Friday, February 5, 2016

Adventures with Slipcovering

We have some old, comfortable chairs I inherited from one of my college friends (thanks, Jill!). I had sewn some very simple covers for them in college using cheap fabric that looked a bit like mattress fabric. But they were neutral and durable and they didn't clash with the other furniture in our college house. I kept that same fabric on them when Dan and I put them in our Baltimore row house, but over the past number of years and small children, they were looking pretty worn out.

We recently finished painting our living room (!!!), bought a sofa we liked and moved furniture into it. We decided to keep using these old chairs until we figure out what we'd like to replace them with. I do like things to look nice together, so I decided to recover them with some new fabric. They aren't amazing, but I'm pleased with how they turned out. I sewed the slip covers differently than I had the previous time, and it works better. I hand stitched one side on each cover. I thought this might take longer and be more tedious, but never underestimate how quickly work can go while watching a good TV show.

Here they are with the old fabric on them. I had basically sewn a pillow case-like cover with one long flap that I secured with upholstery screws.

My first fabric selection was pretty, but it really didn't look that nice with the couch or the wall color, so I just decided to consider this my "muslin".  This fabric would look nice on accent chairs, but I didn't really want to draw too much attention to these chairs. They aren't meant to be a focal point in the room. So back to the fabric store I went. We have a great interior fabric warehouse about 25 minutes away. Hundreds of rolls of fabric at discounted prices. So much better than buying online with samples or ordering through another store. I like being able to see the bolt in person.

And here is the finished product. I'm pleased with how it turned out. It's nice to have fresh. clean fabric that goes well with the new sofa and paint. I toyed with the idea of completely re-upholstering them, as opposed to making slip covers. Meaning, I would take off the original fabric, piping and buttons and re-do each of them. I decided that would be too much work - and work I'm not very experienced with - for this project. I just covered the whole cushion instead, and you can't even tell that I covered up piping and buttons.

I know the theories of making sure fabric patterns match up when re-upholstering and slip covering (it's one of the signs of good upholstery work), so I tried to be really careful to make sure I had the patterns going the same direction on top and bottom cushions. I even made sure that the placement of both top cushion pieces were the same. However, after cutting out the pieces, I realized I probably should have placed the fabric differently so that the pattern was more centered on a certain motif. But by that point, I had cut almost all the pieces and would have had to purchase more. Oh well. 

And just for fun, this is the fabric I got for our living room drapes. I am not sure when I'll get around to making them, but I like seeing the roll in my sewing room whenever I walk past. I'm a sucker for bright colors when it comes to curtains.

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