Remember the French-style chairs I purchased for our kitchen eating area last fall?  Here’s a reminder of what they looked like…

I knew when I purchased them that I would eventually make a slipcover for the seats and reupholster the backs.  I can have some light-colored upholstery in the house, but I knew it was not going to survive in our main eating area long term.

And it didn’t.  Even Jeff pointed out how spotty they were getting and that’s saying a lot.

They finally got so bad that it was time.

I used a checked fabric called Zippy in the color Lakeland by P Kaufmann for the seat slipcover and the front of the back.  The back of the chair is upholstered in an antique grain sack.

Now, I goofed on the fabrics a bit.  Not a big deal, but I was actually planning on using the larger scale check for these chairs and I forgot my plan!

When I looked at the fabric I had ordered, it appeared that I had a ton of the small-scale check, so I figured I was mis-remembering my plan to use the large-scale check and I used the small instead.  Well, I got halfway through cutting out all of my pieces and, as I’m rolling out the fabric, there is a bunch of the large-scale check under the roll of the small!  Ah!  Not only had I used the wrong fabric, but now I didn’t have enough of it.

I ended up going with it, though.  I had already cut and sewed all of the piping, double-welting, and the ties and I wasn’t doing all of that work over again.  I order the additional yardage of the small-scale check that I needed.

I think the small scale works well on the chair, but it has a bit more of a 1990’s country vibe than I intended!  There are no ducks or bears or mauve or hearts, so it doesn’t look as much like that in the context of the room.  Especially on that style of chair, it looks more French country.

And, would you believe that I used the wrong grain sack as well?  I had bought a roll of grain sack to use and I didn’t notice it until after this one was cut and stapled to two of the chairs.  Again, it works fine, so I just went with it.  Clearly, I need to write down by plans and label fabric, so I can keep things straight.  This is one downside of being a “flitter”.  (If you don’t know what that means, read THIS POST.)

It’s all straight now, though, and I have other plans now for the large-scale check.

The chair covers are slips, so they are removable and washable.  The advantage to the small-scale check is that it’s a little busier and that will hide the inevitable spills and stains between washings.

I finished three of the chairs and I reserved the final one to make a tutorial for those who want to make similar chair covers or reupholster a seat back.  I hope to work on that tomorrow.



  1. Jill

    Ducks bears and mauve hearts! 😂😂😂

  2. Donna

    I think you will appreciate the “oops, wrong fabric” much better, will definitely hide those spills and stains. And in the context of everything else going on around it, does not look country. Keep Flitting Away! FLITTERS UNITE! I will be flitting this weekend. 😉

  3. Angie

    I love that check and I am having a living room chair reupholstered in it as well as making pillows for the sofa. It does remind me of fabric I had in the 80’s and 90’s but on the right pieces, like your dining chairs and my living room chair, it has more of an updated European country look. I am looking forward to your new tutorial. Thanks so much!

  4. Linda

    So pretty, even if it was a mistake. Checks of any kind are my favorite. Happy Thursday

  5. Kim

    Smaller scale is better for hiding stains! Plus it looks charming and feminine, and very European. Some things are classics, even if they were popular in the ’70s or ’80s! 🙂

  6. Mary in VA

    Girl, you are on a roll! I love this small check fabric, the chairs look awesome, and yes won’t show stains as badly. Looks great!

  7. Sarah

    A beneficial mistake.
    Love to see tutorial on the chair……have a chair in the wings!

  8. Heidi Dallas

    Pretty! I will look forward to your tutorial! Have a blessed day!
    _Heidi from Ohio

  9. Annelies


    Thanks for the inspiration.

  10. Victoria

    So the large scale fabric is from the same source? : ) ALWAYS need a good source for checks of a larger scale and I LOVE this one that has a more linen-ny fleck in it!!

  11. Barbara H.

    Oh, I so agree with the others that in the long run the small check will probably work better for you. They look great. I look forward to the tutorial.

  12. Jane

    I think the small scale is better suited for the chairs. You know what they say, everything happens for a reason. Try scotchguarding everything . It will keep them cleaner longer.

  13. Linda

    I think they turned out wonderful, small checks and all. I know how it is when you have a vision and then work around an oversight, but honestly think they are very current and not 1990ish at all. By the way, did my share of mauve and duck decorating, but instead of bears went overload with pineapples. LOL

    • Marian Parsons

      LOL…oh, yes! The pineapples. I was just in middle school, but I loved homes that were decked out in country garb. We had some of it, but my mom always leaned more traditional. 🙂 Funny how things come and go.

  14. Kare

    LOVE them !

  15. Kathy

    Well that is very perky, love them!

  16. Lorna

    Success by default! That’s my middle name. lol I look forward to your tutorial as I have been wanting to make some dining room slipcovers with ticking fabric. I especially love the large ties. The fabric you used looks very durable and yes it will hide any spots better than the larger scale check. BTW It’s not dated in any sense of the word. It’s fresh and pretty and even practical which I love even more.

  17. Lisa from MY

    Will you give more detail about making those slips? It’s time for my chairs to be redone also and I like this plan.

    Thank you!

  18. Brenda L Wilson

    Love the chair covers!

  19. Helen

    Now that you are just about finished making your slipcovers, do you want to make slipcovers for my 6 dining room chairs? Your chairs are beautiful!

  20. Vickie White

    Oh I’m on board with the smaller checks. I think the scale is just right for those chairs……

  21. Diane

    Love that the bows are so outsized! They make the slipcovers seem very custom. I’ll take my blue/white check in any size…………..

  22. Elizabeth St

    You are so funny with your misremembered plans and hidden stashes of fabric! Good for you for just going with the flow, one of your many admirable talents.

    Don’t change a thing about the way you work. The looseness leaves lots of room for serendipity to slip in and guide you to ideas you didn’t even know you had. (Oh, the drama of it all.)

    The large-check fabric is lovely, but I agree about the smaller check being more practical on a chair that has already proven to be a food magnet.

  23. Claire

    Can you share a link or links on where we can buy antique grain sack fabrics?

  24. Kathleen Stoll

    I love it! ☺️
    And I need this
    and I want it! Aren’t I demanding
    Thanks for the inspiration❤️ ❤️

  25. Kim

    I remember those white geese!! So glad their gone and buried!!

  26. Carolyn

    This is lovely as always! I do love the rug in this room. Could you tell us where to buy this one? It’s color and texture are so perfect. Thank you!

  27. Joan

    Dear Marian!
    I LOVE the look of your chairs,the blue check and the flouncing and ties to me looks dreamy! a classic french country/part castle/french chalet..! and the grainsack back oh my, the combination is gorgeous!
    It’s amazing to me, how you get so much done, must be part being a flitter! It sure works for you!
    In the 90’s I had pineapples kitchen wallpaper, AND macrame, with lots of plants,… with all white farmhouse
    still love to add touches of plants and macrame is back again!

    • Rita

      Pineapples are back again as well – fabric, décor, everywhere. Yes, even macramé. As for this, I think it definitely has that European/French style. So pretty.

  28. sue

    Oh my gosh so glad I’m just a flitterer not attention deficit! Must have missed that post so went back to check it out! Cute chairs love the mistake!

  29. Susan

    The ruffles make it look very country, a pleated drop would tone it down a lot.

  30. harriett

    Kinda country cute.

  31. Debbie

    I just purchased the larger check, “Check Please” in Lakeland, by P. Kaufmann, planning to make throw pillows for my older sofa! Glad to see the smaller check that coordinates with it!! Love that you “flit”… least you get SOMEthing done!! Some of us “flitters” just “piddle”.

  32. Kim

    I found it useful to make slipcovers that were washable or if I fell in love with something impractical; I would scotch guard the daylights out of it. If there was a spill, it would bead up and I could wipe it clean.

  33. Patrice

    I think the “mistake” is a better choice for a smaller framed chair with feminine lines.

    I like buffalo check…but it has to be big…like a buffalo…. 90″ draperies… 90″ sofas… wallpaper, etc

    I love the lil checks and I think they look great on the back of the chair.

  34. Jeannie

    Love the covers. I always had problems with the ties pulling loose.

  35. Cindy A Redman

    They’re adorable! I’ll always love gingham checks…

  36. Ashlea

    Love em!! Love the finish on the wood of those chairs too. Ruffles are my favorite 🙂

  37. Sharon Rexroad

    The scale of the checks is perfect for the scale of the stripes in the oops used the wrong grainsack backs!

  38. PJ

    Delightful! I always think in terms of maintenance and stain hiding abilities so, for me, the smaller check would have been my choice from the start.

  39. Debbie

    I’ve always been a flitter too, leaning toward ADD. Sadly, the older you get, the less the flitter method works. It’s best to get used to writing everything down. Lists, lists lists and a great big organizer book. And labels…….

  40. Yvonne

    Love,love,love blue & white no matter what size the checks are❤️ Perfect!!!

  41. Alice

    Love the covers for your chairs! Was just getting ready to ask how you made them when you mentioned working on a tutorial. Anxious to see it! You are amazing and very talented!

  42. Carol S

    Wow, those turned out beautifully! Great job. Can’t wait for the tutorial. Looks very complicated to me. Thanks for sharing!

  43. Frances

    I think the small check (we call it gingham here in the south) works really well with the scale and femininity of the chairs Marian. I think the larger pattern would have been too heavy for them. They say things work out the way they do for a reason, and I often have these kind of moments in my art studio. I love that you’re willing to share your ‘mistakes’.
    I didn’t get a 90s vibe at all, but I don’t know how I could in your lovely home. You have such a distinct style.
    I can’t wait for the tutorial, though I find the thought of upholstery very overwhelming. My desk chair is a 70/80s era wing back (maybe?) with rattan sides that has 2 different really ugly fabrics on it. I saved the top of a red velvet comforter I bought years ago that came apart and I envision it on this chair, but wouldn’t know where to start.
    Thanks for another inspirational snapshot into your home. I’m thinking about chairs in the dining room and breakfast nook now…

  44. MaryLisa Noyes

    I like the small check much better! Chairs look terrific!!

  45. Carolyn

    Where did you find the grain sack fabric? Love it!

  46. Carolyn

    Where did you find the grain sack fabric? Love it!

  47. Marlene Stephenson

    They look really nice and i love your fabric. i need to make some slipcovers for my chairs, no one uses them except holidays when my family gets together but those grandchildren can sure dirty thing up fast,lol!

  48. DeAnne

    Gingham, ruffles and grain sack. Perfect. Everything you touch turns out beautiful.

  49. Debra Hayes

    They look great. I’m looking forward to your tutorial, as i’ve Always wanted to make slip covers for my rather ugly dinning room chairs. Thank you. Debra

  50. Louise

    I love them and look forward to seeing how you made the seat covers. That’s my color too. Thanks for sharing.

  51. Michelle H

    I had thought 90s as well when I saw it on instagram, but in a good I love it way, not a ducks, bears and mauve way! I think your “mistakes” were a marvelous bit of luck. Because the big check was a bit too oversized for these chairs. Well done! And I want to thank you for your tutorials. I used one to make a drop cloth cover for a $5 wingback chair that I will be leaving behind when I PCS back to the states, and my mom saw it on her visit here and thought I did a good enough job that she’s giving me 2 as a replacement for when I return! :).

    While we haven’t gotten to enjoy Germany yet, I have developed a deep love of South Korea that I imagine will stay with my family like Germany has stayed with you.

  52. martineBE

    Magnifique. I was looking for tutorial for same chairs. I am waiting for yours. Thanks for sharing.
    I don’t have your talent so It’s always a pleasure to read your blog.
    From countryside of Belgium

  53. Cari

    Hi…I love your seat covers and both blue checks are great…2 questions…what do you plan to do with the larger check…and what’s the name of it and where can I get it?

  54. Jamy Parworth

    Absolutely gorgeous! I’m with you that the larger buffalo check would have been a lot less forgiving at the dinner table Lol! I actually happen to have a stash of what I call “homespun” from the 90’s you’ve just reminded me about. I’ll definitely consider that the next time I do a set of chairs. Which is often. I have what you call a chair issue! Lol! Thanks for sharing!

  55. Cari

    Your chairs look beautiful…either blue check would have been just fine with me! Is the larger check also a Kaufman fabric…what is it’s specific name and color?

    • Marian Parsons

      Yes. It’s also in the color Lakeland and the pattern is “Check Please”.


    The small check paired with the grain sack material looks so nice! I love what you have done! It is so French Country and goes so nicely in your gorgeous home! Marian, you do such a fabulous job with everything you do! Thanks, too, for always giving us such easy to follow instructions. Bless you!

  57. Suzanne

    They look so pretty! That was a happy accident…very chic, and not at all 1990s country in the context of all your lovely things.

  58. Susan

    Wow. I love it!
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  59. Roz

    Love the chairs and many thanks for the tutorial video of how to do the chair backs. I always wondered how they were done. You said you made slip covers for the seat, but I don’t know how that works did you just tie the covers over the existing seat bases? Do you have a video of how you made these please? Love everything you do. You are so talented and give rise to us lesser mortals who are only entering this upholstery DIY !!

  60. Rose

    Did you post the tutorial for the chair covers? Love the look, just what I’m looking for



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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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