In our guest/storage room are two twin beds covered in comforters, the oldest of which is more than 15 years old. It does look worn, but still provides warmth. Neither of the comforters match the other or even really "goes." Think sherbet stripes with heather-greyed Asian-inspired florals.
Besides being the guest and storage room, this space is also my sewing and music studio. Even though it is difficult for me to be creative in disorder, lack of space has necessitated that I learn to overlook the clutter.
After over a year, however, I couldn't take the clashing comforters anymore and started pricing new ones. I discovered that not only are twin-sized comforters hard to find, they are also hard to find in anything besides matronly or tween patterns. At this stage in my life, I want something pleasant to look at, but that my husband can also tolerate. I want something that doesn't scream juvenile, feminine, or upholstery.
I couldn't find anything I liked, so I looked into making duvet covers. To buy fabric I liked would cost me more than to buy the comforters. I settled on using flat sheets, size double. They were not quite long enough, but there was enough extra on the sides to add a strip to the bottom. Not counting work hours, the materials, minus the buttons, still cost me as much as two new comforters, but at least now I haven something I like and I don't feel guilty for throwing out a usable item.
I started following the directions in McCall's 4403, but during construction the part where you have to cut the bottom sheet to apply the button placket finally clicked in my brain that I would have to make a raw edge where before there was none. Also, they don't interface the button hole part, which seemed risky.
So I switched tracks and looked up online how to sew a buttoned duvet. Using the two directions, I pieced together the first cover.
It was too wide, so I took in the raw-edge side seam (the other one has the original sheet hem). It was also too long, but I had trouble with the button placket, so pinned the comforter to the bottom to hold things in place and called it good enough for a guest room that gets used once or twice year.
Also, it doesn't help that the original sheets are not square and that the pattern is not printed squarely. I can't, say, sew through the center of a line of diamonds and end up with a straight line. It's just one more piece of evidence that even though my home-sewn items might be flawed, they are not cumulatively worse quality than store-bought items.
The final product of the first attempt looks good on the bed and that's all I care about right now.