and 2 inches wider than your insert. The underside is shorter because the top will overlap it by about 8.5″. Note again that one of these short sides will be hemmed instead of sewn.

Step 4.

(Optional) Cut two strips of fusible interfacing that are as long as your duvet cover is wide (in my case, 86″) and 1″ wide. I pieced shorter lengths of interfacing together to achieve the full length.

duvet interfacing strips for button placket

Fuse the strips to the wrong side of your top sheet, along the raw edge of one of the short sides of the sheet. Do the same to the edge of short side of your bottom sheet. If you have a directional print on either sheet, be sure your interfacing is applied at the bottom or lower end of the sheets (whichever will be at the foot of your bed).

fuse interfacing to duvet cover

Step 5.

Hem those same edges you just interfaced by folding and pressing 1″, and then folding and pressing 1″ again. Do this on both sheets.

pressing duvet edges

Topstitch in place.

duvet hemmed

Step 6.

With right sides together, pin the un-interfaced short side of the top sheet to the un-interfaced short side of the bottom sheet. Smooth out the rest of the sheets and align their long sides with pins. Remember that the top sheet is longer than the other so they will not match up exactly, as seen below:

Duvet align

To create the overlap, fold the top sheet over so that the two interfaced button plackets overlap by 1″. From your point of view, you will want the bottom sheet to be pinned on top of the top sheet, so that once it’s sewn and turned right-side out, the top sheet will actually be overlapping the bottom sheet.

 duvet overlap pinned

Step 7.

Sew all three sides at 1/2″ seam allowance, pivoting at the corners. Remember not to sew the folded edge. Turn the piece right-side out to check that the overlap is correct. If you wish to prevent fraying on the inside, go ahead and finish the sewn edges with a serger or zigzag stitch. Turn right-side out again and press the corners.

duvet corner overlap

Step 8.

Mark the buttonhole position on the top sheet overlap button placket. I only had five appropriate buttons so divided the length of the placket into sixths, which were about 14 1/2″ apart. Sew your buttonholes and open them with a seam ripper.

Duvet buttonhole

Step 9.

Pin the top overlap to the bottom sheet placket, then mark the centered position of the buttons on the bottom sheet through your buttonholes. Sew on buttons at your markings.

Duvet button closure

Step 10.

Stuff your new cover with the duvet insert, button up the placket, then throw it on your bed.

Duvet insert
Duvet bottom button overlap

There you have it! You’ve learned how to sew a duvet cover. Now snuggle up with a good book because you’re done!

Duvet finished on bed


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