Monday, May 16, 2011

Mary's Family Sweat Shop- Oops I Mean Craft Corner

So I finally got to the fabric store. Ben hates shopping there and I can't decide on a bunch of fabrics while I am trying to entertain him, so this time I had Grandma and Grandpa along, and it was a success. It took me over an hour to choose the right fabrics (I know, yuck). So once I got to the front, I told the girls what I was trying to make, and here was the huge issue: I could either get 14 yards and have plenty of fabric, but not in even lengths, or I could get 18 yards. With 18, I would be able to lay out the duvet cover in three equal length sections, but I would have way more fabric than I would need, and it would cost me an extra fifty bucks. I'm cheap. I ordered 14 and decided my husband and my mother in law would be able to work it out.
I wanted the duvet cover to be double sided, so that when you turn it down, you see the other, coordinating fabric. I was so nervous about this brown and blue floral pattern, but the light blue really highlights the colors that I like, and our drapes are the sage color (that appears grey-ish in this photo). The background is a bright yellowy cream, really cheery.
So we (ahem, they) had to work out a way to cut the fabric so that I could use the 14 yards, but in a way that would look intentional, of course. Well, apparently I created one of the world's biggest conundrums and it took them an extraordinary amount of time (and many sheets of St. Jude's notepad paper) to work it out. But in the end, I had instructions on how much to cut, in what dimensions and in what order and how to piece it together, AND saved fifty big ones. That one on the bottom right- so ugly. Scott was upset that what would work conveniently mathwise had to also pass aesthetics first. Bummer, right? Here are the final plans:

Okay, so sewing right along, and I go to pin the sides and...

 Ya. Oh well, I just went with it. Once I sewed it up, I tried it on the comforter just to make sure it was going to fit okay, and then trimmed off the excess. The unbalanced layout only shows on the underside, so no big deal. Plus, duvet covers are so forgiving because they are all... well, poofy.
Our last Pottery Barn duvet cover had ribbons on the inside to tie the corners in, and Scott really loved that. So, I ran upstairs and got some ribbon I had leftover from something and cut it into strips. It started fraying like crazy so I folded each in half and sewed a seam on there to keep the mess under control. Then I sewed two onto each corner. They work great! My perfect and beautiful PB duvet cover and euro shams are in the closet for now. Our cats actually pooped on them and I had to cut out the stain. I have big plans for a quilt in the future, but even if I had that now, kids would then have their way with it, so... it's being saved. This material is all 100% cotton (as opposed to, ahem, silk, so...) way easier to wash. Kids change your life. So do cats. Oh by the way, those naughty kitties are loving living outside, so that's a wonderful thing.

 Okay. So now for the button holes. I waited until Ben had gone to sleep because I was sooooo nervous. I sewed three sides up all the way and one side I... well first I forgot that I had to sew finished edges on the button-up side! So I ripped out a little of the stitching on each side and did that for both sides. Then I sewed in about six inches from each corner, just to make sure the comforter would stay inside the cover and not want to bulge out too much. Then I pinned where I wanted the buttons and practiced button holes over... and over. Until finally it was obvious that they weren't going to get any better and so I had to go for it. Here are the button hole settings on my machine, in red. Literally, you just lay down the button and mark with a pencil at both ends, then start with 1. Stitch the length of the button, then click over to 2, and do a couple stitches along the bottom (I did like 20, so... you may not need to be that enthused) and then click to 3, go back up the left side, and then 4 to finish the top. Two problems: going straight on steps 1 and 3. and trying not to miss the pencil mark in the light of the machine's lamp. Oops! Then when you're done, you use a seam ripper to cut a line up the fabric in the middle, to make the hole. Presto. And try not to sweat buckets of panic all over the fabric.
 Here is a button hole all finished up, and one of the buttons I used. I had six blue and cream buttons, all different kinds... so I used six buttons.
And here is the finished product, on the bed! I also have big plans for matching euro shams, when I get the energy, and hopefully a few throw pillows (even though Scott hates them.. maybe just one long one?). And I have frames leaning against the wall that are going to replace that poster, and hang above that shelf on the right.

Thanks to my mother in law for all her help! I would not have been able to power through this so fast without her. I am loving all these fun projects... My wallet is not. But, when all was said and done, the duvet cover cost me $150, in fabric. Not bad!


  1. Yeah! Way to go Martha! :) It looks beautiful!

  2. Wow Mary! I'm impressed! Looks great : )

  3. I love the print! And now you have a one of a kind duvet!=)