Kissing Pleat/Pintuck Duvet DIY

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Finally I finished it and I love it. It's interesting how something so simple can make such a breath taking statement.  I'll have to do a room tour in another post since Blake and I have been hard at work putting the finishing touches on our bed. That's right we built a bed. I even used a table saw. But enough of that lets get to the DIY details of this project. Here's a little history on the project.

I originally bought this duvet from West Elm in Sea Spray. It was gorgeous I loved it and the price wasn't half bad at just $99 dollars. Unfortunately it was basically a piece of CRAP!!!!  It's made from  230 thread count organic cotton, but really you should substitute organic with scratchy and paper thin plus because of the nature of pintucks  you have a basillion pressure point for tearing and boy did it ever. We are talking if you sat on it rip, if you pulled the covers over you at night, rip, If Toulouse smelled it rip, If you looked at it sideways rip. It lasted all of about 3 days, Ahhhhhhhhhh. I was so irritated and I sent the baby back post haste. This led to problem #2 "Finding a Replacement". I loved the color and structure of the West Elm Duvet after hours of searching I found several similarly structured duvets & comforters TARGET, ANTHROPOLOGIE, NORDSTROMS  but either the price, color or the fact the it was a comforter and not a duvet lead me to face the facts. I was going to have to make this myself. Queue the tiny violins.

I scoured the Internet for a pintuck tutorials and found this. Unfortunately I didn't want the twist method I wanted the tuck method (Insert Blake laughing as I tried showing him the obvious difference between the two) trust me they look different. So off I went to Anthropologie to purchase a $56 GASP pillow sham so I could recreate this elusive technique. After a little analysis I discovered it was  EASY, CRAZY EASY. However it's also time consuming, CRAZY TIME CONSUMING and that's why they charge you an arm and a leg. So now that you've been warned lets DIY.

Sewing Machine
Tailors Chalk
12x12 Quilt Square
123 Matching Cloth Shank Buttons or 4 hole buttons. (button shouldn't be bigger the 1/2")
Thread/ Sewing Needle
Fabric or Flat Sheet

Pinking Shears
Extra Fabric

I'm going to be focusing more on the pintuck technique on the duvet and less on the making of the duvet it's self. If that's what you're interested making a simple solid duvet is really easy. It's basically making a giant pillow case.  I would suggest using sheets since you probably won't want a giant seam down the middle of your duvet and it's hard to find fabric that's 110" wide.  Take the sheets right sides together and sew a 1/2" seam on three of the 4 sides. On the 4th side sew in towards the center of the sheets about 5-8" on either edge of the 4th side. Turn right sides out and add several buttons to the interior of the duvet and accompanying button holes to finish the closure of the duvet.

By sewing the buttons on the inside of the duvet and the button holes on the fabric closest to the mattress you won't be able to tell were the opening is and you'll have a clean finished edge. Personally I didn't want to  make the actual duvet so I purchased a $40 simple blue queen sized duvet and added the pintucks.

If you decide to go the pre-made duvet route consider this. When you add in all of the pintucks it will make the actual size of the duvet smaller so I would suggest 2 things if you are making a queen duvet buy a king this will allow extra fabric for the pintucks and leave the finished duvet just the right size. Or you could add an additional fabric broader around the 4 sides of the duvet. Adding a little detail and making up the size difference. Also weather you get a pre-made duvet or you go with 2 flat sheets make sure to get a thead count of at least 300. It will be softer and the material with be much stronger.

Twin Duvets: 86"x 68"
Queen Duvets: 88"x92"
King Duvets: 92" x 108"
* I purchased an over sized queen 92"x 96" however in hind sight I should have purchased the over sized king110"x 96" because I ended up unpicking 2 rows of pintucks to get the size I wanted.

 Basically you are making a gird of 10x 10"squares with your tailors chalk on the fabric. How many ten inch squares you make and how you arrange the grid on your fabric is up to you, this is how I did it.

I drew the above grid on my fabric along with a 5" square inside of the 10" square to mark the point of the center pintuck... Like this.

After you have your grid all drawn out on your fabric you place a pintuck at every green dot and if your counting that 123 pintucks. Here's how you create the pintuck.

I made a 1"cardboard template and drew a line down the middle of the template. Leaving 1/2" on either side of the line.

You create the pintuck by pulling 1/2" pleat of fabric on either side of your grid line. If you are using a template to insure accuracy you align the center line on the template to the grid line on your fabric.  Pull fabric from either side of the template until they meet at the center line on the template. This will create you 1/2" Pleat.
Remove the template and sew a 1/2 inch or less straight stitch across the two folds of fabric. You could pin all of the  pintucks before hand but I found that the pins didn't hold the pintucks accurately so I just pleated the fabric as I went. Sorry these pictures are crummy I didn't realize how bad they were until I was already finished. 

 Repeating this step about a million times. LOL I really hate repetitious projects. this is why I don't knit. At this point your duvet should look exactly like the west Elm version and if you like that look you can be finished. However in lou of the problems I had with the West Elm duvet I also added a button to cover the stitches making it extra secure and a strengthening square of fabric to the back of every pintuck.
I sewed the button on by creating an x. By doing this it helps remove some of the tension on the pressure points of the pintuck and dispersing it in the surrounding around the area. Well in theory at least :)
Well that's it, hopefully that wasn't to confusing and at least a tiny bit helpful. If you have any questions comment below and I will try and answer them if I can. I couldn't be more please with the way mine turned out. Would I do it again?... that remains to be seen. 123 pintucks + 123 buttons is a lot for a girl who hates to do 2 reps of push ups, but I would defiantly pay someone to do it for me {wink wink}. Here's hoping it lasts until I can afford to do so.


A few questions answered HERE

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  1. That looks AWESOME! I think I may attempt to do it on a pillow cover or something small before I'm brave enough to do it on bedding. I LOVE IT!!!

  2. This is beautiful Tigan! It just might be my next big project! :) but I have a king bed...what is worse it is already an oversized king and so I have issues trying to find anything that will actually cover the dang thing. this would take me forever I think...but it would be so worth it!

  3. I have a king bed too! Do you have any ideas for me and Selina?

  4. I do have a question about the green dots. First diagram shows the green dot in the middle of each square, and second diagram shows green dots at the outside corners of each square. I assume you are creating the pin tucks in the middle of each square, and not at the outside corners; otherwise there would be no need to draw the second square, yes? I was thinking about the king-size dilemmas, and would buy a third sheet to cut up and add borders on the outside of the two king-size sheets. (Cut off hems, first, of course, and do a flat-felled seam.)

  5. I'm so impressed with your crafty, creative skills. The duvet is beautiful.

  6. I'm doing the same project but I can't figure out what you're doing with the buttons. I get the measuring and the template and the straight stich, but then I'm lost. HELP ME! And are your buttons flat, or like little balls? They look like balls.

  7. They are cloth shank buttons. So like the satin kind you would see on the back of a wedding dress. The shank or the part you string the thread through is cloth so as to not cause any further tension on the fabric. I hope this answers your question.

  8. Amy, also I got my buttons off of ebay. It took me a while to find them in the right blue. I think I paid $24.00 for a 144 buttons.

  9. One more question after the comment that it is beautiful..does the fabric square go on the underside, then sew the button on the top? That is what I think I am reading/seeing.

    Do you remember about how long it took?

  10. Susie Q: Yes the fabric square goes on the underside of the fabric and then the button on top. It took about 2 hours to sew all the little pleats but I had to hand sew on all the buttons which probably took another 4 hours. Good Luck!

  11. I'm looking forward to trying this. I have a queen-sized down comforter in need of a duvet.

  12. I was wondering i'm doing one for a queen sized bed using a standard king sized sheet so how far in should i do the boarder so that its on the top of the bed but not hanging down? im not sure how to figure that out. oh and amazing duvet by the way.

  13. I'm not quite sure I understand what you are saying but if you don't want the duvet to hang over the edges at all I would suggest using a queen size sheet. Other wise you will get fabric that hangs over the edge. Does this answer the question? If not write me again and I'll try my best. :)

  14. Great tutorial, thanks! Just wondering where you got your duvet cover from?

  15. I got it online somewhere for a deep discount. You know it's been sometime so I can't quite remember where.

  16. Hi Tigan,

    This is an awesome tutorial. I had to comment because I have just started a blog myself and recently fell in love with the pleated duvet at Western Elm and thought it would be a great project for my blog... and then I came across your page!

    Anyway, good luck on Tigan Ink - I love your writing and I look forward to seeing more of your projects.

    Cheers to 2012!

  17. Hi Tigan,

    I should have asked this yesterday, but how does it hold up after washing? We seem to have difficulty with even just a flat duvet coming out of the dryer all wrinkled, and that was a concern I had about purchasing the West Elm version. Has this been an issue at all with this pleated version?

  18. I washed mine once right after I made it to remove the left over chalk lines. I made sure to pull it out of the dryer as soon as the cycle was done to avoid wrinkling and I didn't have any problems. The pictures shown in this post were after it had been washed once. However since then I have had it dry cleaned purely because my fabric specifically says it should be dry cleaned. So it always comes back nice and pressed. The thing about the pin tucks that I love is the structure of the technique, which kind of lends it's self to a little wrinkling. Hope that helps.

  19. We had exactly the same problems with the West Elm duvet. Great tutorial. Where did the yellow rose pillow came from? It's so pretty!

  20. Thanks so much for sharing...I have got to do this. Lori

  21. Hi i'm still a little confused. Does the small square of fabric go under the pleat or underside of the duvet? If just under pleat wouldn't the square show? how big was your square? sorry for the nit picky questions but I am so desperate to make this ASAP..:)

  22. The fabric goes on the underside of the duvet to re-enforce the stitching.

  23. Your tutorial is great. I fell in love with this bedding the first time I saw it on the West Elm website and was looking for a tutorial. I'm making this as a crib blanket for my nursery, partly because I love it for a baby room, and partly because i'd like to start on a smaller project before I tackle my king bed. Would you use the same size grid for a baby blanket (size 36"x48") or would you make them smaller?

  24. Probably not, I think I would make then 5x5 squares instead of 10x10. Good luck!

  25. you're doing all this (the pin tucks) on the top side of the fabric, yes?

  26. This turned out gorgeous - great job! I bought the same one from West Elm and the exact same thing happened to me - not to mention that I don't think the seamstresses of the duvet took into account that when they did the pintuck, it made the overall size smaller (because mine was just a little shorter than how I would like it to hang. Like the previous poster, I too would like to make a crib blanket like yours for my soon to arrive little girl. Thank you for the tutorial!! ~ Jennifer

  27. So that's how you create this particular design / style for bedding / duvet. Thanks! Always love learning from DIYers.


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