Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Chair Slip Cover

This chair was in my mom's house since I was in 6th grade.  We loved it, and it shows because all the fabric on the arms is totally shredded, and the seat is thread bare and transparent, and the ottoman is completely destroyed.
We received this chair from my parents as a hand-me-down and I decided it was finally time to do something about it's hashed condition, and the red plaid didn't go with my other furniture anyway.

I considered just reupholstering the beast, but decided the job would be too big and went with the slip cover.
So just sewing a slip cover to fit snugly on top of the shredded plaid worked for me.  Then if it gets dirty, I can just take it off and wash it too.  Or, probably the bigger reason, if I end up changing my decor, I could just make a new slip cover with different fabric, rather than have it permanently attached to the frame.

So this has been at the top of my "to do" list for a while, but has been intimidating to me. 

I started by just making the cover for the cushion.
So the chair was plaid with the chartreuse cushion for a while.
But I finally got the rest done and it's not perfect, but much better.

It was definitely a learning experience, and if I ever have to make one again, I'll have learned from mistakes.
But for now I'm relieved its done so I can move on.
I found the chartreuse suede on clearance months ago, and it became the center of the color palate.
It's thick, and was kind of a pain to work with, but hopefully will prove to be durable for a long time.
I made the piping/ welting with single strips, and had mismeasured and had so much, I sewed them on side by side for a double welt look rather than single.
I still have the ottoman to recover, and it may get close on having enough fabric to complete that project.  Also, it's completely torn up and will need some engineering strategy to figure out how to make it work...but that will be delayed for a while.

TIPS:
I didn't do any kind of tutorial, since each slip cover you'd make would be so specific to the piece of furniture.
But here are some things I did.

I started on the front bottom and worked to the back.

Most of the time I worked with the fabric inside-out and pined pieces while draped over the chair to try to get an exact fit.   When you're making it inside out, it will end up being the opposite arm of the chair when right-side-out, but assuming the furniture was symmetrical worked without any problems.

I tried it on the chair pretty much after each piece was added, making adjustments with the fit as I went.

The construction is the complete chair sewn in one piece.  Except below one side, it velcros shut.  I needed some opening to allow the fabric to get over the widest part of the chair (the bulbous arms), but still needed to keep the base tight for the skirt and bottom sides.  It is snug to get it on and off, but it works and keeps everything tighter so it hopefully looks maybe like it's actually upholstered and not just a slipcover.  I used industrial 2" wide velcro.
Yes, the back is blue fabric I had on hand, as I didn't have enough suede, and you won't see the back anyway.
I got frustrated, made mistakes, but still got through it.
I feel like it was so bad, anything is better than the shredded plaid.
Now to start on the throw pillows, which should be much easier and fun to make.

8 comments:

Sheila said...

Wow! It looks great and you're right about the back. Sort of like the old time dances where the ladies were told to keep their backs to the wall. Ha Ha.

Anna said...

that's really great! awesome that you made it, I think it would be frustrating like you said, but very rewarding.

Chris said...

Way to persevere. The chair looks amazing, really. I am impressed that you tackled that job!

That Slipcover Girl said...

Way to go! love your slipcover and how resourceful you were with the back piece! Make sure to link up at our slipcover party this friday the 13th!

el sotaescala said...

Hi Jessica, I love your blog and all the ideas you give it. Seeing what you've done with the sofa I'm thinking of doing so with one I have in casa.Esta a little wrong in the seats. When you finish a few projects that I have, try to make the sofa again. thanks for show your progress. Roser

Kristin said...

WOW! I am simply amazed! You just do so many projects that Ive never even considered a possibility! Kudos!

Mandy said...

AMAZING job! My mouth dropped when I saw it! Great work.

Mama Bird said...

Your ideas are so clever. I have so much in common with you - reading through all of your projects feels alot deja vu. The slip cover and piping have both elluded me...but now I've got the confidence to give it a go. I will be sure to post my before and after pics on my blog if you're interested in stopping by sometime! Keep up the great, informative posts!

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