8 Simple Steps: How To Hand-Sew A Slipcover

image

This imperfect slipcover works perfectly!

Last week I shared with you this slightly worn writing desk chair I picked up at a church rummage sale awhile back. You can read more about it here.  It’s an occasional chair primarily used by me and I wanted a slipcover for it.  My sewing machine needed repair, so I hand-sewed one. By no means is this a professional instruction sheet, but these how-to tips should be helpful to you.

Pick the right fabric. Consider color, fabric weight, durability, care, and cost. Lines and patterns are more difficult to keep straight. I used a curtain made from cotton linen.  A solid, lightweight cotton fabric, pre-washed to prevent shrinkage may work best. Iron to remove wrinkles.

Plan where your seams will meet. Follow the chair’s upholstery seams to guide your decisions for cutting and pinning. I made the back of the chair first, then attached the seat fabric, and the skirt last.

Measure twice, cut once. Whoever came up with that advice is a genius! Begin by measuring the individual section you are working on.  Since I had plenty of fabric, and it was my first chair cover, I allowed for 2 extra inches on all sides in case of error.

image

Always pin inside out.  Turn the fabric with the underside facing up and drape over the backrest. Measure from the seat, up the front and down the backside, allowing for extra fabric to hang past the bottom back for your skirt, plus a 1″ to 2″ hem, and at least 1″ on the other three sides for pinning before marking and cutting. After cutting, drape the cut piece over the back again (underside up) and pin both sides to make seams. Keep the fabric slightly loose for easy removal, not taut. (If your fabric has a pattern or lines, you will need to turn the piece right-side out after pinning to check for straightness, or save yourself the trouble and use a solid.)

Stitch from the top down. With the fabric on the back of the chair (inside out and pinned) sew a straight stitch from the top down, removing pins as you stitch. Remove the fabric and turn inside out. It should resemble a “pillowcase”. Put the case back on the chair to check for fit and tightness of stitching. Backrest cover is finished. Remove the cover, turn inside out and put it back on the chair to add the seat fabric.

image

Add the seat to the back. Measure and cut the next piece, using the chairs seams to determine where to cut. Leave at least 2 extra inches on all sides as the extra fabric may be needed to allow for sitting. If the seat is too tight, it could tear when sat on. This extra fabric will come in handy as you pin the seat to the “pillowcase”, and later to the skirt. As you pin decide how tight you want the seat. Keep in mind, slipcovers are generally fitted slightly loose.  Stitch the seat fabric to the bottom of the backrest fabric.

image

Determine the length of skirt. Adjust the back and seat fabric onto the chair. Tuck in fabric where needed around the seat and allow for a little extra fabric for sitting without tear. Be sure to add the length to match the back of the chair, plus 1 or 2 inches for hemming.  Measure, cut and pin the skirt to the seat and back section fabrics, and stitch.

image

Finish with hem. Turn the slipcover right side out and place on the chair. Check for errors, tuck in the seat to the back and measure the length of the skirt all the way around and pin the hem under every inch or two. Remove the cover, press the hem down with a warm iron to give it a clean edge.  Once pressed, sew or fabric glue the hem and press again.  I used fabric glue to avoid seeing the thread around the skirt as it’s more difficult to hide here. Ironing is key to a nice looking hem and slipcover. Your slipcover is finished!

image

This slipcover is imperfectly perfect. It serves its purpose to protect and change the look of the chair, is easy to wash or bleach if necessary, and is an inexpensive solution to replacing a piece of furniture. The stitches look just as they did the day I made it. If they do come loose, I can re-stitch by hand or machine. It was a lot of fun and fairly easy to make.

If you decide to make a slipcover, I would love to see it! Please be sure to Like this page on Facebook for more easy DIY projects & crafts, simple recipes and daily encouragement.

image

 

8 Comments

  1. Pingback: Weekend Wandering | What I Loved This Week| Living Well Spending Less

  2. Pingback: Welcome to Fridays Unfolded #110! - Nancherrow

  3. Pingback: The One With All the Links (Vol. 11) (And how I hate 5 AM) | Notes from the Messy Beautiful

  4. Pingback: Sofa Slipcovers Made From Drop Cloths |

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: