Wednesday, February 3, 2010

You Asked, I Answered: Fabric Inspiration and How To Make a Duvet Cover

image by misocrazy found via Flickr

While I would not call myself an expert on sewing/fabrics/notions/general craftiness (far from it actually), I have done a lot of web-crawling in the last few years checking into all things creative. In doing so, I have learned a TON about how things are done, how they are *not done*, where the goodies are hiding, and which crafters really know how to craft. All this web-i-searching (I make up words and I'm fine with it) has also led to me amassing a semi-ridiculous number of bookmarks (which I am currently trying to get in order via Delicious)

[which by the way, is my new computer organizing HERO]

and there is no reason I can't (attempt to) answer some random questions you may have. I'm thinking if I can't find a proper link for you to follow to find the answer, I have a sewing expert in my back pocket who I am not ashamed to ask anything of. Seriously, y'all. She's kinda ridiculously amazing at sewing.

My first question came yesterday in an email from my friend, Jana:
Hey - do you know of an online site where I can shop for (home) fabrics by color? I went to and it appears to have a ton of fabric, but I'm not certain I want to wade through everything to find the right colors... was hoping to do a "red+caramel+green" kind of thing.
I had to write back for clarification. I *think* I knew what she meant, but just wanted to make sure. Here's her response:
I figured that was a bit vague.

Basically I'm looking for inspiration fabric for decorating my house. Right now I have a lot of mismatched crap, but a client of Dave's is trying to help me get it together. Home fabrics would then mean patterns... I have no plans right now, just looking for some patterns with colors that I can take inspiration from.

I would love to make myself a new duvet cover. I've never sewn before and would borrow a sewing machine. Do you think it would be hard?
Well, my goodness do I have some cool linkies for Jana! In fact, I'm glad she brought that up with me since I had forgotten all about these having buried them deeply out of site on the ole Firefox.  While some of us would love to spend hours sifting through all conceivable fabric options out there roaming the web, others of us just don't have the desire or time.

So Question 1: Fabric Inspiration.
Answer:  Try out More Cloth and More Cloth - Glorious Color.  Click on the color pallettes that appeal to the need you're trying to fill and peruse the offerings.  (Even if you're not in the market for anything particular, these are FUN sites.  Trust me.)
Now, because Jana and I are friends, she already got back to me last night and told me that though she had fun looking through the fabrics she didn't find what she was looking for.  Something I hadn't checked into until I heard back from her is the actual More Cloth Talk blog.  This one may need to be a regular perusal for me because I *do* love looking at fabric.  That may continue to not be all that helpful to Jana, but I was glad to discover it!

This all led to more digging.  And here's what I came up with: offers a way you can sift through their offerings by color. does this as well.
Sew Mama Sew (which also just happens to be one of my must-read blogs) is also a fabric and pattern store that offers a sort by color option. appears to have a similar feature (until this question came up though, I must say I had never heard of them before.)

And now Question 2: How to Make a Duvet Cover
Answer: Though I'm not cool enough (nor do I have the time) to whip up my own amazing photo tutorial on this, I do have some links that may point you in the right direction.
All Free Crafts published this article awhile back called, "Duvet Covers are Easy to Make Yourself."  Sounds like a good start!  eHow tackled the subject as well here.  If you're into all those "... for Dummies" books, you might be interested in this duvet tutorial.  And if you want to get really fancy, HGTV offers a tute on making a reversible duvet cover.  Might not be as difficult as it sounds!

Enough to get started?  I sure hope so!

OK, readers.  Your turn.  Where do you go for fabric inspiration?  Did you publish an amazing duvet cover how-to on your blog?  Please share in the comments.  I'd love to add to this post to make it an even better resource for others (and my Delicious account is begging for more yummy links.)

If you have a question for the bookmark-a-holic (yep, that's me) you can send me an email at skooksplayground[at]gmail[dot]com.  I would love to dig up some crafty answers for you.  :)


Lilith's mommy February 3, 2010 at 1:37 PM  

I really need to get my bookmarks organized before they get much more out of hand. has a lot of cool things and tutorials, too.

urban craft February 3, 2010 at 4:03 PM  

we soooooooooo need a new duvet cover. I never thought to make one myself. Is it even possible to get a huge amount of fabric? I never measured. Now I think I will do it. Thanks for pointing in the right direction!

Skooks February 3, 2010 at 10:08 PM  

LM - you should really check out Delicious. Tagging instead of trying to pin down links into folders is definitely the way to go! Also, that sew4home link went RIGHT into my Delicious account. I can't wait to get some free time and peruse it further. :)

UC - I'm glad that I was (unknowingly) able to help! Will you post pics when you make your duvet? (See how I'm operating under the assumption that it will now most definitely happen? lol) I'd love to see what you come up with.

i am not February 4, 2010 at 11:35 AM  

My limited knowledge of fabric and all things sewing also had me questioning if one could buy fabric large enough to make one.

Heading to Joann on Tuesday to find inspiration fabric with my friend (who is a decorator). I really enjoyed those links, but never found what i was looking for.

thanks for the info, M!

Lilith's mommy February 4, 2010 at 1:23 PM  

Here's another site for you. :) One of the blogs I've been following is doing a "Sewing Basics" section.

Skooks February 8, 2010 at 3:20 AM  

LM, I somewhat recently discovered Ruffles and Stuff. :) I really like it over there! Those sewing basics are so very basic. Which means, I so wish I had found them 2 years ago when I decided to teach myself how to sew. Would have been A LOT easier than reading my mom's ancient sewing machine instruction manual over and over again! :P

Unknown February 21, 2010 at 1:56 AM  

Thanks so much for the comment! These links actually helped a lot. AND you just gave me ANOTHER idea of something I want to sew... a duvet cover! haha I'm going to have to check out Delicious, too. I have a million blogs that I read daily about sewing, crafting, parenting, etc. and I'm sure there has to be something out there that is better than just bookmarking them all in folders.

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