So excited to share with you, the armchair slipcover I finished this weekend. It’s been awhile since I’ve applied my sewing skills. After setting up my old sewing machine, I had to pause. How do I refill the bobbin? I’m really much better at painting.
Below are before and after photos of an armchair that belonged to my grandparents. This armchair has been around for three generations. It’s well made and comfortable, so I think we will keep it in the family for a good while. Someday I’ll have the upholstery updated, but until then we can use the chair with a casual slipcover that blends in with our decor. Continue reading →
The first project for 2016 was supposed to be a snap, or in this case a zip. I was going to whip up a slip cover within a couple of hours, but chairs are hard; especially chairs with lots of curves. Of course, I made it more complicated by attempting to make a slipcover reminiscent of a form-fitting cocktail dress. Alas, the finished slipcover by all appearances is more appropriate for a casual afternoon tea. Story of my life.
The charming chair sitting at my desk was intended to be a temporary solution until I could find an industrial type swivel stool. Well, months later I’m still using the temporary solution. If the past is any indication of the future, it looks like chair is here to stay. Wanting to protect the paint finish was my motivation to make a slipcover with a fashionable zipper running up the back.
By the time I pinned, cut, re-pinned, and muttered a few expletives (luckily no one was home…not that anyone’s presence would have stopped me), I figured out how to cover the curvy chair. The final slip cover is composed of four sections; the seat, the seat back, a wrap-around skirt covering the front legs and the zippered back panel.
Most sections came together easily, however the seat back was the most tricky. I added photos of the pinned sections to show how it all came together.
After viewing this photo, I realized the seat needed lining because the striped ticking was visible. Discovering this before the skirt was stitched in place was a relief. I like sharing little things like this because it is all part of the trial and error process.
The zippered back is by far the best feature of the slip cover. Tea with a bit of rum, anyone?
My husband has teased that if you sit too long in our house you might get painted. Soon the same may apply to being slipcovered.
Carved mirror table
I have a closet where I stash Christmas gifts, off-season decorating accessories and beneath all the really good junk was this carved table that matches the love seat I just slipcovered.
The challenge was going to be covering the table’s carved and curvy top. The solution I found was a piece of foam core board to place on top of the table. I turn the table over and traced around the edge then went back and eased the curved indentions into an oval shape. The foam core board also creates and even surface on the top since the mirror is lower than the carved edge.
Trace the shape of the table onto foam core board
Foam core board cut out
Using a utility knife I cut around the outline until I had the desired shape.
Foam core board after edges are rounded
I used the oval foam board as a pattern to cut out the fabric for the top then started pinning the top to the skirt. I had just enough of the 8 oz. drop cloth left over from the love seat to cover the table.
Pin top fabric to skirt
Small pleat made on each side
Reverse side of slip cover showing seams
The skirt is two rectangle pieces of fabric with a seam on each side of the table. I barely had enough fabric for the skirt but did managed to squeeze a small pleat in the front and back. After sewing the seams I trimmed the excess fabric with pinking shears. All that was left was the hemming the skirt.
Slip cover seating area
With a little slipcover magic, I turned two unused sentimental pieces of furniture into a functional seating area. This may be my new reading spot and a place to stack my books.
Pink is not my signature color and the Victorian style does not match anything in our home, but after much debate, I was not ready to let go of my grandmother’s love seat. Having it upholstered was too pricy. The answer, make a slip cover. This was my first big adventure in making a slipcover and I’m crazy over how it turned out!
Love seat before
Of course I never would have jumped in with both feet without first studying the tutorial at the Miss Mustard Seed blog. If I can follow Marian’s instructions on slipcovers, you can too! She is very thorough and my “go to” for inspiration!
For the fabric I used an 8 oz. (9′ x 12′) drop cloth purchased from Lowe’s. Then I went back and bought another one haha! One was more than enough for the love seat but I need more fabric to cover the large down filled cushion. I used the center seam as a guide to helped make sure both sides of the seat back, seat, and back were mirror images of each other. I would have utilized the amount of fabric more efficiently had I not used the center seam in this way. As it turned out, the seam running down the middle adds character to a very simple design and I like it!
Pin sections together and trim away extra fabric, repeat….
Making the slipcover was not difficult but it did take a great deal of patience. After awhile I got the rhythm down…drape, pin, trim, drape, pin trim, repeat. You get the idea.
Reverse side of the slip cover showing how the seams come together
The raw edges of the seams are trimmed with pinking shears.
Inside seams without the cushion
Front of slip cover with straps to show the carved design
Narrow strip of cloth for the straps cut along the salvage edge
Straps used to connect the front to the back of the slip cover
Covering the complete love seat just didn’t look right so I decided to expose the carved woodwork at the top. My first thought was to make ties but I quickly changed my mind in favor of straps. Think of it as a sun dress!
Frog closure detail used instead of a button or tie on the back
Instead of leaving an opening in the center back, the opening is where the left side panel and the back panel meet. It seemed like a better place due to the exposed woodwork on top. This also gave me an opportunity to use the frog closure at the top. A handsome detail! (I’ll explain in a minute why I didn’t use buttons.)
Cutting around the cushion for the top and bottom
Cut a ban of material to connect the top and bottom of the cushion
Carefully pin around the top and bottom layers so the ban is same width all the way around.
Velcro sewn into the back side of the cushion to close the envelope
Velcro used on the cushion
The cushion was the last part of the project. The challenge was trying to keep the ban of fabric going around the cushion the same width. The cushion is really a long down pillow and rather floppy. I think covering a more rigid cushion would be easier.
Confession time! I don’t know how to install a zipper or make button holes so velcro is my crutch (so embarrassing). I used velcro on the back side of the cushion where I made an envelope opening.
Slip cover made from a drop cloth
Love seat after with slip cover
The overall design is very simple and of course it would look better with fabric covered cording as suggested in the Miss Mustard Seed tutorial. I’ll work on that for the next project, especially now that I know what to expect.