Toddler stripe duvet cover tutorial

One of the gifts I made for Sydney for Christmas last year was a duvet cover for her toddler bed.


As promised, here’s a quick tutorial on how I pulled it together!  The inspiration for the duvet cover was this crib quilt from Land of Nod:

Land of Nod Sherbet Stripe quilt

I loved the happy bold stripes, but I wanted something that fitted the color scheme of her bedroom a bit better.  I also didn’t love the $89 price tag, especially since I know my little bean will be switching to a big girl bed within a year or two.  So I headed to our local fabric store (Vogue fabrics on Main Street in Evanston, for those of you in the area!) for some inspiration to get me started.  I found a bunch of fun fabrics in a light aqua color palette in the summer clearance section and spent about $12 on supplies.

I knew I wanted a duvet cover rather than a quilt just because I find them so much cozier.  However I was having trouble finding a comforter that wasn’t just as spendy as the Land of Nod quilt (PB Kids and Land of Nod both sells toddler/crib sized comforters but they are around $80-90!).  Then I thought to look at IKEA’s website and sure enough, I found this for only $15:

IKEA LEN crib comforter

So during our next trip to IKEA I picked this little guy up and he was perfect for this project!  The only other thing I had to purchase for this project was some extra thread since I ran out (this projects took a lot of thread!!).  Everything else I had on hand and so I spent probably $25 on the whole thing.  Win!

Here are the details on the project.  I have only basic sewing skills, so rest assured that really anyone can do this project.

Step 1: Gather supplies.  For this project you’ll need different fabrics to make your stripe pattern.  You’ll need less than a yard of each, but I got a yard of each to be on the safe side.  Just make sure that each is at least wide enough for the width of the finished product plus an inch or two (in my case this was 45″ (see below)).  I used four different fabrics, but you could use any number you wanted.  I kept mine in a similar color palette, but you could do a more varied one if that’s your style.

You’ll also need a top piece and a bottom piece.  I used a plain old white sheet for the top piece (where the strips connect) and a coordinating fabric for the bottom part, but you use a solid color for each.  (I actually had three pieces total because I ended up making my top piece two layers – see step 7.)

Step 2: Measure, measure, measure (then cut)!  I measured the dimensions of the LEN comforter and did some calculating.  For a 49″ by 43″ comforter I cut my top and bottom pieces to be 51″ by 45″ just to allow for seams and any adjustments with the final project.

Step 3: Cut your strips.  I cut some of my strips a bit wider and others a little narrower, but all were about 2-3″ when finished, so I cut them 3-4″ to begin with.  I cut 4 of each of 4 fabrics for a total of 16 strips (although I had a couple extras!).

Toddler duvet cover step 3Oh, and you can ignore the beige-y brown strips in the above pic–those just didn’t make the final cut since they didn’t look as good as I thought they would when I finally laid everything out.

Step 4: Sew or iron your strips.  If your fabrics are regular cottons you can just fold each side over  1/4″ or 1/2″ and iron the edges of each strip (as I did with the brown and medallion-print strips above).  If you have textured fabrics like some of the ones I chose that would get destroyed by an iron (like seersucker) you’ll need to do a quick machine stitch on each side to get a nice clean edge.

Step 5: Place your pattern and start pinning!  Take your top piece that you’ve cut to size, and place your strips on top of it in to the pattern you want to help decide on spacing.  Once you know about how you’ll place them in the pattern, you can pin your first one to the top piece and head to your sewing machine!

toddler duvet cover step 5

Step 6: Pin and sew, over and over again.  Yep–this part is pretty mindless.  Sew a strip to the top piece, pin the next one into place, and sew that one on.  To add a bit more character I used some slightly darker thread and a few different decorative stitches (which took a LOT of thread!).  I had a lot of fun with that part, but you could just use a straight stitch and it would work fine.  You can sort of see some of the decorative top stitches I used in this closer up pic:


Step 7 (optional): My top piece actually was two layers thick.  I did this for two reasons.  First, the cheap sheet I used was really see-through.  Second, I wanted a more finished looking final product.  By adding the extra layer, I had only finished edges showing on the inside of the duvet cover.  However, you definitely wouldn’t have to do this step if the unfinished edges weren’t an issue for you.

For this step, I cut another piece of sheet the same size as the top piece that had all the strips sewed onto it (51″ by 45″).  I put right sides together, pinned, and sewed with a 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving about 6-8″ open on one side.  After sewing all the way around, I used the opening to turn everything right side out.

Step 8: Put it all together!  Grab the bottom piece you cut in Step 2 and line up the top and bottom pieces with right sides together.  Pin and sew, again leaving a 6-8″ opening.   Make sure not to overlap this opening with the one from Step 7.  I centered mine at the bottom edge of the duvet cover.  At this point there were a lot of layers to sew through and there was some unevenness, but I used about a 1/2″ seam allowance most of the way around.

toddler duvet cover step 8

Step 9: Use the opening you left to turn the duvet cover right side out.  You’ll be left with one unfinished edge from the bottom piece at the opening.


Fold the bottom layer over 1/4″ and then fold over again and pin.  Sew through just the bottom layer, so that the opening remains and you can insert the comforter.

Step 10: Stuff it in!  I left the opening, but you could make some button holes and add buttons if you wanted.  So far there has been no issue with it being open though.

CIMG4781And with that, you’re done!

Here’s one last shot of the  final product on the newly converted toddler bed.   You can see I also finally put her initial wall art (read more about that project here):


Whew!  That was fun!  Let me know if you end up using this tutorial–I’d love to see others like it.




3 thoughts on “Toddler stripe duvet cover tutorial

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