Fitted Bedspread

A fitted bedspread gives a more tailored look than a throwover bedspread and can be made to match, co-ordinate or contrast with your colour scheme.

Image of a finished fitted bedspread with a gathered skirtThey are made in two sections, the top and the skirt. The top is the same size as the top of a made up bed, is lined and can be quilted or interlined for extra warmth. It goes under the pillows that usually have matching pillow shams.

The unlined skirt, which covers the sides of the bed down to the floor, can be gathered on to the top for a feminine look or can have inverted pleats at the corners.

However, if teamed up with a bed valance, the skirt can be shorter to give a layered look.

Some plain fabrics without nap or fabrics with small designs can be railroaded (turned through 90 degrees) to avoid the need for seams.

For four-poster and beds with corner posts, the skirt sides and end sections can be made separately to go either side of the legs of the bed and the pleats would be placed in the centre of each skirt section for pleated skirts.

The instructions below are for a fitted bedspread with a gathered skirt.

Colour code key for diagrams


  • Fabric of your choice.
  • Lining for the top section. Twice the amount will be required if the top is to be quilted.
  • Interlining, if required, for the top section.
  • Matching thread.

Measuring for a Fitted Bedspread:

  1. Width of the top (W): measure the width of the top of the made up bed and add 1" (2.5 cms) for seams. If more than 1 width of fabric and lining are required, position a full width in the centre and add equal part widths on each side. Join the seams in the fabric and lining with a flat seam and press open.
  2. Image refers to measuring up for a fitted bedspreadLength of the top (L): measure the length of the top of the made up bed without the pillows and add 1.5" (3.75 cms) for seams.
  3. Depth of the skirt (D): measure from the top edge of the made up bed to the floor, or the depth required, and add 1.5" (3.75 cms) for seams.
  4. A gathered skirt will need between 1.5 and twice the measurement of the 2 sides and bottom edge (2L+W) of the top section to allow for fullness. The fullness ratio does not need to be exact, so work to the nearest width of fabric. Widths of fabric need to be joined together with a French seam to achieve this measurement unless the fabric is railroaded.

Preparing a Gathered Skirt:

  1. Turn up a double 0.5" (12 mm) hem at the lower edge and pin.
  2. Turn in a double 0.5" (12 mm) hem at each short edge and pin.
  3. Machine stitch the hems on these 3 sides and press.
  4. Work 2 rows of gathering stitches along the top edge. To make this easier work in sections.
  5. Pull up the gathering threads, adjusting the gathers evenly, so that the skirt fits the sides and bottom edges of the top section minus 2" (5 cms).

Making a Fitted Bedspread:

  1. Attach the interlining to the wrong side of the face fabric, if required. Traditional interlinings can be used such as domette or bump as well as synthetic ones such as wadding. As interlining is bulky join the widths together by hand using herringbone stitch and then attach it to the back of the face fabric using lock stitch. Once it is in place treat these two layers as one. Alternatively, quilt the top section.
  2. Image refers to steps 2 and 3 of making a fitted bedspreadWith the right sides together and matching the raw edges, pin the skirt to the sides and bottom edge of the top section, leaving 1" (2.5 cms) seam allowance at the top edge. Make sure that the gathers are evenly spaced and adjust if necessary.
  3. Machine stitch the skirt to the top section, 0.5" (12 mm) in from the raw edge.
  4. Place the bedspread on a flat surface with the right side facing and the skirt inwards. Place the lining on top with the wrong side facing and matching the raw edges. Pin and stitch around 3 sides.
  5. Turn right side out through the top edge and press.
  6. Turn in 1" (2.5 cms) at the top edge and slip stitch.

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