How to sew furniture slipcovers

sew furniture slipcovers

Is your couch beginning to show wear and tear? Maybe you’ve cleaned and cleaned, but you just can’t get all of the stains out? However, when you start browsing through furniture stores, you start to experience sticker shock, right? Well, a simple and inexpensive solution is to make your own slipcovers. Yes, you can buy slipcovers, but even these can become quite pricey, and you may not get the fit that you’d like.

You don’t have to be a great seamstress or buy a pattern to create lovely, fitted slipcovers for your chairs and couches. The first step you need to take is to decide how much fabric you need. Take your tape measure and measure how many yards will be needed to cover the back, front, seats, sides, and any cushions and pillows of the piece of furniture you want to cover. Once you have measured, it is a good idea to plan on purchasing at least two or three more yards. You don’t want to run short on your material, especially if the material you are buying consists of remnants.

When it comes to selecting material, you should have many choices. If you really want to save money, check out the bargain tables. You don’t have to buy upholstery material to cover furniture. In fact, upholstery material is typically thicker and stiffer than other materials, and it can be more difficult to work with.

Drapery material works well, as does chintz and broadcloth. A great way to save money and at the same time purchase large amounts of material is to purchase bedsheets. If you find a style and color that you like, you can buy bedsheets many times cheaper than blocks of material. You can also search yard sales for old draperies. You might find some fabulous material at a bargain price.

It is a good idea to wash and dry your material before you begin cutting and sewing. Once you have bought your material and thread to match, you are ready to begin. You will need something to mark your material for cutting. Chalk works really well because it will wash off easily.

You want to begin covering the largest sections of your couch or chair first. Lay your material over the back of your furniture so that it covers the front and the back down to the floor, and draw a chalk line an inch wider than where you want your seams to go. Cut your material, following the chalk line, and place the cut material on the section that it will cover.

Now place your material over the seat section of the couch. If you want to cover your cushions individually for a more fitted look, you will need to remove them and lay them to the side for later. Draw lines on either side of the material an inch wider than where it will meet the sides. Cut this section, and place it back on the furniture. You can now pin your seat section to the section of material that covers the front and back of the furniture backrest. Sew these two pieces together.

Lay your sewn pieces in place on the furniture, and spread out your material to cover one side of the couch or chair. Drape the material so that it meets the sections you’ve already sewn and continued over the side and down to the floor. Mark where you need to cut, always allowing an extra inch for the seam, and cut the material. Repeat this same procedure for the other side.

Lay your side pieces in place, and pin them to the first section that you have sewn. You are now ready to sew your side pieces. You will need to decide how you want the front of your arm rests to look. If they are very wide, you might need to measure and cut an inset piece for each of them. If they are narrow, you can bring the extra material around the front and sew a seam down the middle, bringing the two sides together.

Once you have your furniture covered, you will need to decide how you want the bottom to look. You should have measured and cut all of your material so that it reaches the floor. You can then, simply hem up the bottom edges. If you want a ruffle, you can take excess material, gather it, and sew a ruffle around the bottom.

If you have pillows and cushions that need to be covered individually, lay your material flat, and place the pillow or cushion on top. Measure the cushion, then measure the material and mark it with your chalk. Be sure and allow an extra inch for your seams. Cut your material, place the backs together, and sew up three sides. Stuff your pillows with filling or place your cushions into the covers, fold your seams into each other, and sew the fourth side.

You can get as creative as you like. There are many beautiful trims and edgings available to embellish your material. You can add large buttons, ribbons, cording, and tassels to your cushions and slipcovers. When you have finished, step back and admire your new furniture!

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