How to Make a Removable Dust Ruffle

Linda Ann Nickerson (guest contributor)

Open up any sewing magazine, and you're likely to find sewing patterns for dust ruffles. Dust ruffles have become more popular recently. Interior designers and homeowners alike favor these frilly, formal bedroom accessories.

And why not? A dust ruffle prevents dust from accumulating under a bed, so it may help reduce allergens in the home. In addition, as home-efficiency and storage experts have touted the benefits of under-bed storage units, shoppers have snatched up dust ruffles to hide the evidence. It can be very handy to learn how to sew a dust ruffle yourself.

Buying a dust ruffle

If you're interested in buying a dust ruffle, you can easily find them in bed-and-bath shops, department stores, and linens catalogs as well as on the Web. Often, they are sold with complementary linens, such as comforters, sheet sets and pillowcases. However, such coordinating sets can be costly. That's why handy homeowners and interior decorators may decide to make their own dust ruffles.

Creating dust ruffles to match interior colors, fabrics and other items can be fairly simple. In addition, unlike store-bought dust ruffles, you can make a dust ruffle that you can remove so that it can be easily washed and pressed.

Here are instructions for how to sew your own removable dust ruffle.

Choosing dust ruffle materials
First, you'll need to find a fitted sheet in the right size (twin, double/full, queen or king). Make sure material is sturdy cotton or polyester, not knit or flannel. Then select a fabric that complements your bedroom decor. For a ruffled or pleated dust ruffle, you will need fabric that is twice the length of the two long sides, plus the foot side, of your bed. Woven (non-stretchy) fabrics tend to work best for making tidy dust ruffles.

Pick up several packets of hook-and-loop (such as Velcro) buttons or tape, unless you prefer to use buttons and buttonholes, hook-and-eye closures or sturdy snaps. These last options require a bit more time and sewing skill.

Making your dust ruffle
A dust ruffle is really a bed skirt. As such, you will be learning how to sew a simple ruffled or pleated skirt for the bed.

Measure the height from the gap between the mattress and box spring to the floor of your bedroom. This will be the finished length of your bed skirt.

Trim the entire length of your fabric to this length, plus 6 inches, to allow for stitching the seam and hem.

On the lower edge, use a hot iron to press under 1/2 an inch along the full length of the fabric. Next, press this edge up again, forming a 3-inch hem.

Finish the upper edge of the fabric by pressing and stitching a narrow seam all along the edge.

For a gathered dust ruffle, use a sewing machine to gather the upper edge. To accomplish this, set your sewing machine to the longest straight stitch possible. Stitch two parallel rows, starting 3/8 inches from the edge. Pull the bobbin thread (underneath) gently to create the gathers before pinning the ruffle (finished side up) directly to the fitted sheet.

The dust ruffle will cover three edges of the fitted sheet. Generally, the section going at the head of the bed is left unadorned.

Making a removable dust ruffle
For removable dust ruffles, you will sew the dust ruffle to a band of fabric, or a length of trim, instead of directly to the fitted sheet.

Affix hook-and-loop buttons or tape to both the fabric band and the fitted sheet. Or make buttonholes on the fabric band and sew flat buttons to the fitted sheet. As a third option, you can hand-sew hooks and eyes (or sturdy snaps) to the fitted sheet and fabric band.

Place the fitted sheet onto the box spring of the bed. Hook the sheet and dust ruffle together.

Using your leftover fabric
Most fabric comes in a size larger than what you will need for a dust ruffle (44-by-45-inches wide). You will have to trim and hem your dust ruffle, offering you plenty of leftover fabric for making throw pillows, curtain tiebacks or other bedroom accessories to match.

Dust ruffle shortcut
If you want to take a shortcut for making a dust ruffle, you can choose ruffled valances instead of flat fabric as long as the valances are long enough to reach from the bed to the floor. Measure carefully before purchasing. Simply sew the valances to the fitted sheet and stretch the sheet onto the box spring.

For more sewing patterns and ideas for dust ruffles, stop by a magazine stand and pick up some sewing magazines. You may become so inspired, you'll decide to make a dust ruffle for every bed in your home!

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Removable Dust Ruffles
What a great idea, and so basic. Why didn't I think of it?

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