About two months ago, I found a some pictures on Pinterest that really caught my attention. A couple of girls were writing about their newly completed sofa slipcovers and I began to get some ideas. One even mentioned that she used canvas drop cloths from Home Depot and my ears really perked up.
I began to eye the wing back chair in my living room. This guy has been a part of my furniture collection since I was about 20 years old. I bought him at a yard sale on a complete whim for $20, and he's been well loved ever since. But I am so over the 70's vibe. Plus, the fabric is so worn out on the arms of the chair that it's wearing away. Looks kind of ratty.
Last month I bought some utility fabric at Jo Ann Fabrics. I would have loved to choose a more ornate fabric, but I didn't for two reasons: The first is that it's kind of like a tattoo. Once it's done, I won't be redoing it for quite some time, so I wanted to play it safe and dress up this chair with pillows instead. The second reason is that I've never done this before and I do not want to spend a whole lot of money on a failed project. Utility fabric (which looks a lot like a canvas drop cloth, by the way) is only $5.99 a yard. Total cost? About $42, when all is said and done. I also bought a fabric pencil and some piping.
To make the slipcover, I'm basically just using the original upholstery as a guide for cutting out the pieces. The first pieces I cut out were the tops of the arms and back of the chair:
For each piece, I drape the fabric over that section of the chair (in this case, the arms), pin it to the chair, and use my fabric pencil to sort of draw an outline. Then I cut out the piece, leaving some room for seam allowance. It's not a perfect science, and I'm probably making some major mistakes, but I think it's turning out well so far.
One major piece of advice for anyone else thinking about attempting a slipcover is to definitely use a fabric pencil to mark out where you want to sew. This was tremendously helpful:
After working on the tops of the chair, the next step was to add in the back and front panels. Here, I've laid the fabric inside-out, which is the way it lays while I'm measuring out the pieces and pinning it together.
And here I've sewn it together and have it turned right side out.
It's certainly not perfect. There are a few places where the fabric is a bit bunchy. But I really am kind of proud of myself so far.
Here's the back:
And the side (this picture was taken before sewing on the side panel):
And the top. You may notice that there's no hint of piping. The first time I attempted piping was last Christmas when I made an advent calendar for my family. It turned out pretty well and was much easier than I expected it to be, but I totally chickened out in front of the sewing machine with this project. I literally sat down to sew and decided right then and there that the piping was not going to happen. And I'm glad I did. I think I might have pulled my hair out trying to get that piping in there, and I think it looks okay without it. Not stellar, but again, I will totally dress this chair up with some pillows and/or a throw.
So that's kind of where I'm at right now. This is the kind of project that I can work on for a few days, but then I have to take several off to recuperate. Any of you like that? So it's a little slow-going. But I'll be posting more pics as it finishes up. I"m getting pretty close -- just need to complete the bottom of the chair and slipcover the cushion.
If any of you know what you're doing in this arena, any advice is greatly appreciated!
Thanks for reading!