Duvet Covers

Here’s some tips for making a duvet cover for your boat.

1. Look at the shape of your mattress and find the closest standard size to start.  We are fortunate that our mattress on board is pretty close to a full size.  The foot cuts in a bit but not too much.  The chart will help determine the amount of fabric needed.  You may want to take the boat mattress and make a pattern out of brown paper or an inexpensive shower curtain that way you can account for any odd angles.  Allow about 12″of overhang depending on how deep your mattress is, how much space you have on the side of the berth or if you are going to tuck the coverunder the mattress.  (You see that a lot on those big fancy yachts!)Aft Cabin 2013

Duvet Cover Measurements and Fabric Requirements

NOTE:  The above chart is for one side.  You’ll need double the amount.

Yes, it’s a lot of fabric

2. How heavy do your want your duvet cover? Consider the weight of fabric.  I selected a medium weight indoor/outdoor fabric thinking that I’d want to minimize impact of the marine environment (sun fading and extra moisture).  It turns out to be a bit on the heavy side.  We figure we can use it with or without the comforter inside depending on where we go.  An easy solution is to make a duvet out of a set of sheets! And you don’t have to have the same fabric on both sides.  Our opposite side is a solid blue textured fabric.  For the comforter/duvet itself, we decided against down feathers because it just didn’t sound like a good fill for the boat.  We went with a Primaloft comforter.  It’s a nice alternative to down feathers.  It’s just not as fluffy.

3. You’ll likely need to make panels to cover the width of the berth.  Try to make any seams on the sides so that you have three panels and a nice wide middle section instead of a seam right down the middle.

4. Layout – Check fabric for flaws, considering the big expanse of fabric.  Add an extra 4″ at end for fasteners (e.g., snaps, buttons, Velcro, ties).

5.  You’ll find plenty of web resources on how to make duvet covers.  Some links are listed at the end of this blog post.  Basically the steps are:

  • Finish raw edges either with zigzag or hot knife.
  • Sew side panels to the main center panel right sides together for the top and the bottom.
  • Add any piping or decorative trim if you want.  Remember to sew piping 4″ up from end for opening and area for fasteners.
  • Lay duvet cover top and bottom right sides together and pin carefully.  Sew starting several inches in from end at the bottom end.  Turn 4″ in for bottom end to allow ends to be turned under for allowances for fasteners.  Sew 3 sides and end a few inches in (4″ allowance) on each side of the duvet cover bottom.  Basically you are just leaving the middle of the bottom end open with the corners sewn.
  • Trim any seams and corners as needed.  Refinish seam if needed.
  • Sew ribbons (2 ribbons about 6-8″ long) in the corners of the cover to tie the duvet with.  Most comforters and duvets have a strip sewn across the corners to tie to or you can add one to your duvet.
  • Turn right side out.  Add fasteners such as snaps or buttons and buttonholes, or Velcro.
Duvet Piping and Corner Ribbon
Duvet Piping and Corner Ribbon (tied to strip at corner)
Snaps as fasteners










Other tips about making a duvet cover?  How about from the quilters at sea?  What tips do you have.  Leave a comment here.

Resources and Instructions:











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