Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

New here, completely sewing illiterate..

sashadog | Posted in General Discussion on

and wanting to convert a king coverlet into a bed skirt. I found a wonderful duvet cover, that had coordinating eurosham/pillows and a coverlet, but no bed skirt to be found. The coverlet is 110″ x 104″ and has a linen like slub which runs vertically along the fabric. I would want the pattern to be vertical on the bed skirt as well. Is there enough fabric in this coverlet to convert to a bed skirt and keep the pattern direction? Also, the corners are not square. They have been cut across so that the corner is removed and the ends are finished on an angle.

My experience with sewing is really abominable, but I am hoping that this will work with minimal expertise…Be the change you want to see.

Edited 3/8/2009 5:27 pm by sashadog


  1. starzoe | | #1

    This "no bedskirt" problem is one I have run into. Why do they do this? There seems to rhyme or reason. Measure your bed and figure out the dimensions of a bedskirt...length and width etc. Good idea to work this out on square graphpaper maybe 1 sq. to 1" or something like that. Don't forget to add seam allowances and hems.Now take your coverlet and figure out how you can manipulate the fabric so that it will provide enough fabric for the bedskirt. Again, use the graphpaper. The above is all math, of course. I use an odd sheet to make the base for a bedskirt, and sew the skirt directly onto the base. You might want to go to the library and find some information on sewing a bedskirt, look in the sewing for home books.A question: is the coverlet a quilted one, or is it a single layer of fabric?

    1. sashadog | | #2

      Thanks for your advice...The coverlet is not quilted, but it is quite thick, like a thicker textured linen. It is finished with wide seams all around the edges, so I'll want to incorporate that into it so that there is consistency around the base. My concern is about how to put this together so that the pattern and borders are consistent and there are no visible seams...I am really a novice here, so I'll look at the library as you suggested...

      1. Josefly | | #3

        Sashadog, welcome to the forum. Lots of people here can help you, but more info is required. It's quite possible you can get a simple bedskirt from the coverlet, depending on several things. You say that the coverlet is king-size. Is the bed you're trying to fit king-size? Also, I assume you want the bed-skirt to fall from the bottom of your mattress to the floor, so you need to know that height - it varies with the height of your bed frame and the thickness of your box springs - these days that's not standard. You mention wide seams around all the edges - do you mean there's a wide hem, or is there a border added on around the edges? You say it's not quilted; is the coverlet just one layer of fabric, or is it lined? This is all necessary info in calculating the fabric requirements and fabric availability. Do you want the skirt gathered (ruffled), or just hanging flat and straight? Do you want pleats anywhere, say at the corners of the skirt, or do you want the corners to be open, perhaps with an underlay around the corner? These questions need to be answered before anyone can help you with the exact measurements you need. Basically, just to help you get a rough estimate of how much fabric you need from your coverlet..... (Assuming you want a smooth, straight, ungathered skirt with wide hems, not sewn-on borders)... To keep the lengthwise grain-line vertical on the bedskirt, you will have to cut 3 strips of fabric across the width of your coverlet (above the slanted corners). Two of the strips will have to be as wide as your bed is long plus seam allowances, and the 3rd strip will be as wide as your bed is wide, plus seam allowances. Extra width would be required for pleats or corner underlays. The length of your 3 strips (measuring from top to bottom) will be as long as the distance from your mattress to the floor, plus one seam allowance and whatever hem allowance you need. Use your bed measurements and height of the skirt's "drop" to figure if there's enough fabric in your coverlet to get these strips. If borders are actually sewn on around the edges of your coverlet, that complicates the measurement estimates, as the borders would need to be removed, and can't be included in the width of the coverlet. See what I mean about needing more info? These strips can be sewn to a piece of flat fabric that will extend across your bed from edge to edge (with added seam allowances), between the mattress and the box springs, or just under the mattress if your bed doesn't use box springs. An inexpensive flat, or even fitted, sheet is good to use for this purpose. Or an old sheet you don't use anymore. This fabric won't show, so any color will be okay. A fitted sheet works well if you have box springs, as it can be put on over the springs, and the skirt sewn onto it around the top edges, and the skirt stays firmly in place. This brings up another possibility - were there coordinating sheets that go with your duvet and shams? That might be another option for making your bedskirt. Come back for more help, if you need it, when you've got your measurements and know what style you want. I realize, if you're "completely sewing illiterate" some of these terms may be new to you - like hems and borders. So don't hesitate to ask questions.

        Edited 3/8/2009 10:07 pm ET by Josefly

        1. Ralphetta | | #4

          Here's a web site that might give you some help.
          http://www.alternative-windows.com/bed-valance.htmI'm pretty sure it can be done if you do as was suggested and use graph paper. That always helps me. Even though you said you don't sew, it sounds like you have a very good understanding of the problems...such as the grain of the fabric. Using the graph paper will help you work that out, also. I would draw the existing hem curves you mentioned on your graph.

          1. sashadog | | #6

            Thank you for the link! That will definitely be helpful!

        2. sashadog | | #5

          Thank you Josefly! I hadn't considered much of what you posted...here goes:Yes, this is for a king size bed
          Top of bed spring to floor is 17"
          The edges of the coverlet feel to have a double layer of fabric and has a hem where the edge of fabric is folded up over (this looks to me like a cuffed pant that has been stitched all around the leg and not left open)
          The fabric is one layer, not lined, but appears identical on both sides except for where the hem is finished
          I was hoping to have a pleat in the center of each length of the bed, or perhaps just on the corners of the bedWould it look odd to create a pleat using the angled edge corners of the coverlet?

          1. Josefly | | #8

            Teaf5 has a very good suggestion about using the coverlet itself, intact, as a bedskirt. Bedskirts are a lot of work, as she said, and that may save you a lot of time and give you a satisfactory look. The only hesitation I have about that is the "angled corners" of your coverlet. I'm not at all sure I'm visualizing those corners correctly. The following info is only meant to help you verify whether you have enough fabric in the coverlet to make a bedskirt as you've tentatively described. Please don't use this as exact cutting measurements. You may have to include other seam allowances in the actual measurements. Given your 17" drop, you will need 3 strips across the width of your coverlet that will be (in length) 17" + 1/2" seam allowance + hem depth + approximately 1/2" for raw-edge turn-under. (That last number is approximate, because I'm not sure about the way your hem is stitched to form that "stitched-down cuff" look - more about that later.) Add those numbers up and multiply that by 3, for the 3 strips you need. Compare that number to the length of your coverlet. Is there enough for the 3 strips? Assuming you use 4" deep pleats, each box pleat (double pleat) will require 16 inches extra of fabric. The strips of your skirt that go along the sides of your bed will need to be length of bed + 16 inches for pleat + seam allowances on each end. You'll have to figure what the seam allowances will be, especially at the head-end of your bed, where the end edge will need to be finished somehow, but also at the corners, depending on how you handle them. Add those numbers up and compare them to the width of your coverlet. Is the coverlet wide enough for you to get those strips? If not, you'll have to figure out some way to piece the strips unnoticeably - perhaps in the pleats. In that case, do you have enough length in the coverlet to be able to cut extra strips? You may have to remove the hems in the coverlet in order to get the width needed. About those hems. It sounds like your hems are folded at the bottom toward the outside, turned up, and then the raw edge is turned under and the folded edge is stitched down. Is that correct? That stitching, depending on how far away from the folded edge it is, could produce a look like a small tuck or "cuff" as you've described. How far away from the folded edge is the stitching? That will determine the "turn-under" amount I mentioned above.Pleats at the corners of your bedskirt can be actual pleats, or can be open ends of the side and end pieces with an underlay around the corner, giving the look of box pleats. The latter method uses a little less fabric. Since I cannot accurately visualize the angled corners of your coverlet, I don't know how they would be used in pleats.You don't have to answer any questions I've asked - they're really meant to help you figure out what you need to know - unless you want some more help in figuring measurements. Well, is this more info than you wanted? I hope it's not confusing.

          2. sashadog | | #10

            Thank you so much! I think I will most likely not tackle making this and see if I can either fit the coverlet or find something that will be a suitable alternative. I suspect that I'm biting off more that I can chew to take this on as a first project.

  2. Teaf5 | | #7

    Having just spent a whole weekend wrestling to make a queen-sized bedskirt, I have two comments for you:

    1) even as a very experienced sewer, the project was way more trouble than it was worth (a LOT of ironing and measuring and endless hemming), and

    2) after I finished it, and it looks awful, I read a designer tip that recommended re-using a coverlet as a bedskirt simply by taking off the mattress, draping the coverlet over the box springs, and replacing the mattress!  No sewing necessary.

    I measured the box spring and drop on my bed and discovered that it's exactly the same size as a standard queen size coverlet.  I found one at a discount retailer for $20 yesterday, in just the right color and weight.  Much better than my homemade one, which is going back into the fabric pile.

    1. sashadog | | #9

      I will measure this out and see. This would solve much if it can indeed work. Thanks for your input - I just assumed that this wouldn't fit and would need to be fitted into something that would!

This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All