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)
Since 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)
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.
I 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!
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.
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.
Then 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…)
I 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.
Next 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…
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: