Follow the instructions outlined in this tutorial for making the top and bottom pieces of the duvet with side seams instead of a center seam.
**To insure success, read through all the instructions first, before beginning this project**
Extra Credit: You can combine top and bottom side panels and avoid a side seam by cutting just 1 side panel (for each side, twice the width) and folding it over to become part of the top and the bottom pieces of the duvet.
Step 1: Cut the top and bottom duvet pieces to the correct width and length of your comforter size, by leaving a 1″ (2.54 cm) seam allowance on the two sides and across the top. Across the bottom, leave a 2″ (5 cm) seam allowance to allow for the buttoned access panel. Place the top and bottom right sides together. Sew the side, top and side together, leaving the bottom open. When sewing across the top, make sure to line up the side seams (pictured above)- take your time as you sew, you can almost always get the seams to match up if you are careful. I top stitched the side seam for an extra finished look.
Step 2: If you have a serger, sew a serged stitch all the way around the entire bottom opening. Fold over a 1″ (2.54 cm) hem and pin into place, all the way around. If you don’t have a serger, go to the next step.
Step 3: If you don’t have a serger- do not fear- you must only make a narrow fold (see above picture), then the 1″ (2.54 cm) hem, pin all the way around the bottom. This will hide the raw edge and prevent it from fraying when washed.
Lay the duvet out flat, right sides together, side seams together. Measure in from the edges and mark with pencil or chalk. This will be to make the access part in the middle of the bottom and closing up the sides. For this twin sized duvet, I measured in 12″ (30.5 cm) in from either side leaving about 40″ (102 cm) for the button access panel and plenty of room for getting a comforter in and out.
Step 6: Between the marks and only on the sides (not where the buttons will be in the middle), sew a finishing seam along the inside edge of the hem (see above picture). Do this to either side of the middle access panel. Sew the top and bottom pieces individually and not together at this point.
Step 7: Now lay the top and bottom pieces back together, one on top of the other and sew them together (still on either side of the middle access panel) following the instructions in the above picture. You are only sewing the sides together, not in the middle where the buttons will be.
Step 8: Turn the project right right side out, the bottom opening should look like the above picture. Now you want to continue that seam, on the inside of the button panel, but only on one side. Wait to close up that area on what will become the button side, it’s easier to sew the buttons on that way.
Step 9: On the buttonhole panel side you just sewed closed, measure out and mark with a pencil or chalk where you would like the buttonholes to be, on a project like this, I generally place them 7″ – 9″ apart (18-23 cm). Follow the instructions that came with your sewing machine on making buttonholes. Do not fear- buttonholes aren’t hard, they just take a little practice. Be sure to practice on a extra piece of fabric until you are ready, they are hard to pick out later.
Step 10: When all of your buttonholes have been sewn, use a seam ripper (pictured above) or scissors or an exacto knife and carefully slice open the buttonholes. Lay the duvet back out flat with the buttonhole side directly on top and lined up with the other, button side of the access panel. With a pencil or chalk mark through the middle of each buttonhole to the fabric exactly below where the buttons need to be sewn. By hand, sew all of the buttons into their places, only through the one layer of fabric so the stitching will be hidden and not visible from the right side (a.k.a. outside) of the duvet.
Step 11: Now it’s time for that final seam that will finish the button side of the opening. I used a zipper foot so I could get right next to the buttons (pictured above). If you use a regular presser foot, move the needle all the way to the side and kind of lift the buttons up and out of the way as you pass them by.
I would love to hear feedback if you try this tutorial. Let me know what worked/didn’t, confusing/clear, good/rotten any which way- I’d love to know!