June 10, 2011

more slipcover adventures (and a whole bunch of pictures)

Sorry it's been several days since I gave you an update on the slipcover. I've been spending every second of my free time trying to finish it up and just haven't had  time to edit and upload the pictures.

But here, we go. The last post covered the arms and the seat. All that is left for the body of my slipcover is the front of the arms and the skirt.

Since I decided to pipe around my arm fronts, the first step is making your piping. Super easy. You just need cording and a 2" wide strip of your fabric. The length depends on how much piping you will need. I ended up using about 20 yards for this couch (including arm fronts, skirt and cushions). Just place your cording in the middle of your strip of fabric and fold the two ends of your fabric together then run it through the machine. It's a little boring to sew a straight line for 20 yards, but it's easy, mindless work.

Once you have your piping, then you can start the arm fronts. As usual, make sure your fabric is inside out (wrong side facing the furniture) and start pinning. If you use piping, your piping should go in between your two pieces of fabric. Think of it as making a sandwich. And making sure the raw edge of your piping is going in the same direction as the raw edges of your other pieces. Pin along the curves and as you get to the bottom of your arm you will transition to pinning the arm front to the seat of your couch/chair (instead of to the body of the arm).
If this all sounds confusing, I apologize. It's not exactly easy to type these instructions. If you are a visual person, like me, check out Miss Mustard Seeds video series. It makes so much more sense when you can watch someone doing it.

And here is the best tip I will probably ever give you. It will save you countless hours of frustration and seam ripping. Buy yourself a piping foot for your machine!! I didn't even know they existed when I slipcovered my chair. I used my zipper foot because that's what was recommended to me. It was a horribly, frustrating experience that resulted in a lot of seam ripping and some piped arms that still bug me every time I look at them. Miss Mustard Seed uses her zipper foot and it seems to work for her because her piping looks beautiful, but I am not nearly as talented and for me the zipper foot was not working. So if you are more of a beginner in sewing, spend the $12 and purchase the piping foot. I would have paid 5x that for the convenience it brought me!

Here is the finished result with the piped arms. They aren't perfect. But I am happy with them and they are a million times better than the piped arms I did on my first slipcover!

Here's a close up. Ignore the wrinkles. I don't believe in ironing. I figure the wrinkles will eventually fall out. ;)

So, onto the skirt. This was my first skirt attempt. I did not add a skirt when I slipcovered my chair. And I decided I wanted to add pleats on the corners for this one (never done those either) so it was all a big experiment for me, but that's half the fun, right?!
The picture below shows the skirt all pinned (and of course everything is inside out).

It's hard to see the pleat on the corner because it's inside out, but if you look closely you can see the little rectangle on the corner. I pinned and sewed the pleats first before I pinned the whole skirt.

Here's a close up of the finished skirt and one of the corner pleats. Again, nothing perfect here. But I like it. Who wants perfect anyways? ;)

I don't get all precise about measuring the length of the skirt. I hem my edge first and then as I'm pinning the skirt I just eyeball the length at the bottom and pin accordingly. Again, perfection is not my goal.

If you want perfection, I think reupholstering is the way to go. Slipcovers are never going to be perfectly fitted and 100% precise. For me, that's part of the appeal.

So the  body of my slipcover is done! All I have left is the 2 cushions.

I finished one cushion last night and hopefully the other will be done by tonight. So the final reveal is coming soon! Stay tuned.....


  1. oh my goodness! that slip cover is AWE-to-the-SOME! ;) I just looked at all the pics and had to tell you. now I'm going to actually read the post. :)

  2. Thanks Cat! Can't wait to help you on yours!


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