Making a Tiered Ruffled Comforter

These comforters are so adorable and super expensive if you bought anything equivalent in a store or online.  You can make these for any size bed and out of any type of material.  Get creative. I used knit material since you don’t have to hem all of the ruffles, but you could use basic cotton as well. An all white ruffled comforter would be great for a feminine touch to an adults bed.  Any color scheme worked into varying shades like we did with these is also great. Remember if you are working with knits you need to use a walking foot, and often stabilizer if the knit is thin and you are using a regular sewing machine.  This is definitely not a beginners sewing project.  Expect to take some time creating these.  Also expect to purchase quite a bit of material. Make sure you have a large workspace set up as well, as you will need to be able to lay the comforter out in whole to place the ruffles.  2 Table tops pushed together would be ideal.

IMG_9004There are several ways you can make this comforter. You can make a duvet cover that is removable, or you can attach batting or an old piece of comforter into the inside which won’t be removable.  I chose to make a non removable comforter for these 2 tiered ruffled comforterssince they were for two young girls bunk beds who have a hard enough time getting their beds made every day as it is.  I think children’s beds should be as easy to make as possible if you want them to get into a good habit of making them.  The color scheme that was chosen for their shared room was turquoise and purple, so we chose to coordinate the comforters in various shades of these colors.  Since they would be used on bunk beds we also chose to make the ruffle tiers cascade down the long side of the bed as opposed to the traditional way of cascading down from the pillow side to the foot of the bed.

IMG_6233 If you don’t feel like you are up to making one, email our shop at for a custom quote.  You can also visit our shop for other great bedding and decor options like the Live, Laugh, Love sheet set shown here.  We also have personalized and monogrammed sheet sets, and great throw pillow covers to update any rooms decor.




We found a cheap white IMAG0957cotton knit on sale for $1 a yard which is what we used for the main part of the comforter and the top several ruffles.  It is hard to find a fabric this cheap, when I do, I try to purchase as much as I can for large projects such as these.  Then the girls chose another textured white knit and 3 different textures, shades and prints of the knits in their color scheme for the rest of the ruffles.  Initially, 1 yard of each of these colored fabrics IMG_9010was purchased.  1 yard only did about 2 ruffles each which is why we had to add more white ruffles than we initially planned.

Making the ruffles:  Cut the strips of fabric into the height you choose for the ruffles.  We cut our about 8 inches high to maximize the amount of fabric we had and to get at least 2 ruffles of each.  In general for a nice full ruffle, you need the length plus half the length per ruffle.  After you cut the strips, sew the pieces into two long strips.  If you are using a fabric other than knit that will fray, you will need to hem both the top and bottom at this point.  Since we used knit we skipped this step.  There are benefits to knit and also challenges.  Knit is much harder to work with, especially a thin knit like the white we used for the main parts of the comforters.

Next you need to make the ruffles.  There are several ways to do this.  You can use a ruffler foot for your sewing machine which works great (until the foot breaks).  I recently purchased a generic brand ruffler foot and loved how easy and beautifully it made the ruffles.  However after using it only a couple of times it broke.  I read many reviews of these feet and saw how many people had issues with them breaking but still gave it a shot.  I still plan on trying a better brand, but haven’t gotten around to it.  You can also use a gathering foot on your sewing machine, but I haven’t had much luck with my gathering foot working properly either. Another option is to use the longest stitch you have and adjust the tension to the lowest setting.  Sew this stitch without locking it in one continuous stitch along the top edge of the ruffle material.  After you have done this, pull on the top thread from both sides gathering the material as you pull and creating a ruffle.  With knits, I have found this doesnt always work perfectly since it often gets caught on the knit material.  If you work in smaller sections this will help prevent that.

Next you need to measure the material to the size that you need.  You can use an old comforter as a template.  Cut the material accordingly.  For the twin comforters we were able to use the width of the fabric  as the width of the comforter.  For larger sizes you may either need to purchase extra wide width fabric if you don’t want seams, or sew 2-3 pieces to get the size you need.  For the base of a comforter like this seams wouldn’t be a problem on the top as the ruffles will cover them.  You will need 2 pieces one for the front and one for the back.  Make sure you watch the video for more detail on these instructions.  You also need to add about 3 inches of seam allowance on one side to add buttons or a zipper if you plan on making it a removable duvet cover.

Take one of the pieces you cut and assembled and lay it on a large flat surface.  Pin the ruffles on in straight rows.  It is easiest to pin one ruffle at a time, sew it and then pin the next ruffle.  You can also make chalk lines with a straight edge to mark your ruffle lines which will make it easier to pin and sew your ruffles properly.  Sew the ruffles on with a straight stitch at the top edge of the ruffle.  (You could also get creative and make non tiered ruffles and sew the ruffling stitch in the center instead of the top in the previous stitch. See our post on Textured Rose throw pillow for ideas on making ruffles this way, or even a whole comforter! Imagine a comforter covered in roses like these?)  Continue sewing the ruffles on from bottom to top, overlapping each one slightly.

After all the ruffles are attached to your top piece of the comforter, it is time to assemble the whole thing.  To make a removable duvet cover, lay the top piece right side up, lay the bottom piece right side down, making sure right sides of both are touching.  Pin all sides.  Sew three sides, leaving a large opening in the 4th side.  Add a zipper or hem this opening adding buttons and button holes.  If you are making an attached comforter.  Lay a piece of batting, or an old comforter flat on the ground, lay the top piece ruffled side up on top of the batting, and lay the back piece right side down, making sure right sides are touching of both pieces.  Pin, and sew all 4 sides, leaving a small opening large enough to turn the comforter right side out when you are finished.  Once you turn it right side out, turn in the seam allowance at the opening and sew the opening shut.

You now should have a beautiful tiered ruffled comforter completed!



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