February 6, 2016

Smocked Duvet {Tutorial}

A lot of people have asked me how I did this duvet and I would love it if you were able to make your own. This tutorial is going to get kind of lengthy so stick with me. I want to include everything so that it comes together just as nicely for you as it did for me.
**Mine is queen sized so you will have to adjust the measurements as needed.
Materials Needed
10 Yards of Fabric – (I know it sounds like a lot, but I got a great deal on it per yard so the whole thing only cost me less than $50, not including the shipping to the friend I made it for, instead of the $80 on the website.)
2 rolls of Elastic thread – You will not go through the whole 2 rolls, but it’s good to have it on hand in case the thread breaks.
1 Queen sized sheet for bottom of Duvet
Cut your pieces into the following dimensions:
For the actual duvet-
5 Panels – 19″ x 116″
4 panels  -5″x 116″
Outer ruffle –
440″ x 5″ ( I know it sounds like  a lot…but just piece it together as you go. It took no time at all because some of the pieces that I had as scraps were 116″ long.
Ties at the bottom- ( You could use snaps if you want, I just really liked the ties)
 8 pieces – 4″ x 17″
**Note: Before you move any further, I suggest that you hand wind about 8 bobbins to start with the elastic thread. It takes a lot of the elastic thread and I didn’t do this until about halfway through my 2nd panel…quite timely to stop and wind each time I was out of thread. So, sit down watch your favorite show and start winding. I used about 8 or 9 bobbins full of the thread when I was done.
Alright, let’s get started.
If you are not familiar with shirring, please check out Make it and Love it as she has a fantastic tutorial with a lot of great pictures to follow.
1. Each of the 5″ x 116″ pieces will need to be shirred/smocked. Every 3/4″ (or just shy of an inch) sew down the elastic thread. Repeat this down the rest of the panel until you have 5 rows.  Repeat on the remaining three 5″ x 116″ panels.
2. Take this to the ironing board and spray it with water and iron it so that the shirring actually sticks. (Random thought here, but you know that Downy Wrinkle Release spray…well I couldn’t find my water bottle at first, so I sprayed that on there and it shrunk right up. I probably wouldn’t have even had to iron it…and it smelled fantastic;)) Okay back to it…
3. Now, with 1 of your 19″ by 116″ panels you are going to sew the shirred/smocked panel to the bigger panel right sides together. I did not pin at this point because the length of it was too long to bother with. So, what I did was put them right sides together, place them in the sewing machine with the needle down and started sewing using a 1/4″ seam allowance by pulling on the top shirred panel. Because they are the same length, once the shirred one is pulled tight, it will be the same length of the flat panel. **If your sewing machine has a “needle down” feature, now would be a fantastic time to use it** Continue pulling until you reach the bottom and remember to backstitch at the beginning and end. The shirred part will scrunch back up when you are done sewing it and it will create the “ruffly” look in the bigger panels.
4. Continue doing this until you have all of the panels sewn together. Follow the diagram below to see how they go together.

Now for the ruffles.

5. Take your LONG piece to the ironing board and fold it in half with right sides together and press. In order to create the ruffling effect, I sewed some elastic thread  1/4″ in from the open edge, and then again 1/8″ from there and then using the shirring technique, I sprayed and ironed it to make it “scrunch” up a bit.
6. You will now pin this to the right side of the duvet top that you just finished so that the raw edges all match up. If you have a serger, now would be a great time to use it, otherwise, a zig-zag stitch will do just fine.
Making and Attaching the ties

7. Using the 8 pieces you made, lay each one flat wrong side up, then fold one of the short ends up 1/4″ and press. Flip that piece over so you have the right side facing you and fold it in half lengthwise. This way, the folded in short edge will have a nice folded seam when it is sewn together. Sew the long side with a 1/4″ seam allowance and turn inside out. Repeat for the remaining 7 pieces.

8. Take them to the ironing board and press them all so that they lay nicely flat. Along the seamed edge, top stitch as close to the edge as you can get it (about an 1/8″).
9. To attach the ties, take 4 of them for the top and place raw edges of the ties and sew them to insides of the duvet top where the ruffles come up. This will be centered on the shirred part of the duvet top.
10. Now you will take your queen sized sheet and lay it on top of the duvet right sides touching. The wrong side will be on top facing you and you will need to match up where the ties from the top go. Pin the remaining 4 ties’ raw edges on the wrong side of the queen sized sheet 2 1/2″ in from the edge. Take this to the sewing machine and sew a box to secure them into place.
11. Bring your sheet back to the duvet top and lay it on top, right sides together. Pin in place and sew together. Make sure that you tuck the ruffles inside so that they do not get in the way. I didn’t have  a serger until after I finished this…not great timing…so I used stitch number 20 in the picture below to sew the duvet and the queen sized sheet together. **You are only sewing on 3 sides.. the two long sides and the top, not the one with the ties…this will close up the entire thing and you will not be able to put a comforter inside…kind of defeats the purpose;)**
12. Turn this inside out and you are done;) Congratulations on finishing your smocked duvet for nearly half the price of the store bought one!!

I am entering this for the American Crafters auditions.

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  1. Alicia Yamashita says:

    This is so pretty! Thanks for sharing this tutorial!

  2. Katie @ Little Becky Homecky says:

    Thank you! I am so glad you stopped by!!

  3. Rose :: Fine Craft Guild says:

    This is very pretty.
    Thank you for your contribution to our 'Time for a Party' link-up, and such a great tutorial to boot! Wonderful.

    Tomorrow we'll open a new party at http://www.finecraftguild.com/party/ and we'd love to see you there then again with a beautiful project like this.

    Till then! Keep up that great creativity!!!

  4. I think this came out beautifully! I did want to ask though, do you think it would work without making the separate panels? In other words, just taking one very large piece of fabric and making the blocks of shirring on that? I'm just concerned that when attaching the non-shirred to the shirred, that I wouldn't get it lined up correctly. I do appreciate the tutorial though. You made it very clear and simple sounding.

  5. Katie @ Little Becky Homecky says:

    I would like to think it would be possible. I'd say that if you went with a queen sized for the finished, you would start with a king sized sheet because the shirring and ruffling from it makes it shrink so much. :) You'll have to let me know if that works!!

  6. Beautiful!

  7. I really wanted this comforter but it is sold out. Thank you so much for the tutorial! I'm excited to make it! Oh and I looked up the dimensions for a king sized sheet to see if just using that and shirring it would work. They are typically 108" long so finished product might be too short that way for a queen. Maybe with a longer ruffle??

  8. Katie @ Little Becky Homecky says:

    Yeah that could definitely work…just have the ruffle be wider before you fold it by a couple inches and it should be just fine;)

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