Hello, all! I hope you had a great holiday weekend. We just got back from visiting Jeff’s family in Raleigh, which is always a fun trip. I had the chance to meet up with some readers for a day of flea-ing and antiquing and I’ll share all about that in another post.
Today, I am continuing the new slipcover series. You can see part one, the introduction and a tutorial on making custom piping, HERE. This series is a remake of one I did a few years ago, but my equipment, filming & editing skills and sewing know-how have improved a lot since then, so it was time for an update.
In this segment, I show how I cut and lay out the fabric for the slipcover. I have found it’s helpful to do this all at the same time, so I don’t run out of fabric mid-project, which has happened to me before, and I can go from pin-fitting and sewing one section right to the next. It just feels quicker.
You know those diagrams showing the pieces for a slipcover cut out of a length of fabric? Well, I don’t do one of those. It’s just too much thinking and math. I want to get going on the project, not relive my mediocrity in geometry.
So, I am generous with the amount of yardage I get (I can always use excess for pillows or small sewing projects) and I cut and place the fabric on the chair before I start sewing. While I stink at precise geometry, I’m a champ at estimating and flying by the seat of my pants (I’ll have to add that to my resume) and this method has always worked out.
Since I’ve made a lot of slipcovers for chairs, I know I need 2-3 hemp sheets for a wing chair or about 6-8 yards of 54″ wide fabric. Most people suggest 6, so I get 7-8 for a little wiggle room and insurance. You’d also be surprised how much fabric you need for custom piping and a pleated or ruffled skirt.
If you’re using a drop cloth or a textile that already has finished edges, use those to your advantage! Make your cuts to use those finished edges and save yourself some hemming.
Since it’s easier to show & tell you than it is to type it all out, here’s how I cut and piece my fabric…
It gets exciting as you’re laying the fabric out, because you can start to see the slipcover take shape before any stitches have been made.
Next up, I’m going to show how to use the chair as a “dress form” to make a perfectly fitting slipcover. We’ll start pin-fitting the back and wings of the chair…