Aug 09 2009

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Translating French bed linen… into Australian


 Like many Australian women, I LOVE French bed linen, and have bought several sets over the past few years. Last month I bought a beautiful set by Anne de Solène in the soldes at BHV (I’ve just discovered her website and you can see the one I bought on the left).


The only problem with buying bed linen in France to bring back to Australia is that the standard sizes are different, so you need to have the dimensions of your bed, and your doona, written down.


I discovered this after I brought my first set of French bed linen back to Australia a few years ago. The fitted sheet was perfect, but the housse de couette (doona cover) was 30cm too wide. But instead of taking it in and cutting off the excess, I decided to run a line of stitching down each side, on the outside (as opposed to the inside) of the cover, 15cm in from the edge. After the doona was inserted, it was held in place, and the extra material hanging down beyond the line of stitching created a ‘valence’-effect on each side of the bed, complementing the wide ‘sleevy’ thing at the bottom of French doona covers, which also creates a valence, at the end of the bed.  I’ve always preferred this to the Australian type with buttons or fasteners, and which barely cover the end of the mattress.


With the doona cover I just bought, I had the problem again, and worse, because I could only obtain the larger size, judging from the dimensions on the packaging; but I loved the design so much I HAD to take it, especially at BHV soldes price. tailledoreiller1


Back in Australia, after carefully measuring both my mattress, the height of my bed and my doona, I found the new cover was 20cm too long, and 60cm too wide. So I sewed a straight line of stitching along the top, 20cm in from the edge, and another two lines, similar to what I’d done with the previous doona cover, one down each side, 30cm in from each side edge.



At the top I then had a piece of fabric to fold over near the pillows, which works well, and a valence on each side, which doesn’t quite reach the floor.


Obviously you need to know the height of your bed if you are going to do this, and if you are innumerate like me, you might want to check all the measurements twice, and draw diagrams to guide your sewing, as I did.




 But the effect is stunning, and of course completely unique (duhh… until everyone reads this, I guess)…






Permanent link to this article: http://www.escapetoparis.com/2009/08/french-bed-linen/


  1. antony skipper

    love your web site!

  2. Carolyn

    Wow, that is beautiful and majorly cool! Very creative, too.

    I will keep this in mind for our next trip :)

    Cheers and enjoy your special BHV purchase.

  3. Bec

    This is very cool. I love how you are mixing French and Aussie style together. You are very clever.

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