When A Touch Of Color Is More Than Enough

When A Touch Of Color Is More Than Enough

My favorite subject? Duvet covers and linens in general.  I absolutely love a perfectly well-dressed bed and I can go on searching for the best bedding for ever. And how could I not? Bed sheets, duvet covers and coverlets can be so highly priced that they leave you with no room for a mistake.  You buy one, you better love it!  This is the reason I ‘ve been looking for a duvet cover for my son’s room for so long.  I just couldn’t make up my mind on what I needed exactly.  It had to meet too  many specifications: With a pattern? No pattern, for sure. There is already a red & white striped rug in the room, there are patterns on some of the sheet sets, and for me, that’s enough pattern. Color?  No color, for sure.  Solid reds and blues on cotton tend to fade after a few washes and don’t look nice over time. Other colors like grey and light blue would be too dull and wouldn’t match with ALL the sheet sets. After seriously considering all the above and consulting with myself over and over, I concluded with the obvious (for me): White. But isn’t white too plain for a nine-year old room? Not until I found this duvet cover at Restoration Hardware, which I loved because of its crisp and clean white, and adored because of its navy blue detail. There was however one serious problem:  the price for a twin size duvet cover and one standard sham was $ 288 in total – somewhat justified for the amazing RH quality and for the satin stitch detail all around. However, totally unjustified for my budget, when you realize it’s five times the cost of my son’s bed alone!

I first thought of doing the satin stitch by hand.  I had  practiced some years ago on a couple of tea towels and I recently hand stitched  a monogram on my daughter’s headboard. But it would take me months to finish a duvet cover and a sham and I wouldn’t be having any fun at all!  So I decided to get the detail by inserting some  bias piping tape instead!  And I chose a red one instead of my navy blue inspiration for a more joyful result. Here is how it turned out.  Amazing, don’t you think?

Crisp White And Happy Red

Here is how I made it:

I purchased * One twin size IKEA Dvala white duvet cover (the set also include a pillowcase)  for $19.99 * four packs of red Bias Tape Maxi Piping from Joann’s at $ 1.99 each, I gathered * scissors * pins * a seam ripper, I took out  * my sewing machine …


 … and got to work, starting from the pillowcase.

With the seam ripper I removed the seam on two of the four sides of the pillowcase (careful here, I ripped some of the fabric a couple of times but luckily it was the hem !)

Seam RipperI then removed the torn little pieces of thread.

Removing Broken Thread

I added the strip of piping in between the two layers of fabric, making sure that it is placed nicely on both the upper and lower sides and carefully re-positioned the fabric in place with pins.  

I sew exactly on top of where the pillowcase was previously sewn.  I stopped sewing about 1/2 inch before the corners, trying to figure out what to do with them.  I checked some on-line tutorials on adding bias tape but none said what to do with the corners (or was I too impatient to get to the end?). I left them for the time being. 


For the third side of the pillowcase, I had to make an opening with my scissors (there was no seam;  it was just the fabric folding over itself). After cutting the fabric carefully on the crease,

Cutting The Fabric

I folded the upper layer of fabric about 1/2 inch towards the inside, added the piping (exactly as if there was already a hem) and folded the lower layer of the fabric another 1/2 inch, pinned, and sewed. I lost about 1 inch of width on the pillowcase, but who would know?


The fourth side of the pillowcase is the opening and was left as is.

I then made a finishing stitch to all three sides (not sure how exactly this is called).

Finishing Stitch

I repeated the exact same process for the three sides of the duvet cover.  The fourth side is the opening of the duvet cover and it will  be hidden under the  top part of the flat sheet that folds over, so I left it as is.

I also lost a few inches on the width of the duvet cover (as it happened with the pillow case). Maybe I should had bought the queen size from IKEA and cut it down to a twin size. 

I’ve almost no experience with sewing. Here, only the upper layer was sewed.  I had to re-sew this part (and  a couple of more that I missed).

Not Perfect

And as for the corners, I decided to tuck in the remaining bias tape and hand sew the 1/2 inch that was open.  If you know of a better way, please share!

Corner Detail

 Isn’t this modern, simple and yet classy?

Duvet Cover

When I brought home the IKEA duvet cover, it looked a little yellow and I had my concerns, but after washing it, it looks white as snow. Plus, it’s 100% cotton and will become nice and soft very soon.

What A Difference!

 It also matches will ALL the sheet sets!

Matching Sheet Sets

And it cost me only $28!  

Sweet Dreams!

p.s.  IKEA carries the same duvet cover in king size for 34.99 and Joann carries the bias tape in a wonderful rich chocolate color. Just thinking…

6 Responses to When A Touch Of Color Is More Than Enough

    • Do you really think she would? Because I can see her saying: “You could had done a better job on this corner!” 🙂

  1. Love this! I think I need to hire you to make one for my son! 🙂 where did you find all the fun sheets at? Thanks!

  2. Really glad you mentioned the duvet looked yellow. I just purchased a cover from IKEA, but it looks yellow to me, too. Happy to hear I can keep it and just wash it. Thanks! And great tutorial here, btw.

    • Hi Rebecca,
      Thanks for stopping by!
      That first duvet cover did indeed turn white, but I bought a new one a few months ago which sadly did not turn completely white 🙁 even after a couple of washes, but is less yellow than when I first got it. And I can say that because I did compare them side by side. Maybe IKEA is using a different material now. Next time that new one is washed I will either bleach it or soak it in baking soda and hopefully that will solve the problem.

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Hi! I'm Angelica! For the last ten years I've been sharing my cooking, home projects and ideas with my sister Irene. "Once Again, My Dear Irene" is just an extension of our daily chats. Moreover "My Dear Irene" Continue Reading