Monday, March 14, 2011

A Slipcover: The Easy Way

I decided the other night at 9:30 that I was tired of my rusty-yellow Victorian chair and wanted to cover it with a slipcover. My goal was to add a bit more coolness to the room. Our wooden floors add quite a bit of warmth and I wanted to tone it down.

I set to work making one with a large oatmeal-colored heavy canvas drop cloth that I had. They are very inexpensive at the hardware store and the heavy-weight canvas is similar to upholstery fabric.

I documented the process as I went along. I am not very talented in the sewing department so I used a technique I learned about a while ago. It is fairly easy for a slipcover but you need a lot of fabric to drape over your chair. I think the traditional method for making a slipcover includes lots of measurement-taking and pattern-making which is too difficult for my novice skills. Here's how I made a slipcover the easy way:

Drape material right-side in over chair and pull it flat along the seat and back.

Pinch the excess fabric together where the seams on a slipcover would be(just guess) and pin where the seam would be. Keep going. You may have to redo seams as you go along and re-figure your method. I had to pleat fabric along certain parts of the chair, such as where the arm meets the back to make it work.

Cut off excess fabric from the seams that you pinned. Adjust the pins as needed to keep the fabric taut.

When all seams are pinned and trimmed, cut off the excess fabric along the bottom. Make sure that you leave a few extra inches for folding over and hemming.

Carefully pull the slipcover off the chair and sew along the seams that you pinned. Sew the hem on the inside of the pins.When all the seams have been hemmed, remove your pins. Fold over the bottom of the slipcover once and then again so that the raw edge is hidden. Pin along your fold and then sew the hem.

Flip your slipcover right side out and pull it over your chair. Voila!

My slipcover is less than perfect but I am happy with it. The imperfections work with the slubby natural-colored canvas. It has an organic feel and is a nice contrast with the dark carved claw feet.