I bought this pair of french styled chairs at an auction a few weeks ago. (Only one is pictured, but they are a matching pair.) I was in love with the lines, the style, the down seat cushion…not the fabric so much, but that can be remedied. Those chairs were coming home with me and I kept raising the amount that I would pay for them. Only $50 for the pair…maybe $80…is $100 too high? At the auction I was certain that everyone in the room was going to bid on those chairs. When they went up “on the block” the bid started at $10…yes, I’ll pay $10. And nothing happened. There was not a bidding frenzy, people weren’t throwing their paddles in the air. Could I get them for $10? Then a paddle went into the air…here we go…I’m ready, pal, you’re going to loose. He bid $15 and I bid $20…and it stopped again. Going…going…sold! Victory! Mine for $20…so, now I need to make them work in my house. So, here’s the before picture. I slipcover all of my furniture in white cotton twill. It’s cheap, it all matches, there’s no pattern to match up, and I can wash it and bleach it. I also like that I can move my furniture into any other room of the house and if I ever get tired of a color scheme, I don’t have to sew all new slipcovers. Most women gasp when they see my white slip covered furniture due to the fact that I have two toddlers, two cats, and teenagers hanging out at our house often. I wash them often and treat stains quickly. I am sold on slipcovers!
I started out making my own about 8 years ago. The first chair I did was half slipcover, half upholstery. (slipulstery) It was horrible. The second chair ( a slipper chair) was better. I learned how to do piping and buttons and then the slipcovers got even better. Sewing is not my favorite thing to do, but I love making my own custom curtains, pillows, and slipcovers, so I get exactly what I want. I didn’t take enough pictures of this process to do a full tutorial for you, so this is a little teaser.
1.) Start small and simple. This one is pretty curvy, plus it has the wood detail.
2.) Use a solid fabric, so you don’t have to worry about matching a pattern. Cotton twill is also easy to work with because you can make a small cut and then rip it the rest of the way. I work with blocks of fabric that are a little bigger than the space I want to cover. I then cut off the excess. No need to work with a pattern.
3.) Work in small sections. I slipcover by pin fitting everything to the chair. I put the right side of the fabric directly on the chair and pin the seam inside out. I sew the seam and then turn it right side out and make sure it fits on the chair. (Is that totally confusing?) Here’s a picture of the fabric pinned inside out on the chair…