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Monday, June 5, 2023

Snappy Duvet Cover - Easy On, Easy Off, Easy Care!


I am still on hiatus from bags, but not ignoring my sewing machine.  In this post, I will share how I made a snap-on duvet cover for lightweight care!

A practical alternative to traditional covers, the snap-on design makes it easy to put on and take off.  The cover separates into two pieces that fit easily in a domestic washer and dryer.  After washing, layer the backing, the insert and the top, snap it up and you’re done!

This cover is easier to sew than a traditional cover with half the bulk to manage as you complete the top and bottom separately.  Since finishing this first cover, my imagination is running wild with ideas.  I am already looking at lightweight fabrics, colors, and patterns for another one.  A fun and easy way to keep our bedroom clean and appealing while reducing the effort required to keep it that way! 

Materials Needed

Everything starts with the size of the duvet insert.  Mine is 106” wide x 96” long.

Selecting the fabric is where the fun begins.  I like the organic look of linen, but wanted a little more stability and durability, so selected a linen blend from Hancocks of Paducah.  Twelve yards of 45” wide fabric was just barely enough to complete the top layer of the king cover and two king shams.  For the backing, I used a sheet the same size as my duvet insert.  All fabrics were washed before cutting.  I left the selvage on.  After washing, the linen blend fabric measured 44” wide. 

I have a Kamsnaps DK93 table press with the KX no-change dies for plastic snaps.  I used about 40 sets of the Kamsnaps plastic snaps without a single failure.  Their snaps come in many attractive colors and finishes that are tight fitting and reliable. 

The Design

The finished edge of the cover top folds under and snaps to the edge of the backing (the sheet).  This is not necessary, but I wanted to create that traditional, "fluffy" look around the edge of duvet.  It also reduces how much of the backing and snaps show around the bottom.  This wouldn’t matter if your sheet matches the top fabric.  In fact, my next one may feature a decorative edge on the back peaking out when top and bottom are snapped together flat.  The snaps could be a coordinating decoration.  Plus, it might be a little simpler to make!  Just a thought!

The center panel of the top features pin tucks as a way to add interest across the wide expanse of fabric. You could use a coordinating fabric in the center!  The possibilities are endless!

I added traditional ties at the corner to keep the insert from shifting inside the cover. 

My Fabric Cuts

To fit my 106” x 96” duvet insert, I cut the fabric as follows.  The next section will explain how I calculated these cuts. 

·         Two pieces cut 44” x 104” (top side panels)

·         One piece cut 28 x 134” (top center panel)

·         One sheet same size as insert, 106” x 96” (backing)

Calculating the Fabric Cuts

The finished size of the linen top is slightly larger than the insert to accommodate a narrow hem that will fold under and snap to the backing.  The backing of the cover, in my case a sheet, was the same size as the duvet insert so I didn’t need to make any alterations to it.  Yay! 

The length is easier to calculate:  The insert is 96” long (top to bottom).  I wanted three inches at top and bottom for hems, plus 1” extra at top and bottom to fold under to the back side. 

Length of duvet insert + top hem + bottom hem + top fold-under + bottom fold-under = Cut length

96+3+3+1+1 = 104

I cut two side panels 104” long.  I needed a third panel to create enough width for the cover and knew the pin tucks would require extra length.  I won’t go into how I calculated that length, but glad to share if anyone wants to know.  It ended up being 134” and I had just a few inches left over.  Better too much than not enough. 

The width calculation is a little more involved.  The two side panels would be the full 44” width of the fabric including selvages.  I needed to determine the center panel width.  

These measurements allow for three inches of hem on both sides, an inch on both sides to fold under, and two seams ½” wide attaching the sides to the center.  This seam allowance is wider than I would normally use, but was necessary to hide the selvage. 

(Note: Don’t be fooled thinking your two ½” seams will require 1”.  The two 1/2" seams actually require 2" of fabric, 1" for each 1/2" seam.)

Here are my calculations:

Width of duvet insert + left hem + right hem + left fold-under + right fold-under + 2 seams = Full width required 


Now, calculate the amount of fabric needed for the middle panel:

Full width required – 2 each width of side panels = width of center panel

116 – 88 = 28

Cut one center panel 28" wide x 134" long (calculated earlier).  

Pin Tucks

The pin tucks are a bit monotonous to make, but I turned on my favorite play list and spent an afternoon sewing pin tucks.  

I drew lines 1" apart using a Frixion pen.  I used an edge stitch foot and heavy duty polyester thread in a matching color.   Remove the marking lines with a light press of the iron.  The pin tucks can be ironed flat, but I did not want to remove the natural wrinkled look, so barely moved the iron over the top of the pin tucks.  

Sewing the Panels Together

I think the hardest part is managing large cuts of fabric without pulling or stretching.  I drape it over my shoulder and add support where I can so it moves freely under the needle.  A walking foot helps!  After sewing the three panels together, I used my Baby Lock Imagine to serge the one seam on the center panel that did not have selvage.  I pressed the seams away from the center and top stitched.  I then serged the unfinished short edges (top and bottom).  Imagine the bulk you would need to manage if top and bottom were sewn together around three sides, as with traditional duvet covers!


I used a Frixion marking pen to mark 3 inches on all four edges.  I folded the edges to the marked line and then folded again and pressed.  I mitered the corners and left the extra fabric that you might ordinarily trim away to increased stability for the ties.  I put ties on both the front and back.  I will not do that again.  I think It may be better to put ties only on the backing (the sheet).  The insert is anchored and you wouldn't need to add ties for additional tops used with the same backing.  

Adding Snaps

The last step was adding the plastic snaps.  I have had the Kamsnaps DK93 table press for about three years and I don't know how I got along without it.  I use it for almost every project to install rivets, grommets, and snaps.  I just recently started using plastic snaps.  They are strong and have a smooth finish on both sides.  Perfect for a lot of applications, including baby items. 

An important note before you start adding snaps.  Using this fold-over method to create the narrow pocket for the insert requires that the smooth button part of the snap be on the right side of the linen top and on the wrong side of the sheet.  The female part of the snaps will be on the right side of the sheet.

I spaced the snaps evenly, about every 12” around the edge of the hem.
 The male part of the snaps are on the wrong side of linen top.  

After all the snaps are installed on the linen cover, I spread out the finished cover top as much as possible on my work table, right side down.  I then layered the sheet on top with right side up.  The wrong sides are together.  Because the cover is slightly larger than the insert and the sheet is the same size as the insert, the sheet fit just inside the hem of the cover.  

I folded the top hem over and marked the sheet where the snaps would go on the sheet backing.  Because I don’t have a space large enough to spread the cover out, I made sure everything lined up one side at a time and clipped the layers together.  I worked around the edge, adding snaps, female part on right side, button part on wrong side of the sheet backing.  As snaps were added, I would snap the top and backing together before moving on to the next section. 

I made traditional style matching shams.  There are many good tutorials on making shams, so won’t go into that here. 


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