Custom Slip Covered Antique Tufted Couturier’s Chair


February 12, 2015 by Terry

This post featured on Miss Mustard Seed’s Furniture Feature Friday

for February 20, 2015.

(Click on the logo to view)

Furniture Feature Friday

Slpi covered antique chair,desk redo, spring buds 183Since it has been too cold lately to be working in my “shop” (okay… it’s just my garage) I decided to work on a project that I’ve been wanting to do for a while now but never seemed to make a priority.  This little chair was in nice enough shape that I didn’t need to do anything to it right away.  I guess it didn’t bother me enough to inspire a transformation sooner than now.

I have never made a slipcover before, first of all I’m not a fantastic sewer with a lot of patience and secondly… I was a little intimidated with the “where to start” of it all.

Having said that, I decided to research it a little and looked up Miss Mustard Seed’s slipcover tutorial and watched all six parts.  If you are interested in making one for yourself I STRONGLY recommend you watch these short video tutorials first. It doesn’t take very long and you gain some very helpful tips.

As this is a tufted chair with many, many buttons and tufts, I felt it would be easier for me to slipcover this chair rather than reupholster it.  Plus the original upholstery is not in bad shape, nor is it offensive.  It is actually quite classy.  The only reason for me to change it is that it did not match the look I was wanting in having more light colored furniture.

Using a slipcover is also a great way to change up your furniture without committing to something that might just be a trend, and it can be expensive to have your furniture reupholstered.   I also like the idea of a slipcover when changing it up to a light colored fabric as you can remove it and wash as needed.  You can actually allow the kids to sit on it…. no stress! :0)

Moving on…

I started by making some custom piping.  Taking 1 1/2 inch strips of fabric and sewed it around cotton piping cord.  I used a zipper foot to get a nice close seam around the cord.

slipcovered bench and the making of the slipcovered chair 011slipcovered bench and the making of the slipcovered chair 010slipcovered bench and the making of the slipcovered chair 008I won’t get into a step by step tutorial with you as I didn’t take pics every step of the way.  Just watch the MMS Tutorial and you will get the jest of what I did.

I did decide to give my chair the “Terry” touch and make it a little fancier than just a plain slip cover with piping.  I pleated the areas of the chair that had the tufted details on the original fabric of the chair.  This took a very long time for me to do but I am glad I made myself be patient in sewing each pleat as it is what gives this slipcover it’s elegance!

slipcovered bench and the making of the slipcovered chair 030I also washed and dried my fabric BEFORE cutting and sewing it together.  This way you are ensured an always perfect fit after every wash of your slipcover.

Next, as in the video tutorial, I started with making the back of the chair first.  I made the back have a pleat down the vertical center as the chair is rather wide and I wanted to ensure that getting the slipcover on and off wouldn’t be a struggle.

slipcovered bench and the making of the slipcovered chair 020

I placed my previously pleated fabric where I wanted it to go with the right side down and pinned the piping and back piece together, following the shape of the chair as I went.

slipcovered bench and the making of the slipcovered chair 022

slipcovered bench and the making of the slipcovered chair 024Then once this was done I trimmed the excess material and sewed it all together.

slipcovered bench and the making of the slipcovered chair 027Then I turned it right side out and tried it on the chair to make sure I sewed evenly through all the layers and there were no gaps. You can see the original tufting and fabric of the chair in this photo.  (…of course I forgot to take a pic without the cover on it…)

slipcovered bench and the making of the slipcovered chair 021I continued on by pinning a piece of fabric to the front side the same as I pinned the back.  I made the front piece long enough to cover the seat and hang over the sides and front of the chair.  After sewing the pinned on front to the chair I tried it on the chair again to be sure all fit snug and well with no major defects.  You don’t want to do all that sewing and pinning just to have to take it all apart to fix later!  As long as you follow the pin lines as well as the cording you will get the exact shape of your chair.  I continued to use my zipper foot throughout the project as it sewed a beautiful seam up close to the piping for a professional look.

slipcovered bench and the making of the slipcovered chair 031 slipcovered bench and the making of the slipcovered chair 032Next I continued on to pinning the pre pleated fabric to the sides of the chair the same way as the front and back, pinning the side pleated fabric together with the piping and seat piece again following the shape of the chair.

This is where my “how to” pics end… I got so wrapped up in what I was doing I forgot to stop along the way and take more pics.

The last step was to pin on the bottom pleated skirt, sew it and then try to steam the whole cover to take out most of the wrinkles.  I didn’t completely remove all the wrinkles as I wanted a bit more of a relaxed feel… a  “it’s okay to sit on me” feel.

Here is the result…

Slpi covered antique chair,desk redo, spring buds 168Slpi covered antique chair,desk redo, spring buds 174Slpi covered antique chair,desk redo, spring buds 180Slpi covered antique chair,desk redo, spring buds 182Slpi covered antique chair,desk redo, spring buds 186Once again, my attraction to this chair is the turned legs and the wooden castors!  It just wouldn’t be as unique without these details.  I love the character they give!

Slpi covered antique chair,desk redo, spring buds 228Slpi covered antique chair,desk redo, spring buds 224Slpi covered antique chair,desk redo, spring buds 179

Slpi covered antique chair,desk redo, spring buds 168 Slpi covered antique chair,desk redo, spring buds 199 Slpi covered antique chair,desk redo, spring buds 192

The slipcover really needed the pleats to give it the same feel as the legs give it.  I like to think of it as a “relaxed fancy” without being stuffy or off limits!

Not too shabby for a first try!  I think I’m liking this just as much as upholstering!

Now that I’m not afraid of slipcovers anymore, I have also slip covered another piece of furniture in our home that has been long awaiting a makeover.  I will share more on that project next time!

Sometimes it really pays to step out of our comfort zone and try something new.  Everything is possible if you just try and who knows…you might just enjoy it!



Linking this pretty chair to:

Anderson & Grant

French Country Cottage

Miss Mustard Seed

Pink When

i should be mopping the floor

Under the table and dreaming by Stephanie Lynn

DIY Show Off

Stone Gable


37 thoughts on “Custom Slip Covered Antique Tufted Couturier’s Chair

  1. oh this is just gorgeous! What an undertaking, but wow! The results are well worth the effort. The pleating looks fantastic and really bumps it up a level.


    • Thank you Lindsey! I usually opt for upholstering as I’m not the best at sewing, but I’m happy with how this turned out…my next one will be better now that I have grasped the concept :0)
      Have a great weekend!


  2. lindaglovinghome says:

    Ok this is Too, too cute, lovely and just so darn charming. Love the pleats and piping. You did a fantastic job. The time making it was well worth it. Definitely custom! Kudos to you!


  3. Super Gorgeous! Love all the pleats and I am impressed! Fantastic


  4. amy says:

    That is one of the best slipcovers I have ever seen! Wow! Great sewing!


  5. What the what? Is there anything you can’t do? I’ll answer that. NO. there is nothing you can’t do. STUNNING. The End.


  6. GREAT job on that slipcover – I definitely see more of those in your future! Can’t wait to see the next one ;)


  7. Wow! This is really gorgeous! I love the way it turned down! Pinned! Thank you for sharing great tutorial!
    Hope you have a wonderful day!
    Hugs and love from Portugal,
    Ana Love Craft


  8. […] other day I showed you a chair that I had given a new look by sewing a slip cover for it.  (View that post here)  Having learned how easy it is to make a slip cover I started to look around the house to see if […]


  9. This is gorgeous! I’m so envious of people who can sew =)


    • Thank you Ali! This was shockingly easy to make. I’m not usually a sewer either so if I can make it anyone can. You should give it a try :0) Thank you for taking the time to comment! Have a great day!


  10. laurabrzegowy says:

    What a beautiful result, Terry!!


  11. […] pleated details on this slipcover made by Terry of The Curator’s Collection is absolutely to die for!  I love that this was made out of a humble drop cloth as well. […]


  12. Kimberly H. says:

    Absolutely gorgeous slipcover!


  13. Congrats on the MMS Feature!! Well-deserved :)


  14. Visiting from MMS’ feature on your chair. Kudos – you did an absolutely fantastic job, and it’s got great style!
    Rita C at Panoply


  15. Lori says:

    I can’t believe this was your first slipcover project. It is beautiful!! The pleats add all the difference. I’ll make sure yo watch the MMS videos. Can’t wait to see your next project


    • Thank you Lori! I can’t believe the results either! I forced myself to take the time and be patient on doing a good job and it really turned out great…especially for someone who doesn’t normally sew :)
      Thank you for taking the time to comment, I hope you have a great weekend!


  16. […] used this chair from The Curators Collection as inspiration, and decided to do lots of knife […]


  17. Cheryl Licht says:

    Hi Terry. First of, you do such BEAUTIFUL work! I have wandered on over to your site on a number of occasions and am always impressed with the quality of your work and how tastefully it is done. Well done. I recently started a blog, and wanted to share that this slipcover of pleated goodness was a piece that inspired me to take the time to do lots of pleats on an ottoman slipcover I did. (I love details like that!) I linked you in my post with the full credit of your genius work. :-) Well done!


    • Hello Cheryl!
      I am absolutely BLUSHING right now… You have completely made my day and I thank you with all my heart for the kind compliments.. I am truly humbled :0)
      I have visited your site and must say you have done a lovely job on your ottoman. Honored to be “linked”!

      LOOOOOVE your blog title!


  18. […] so long to make the pleats.  I pleated a seat cushion on a barrel back chair as well as made a slipcover with pleats and it makes for a unique piece.  I am also getting waaaay better at piecing the pleats […]


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