It's Chilly in Houdini's Room

With all the holiday projects waiting to get done, yeah, what do I do this weekend? I start something that has nothing to do with the holidays... a duvet cover for my 19-month old, Bogart.

In my defense, his room is really chilly and I just can't let my kid freeze. I was zipping him up into a sleep sack, and it worked great - until, after a week, he became Houdini, magically getting out of it without even unzipping. This child never ceases to amaze me. It's too bad too, because the sleep sack was really keeping him toasty.

Last winter, I found a twin-sized down comforter on sale. The plan was to cut it in half and make two crib-sized comforters out of it (two sections that were 42" x 64" each). I completed the one for my older toddler, Finn, (yes, I have two...) - Sesame Street themed of course. And now that Bogart is older (and cold) it's his turn for some goose-down goodness.

I began by spreading out the twin-sized comforter on the floor. I measured the length and marked my center point where I needed to cut. I then did my best to sort of "clear the way" on the cut line by moving the feathers off to each side as best I could. I marked the center line with a pen and then marked another line 1/4" on either side of that line. Those new lines are my stitching guides. I sewed a straight stitch along both of those guides and then cut down the center line. By sewing those seams first, you save yourself from a "feather explosion" when you cut. There will still be some rogue feathers, but it is quite manageable. To finish it off cleanly, I sewed some white single-fold bias tape along that raw edge.

I also want to mention a neat little trick I learned (years ago on TV) from my dear friend, Martha. I took some extra bias tape pieces (about 8 inches long) and tacked them in at each corner to make ties. (See photo.) The inside corners of the finished duvet cover will also have bias tape ties. This way you can tie the comforter into the duvet and there is no slipping around. Works like a charm.

I bought the fabric for this project quite a while ago. I knew I wanted to do a "woodland theme" in Bogart's room, but I wasn't sure where to start. When I was shopping at my favorite fabric/yarn shop, Stitcher's Crossing, I saw the perfect fabric to use a jumping off point. (You can see it peeking out of the fabric pile in the photo above.) It's from the "Frolic" line by Wendy Slotbloom. I chose three designs - this, this, and this - to make the duvet. Of course, I have big plans for the rest of the room, all inspired by this fabric.

 Yesterday, with a cup of hot tea by my side, I got out paper and pen to measure and plan my duvet design. This project is a lot of straight stitching and hemming, cinchy. Should be finished in the next few days. Let's hope it turns out as cute as it is in my imagination! I'll post the finished product as soon as it's done.

- Cassandra

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