Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Slip is Showing!

Got your attention, didn't I?

I now present....the slipcover project!
 There is a corner of my family room that needs a chair.  Not wants a chair, needs a chair.  Otherwise, it is just a strangely empty corner that throws the balance of the whole room.  Because I'm too cheap to actually spend money on furniture if I don't have to, I've had a wing chair from our front parlor filling the hole.

It's part of a set: two wingbacks and a sofa.  They are the best furniture purchase we never made.  We got them for free from friends in Connecticut who were ready to set them out on the curb.  Would I have made that fabric selection if I'd purchased them?  No, but I am not one to say no to free furniture that looks like it has never been sat upon.  Does that complicated floral pattern match my family room?  No, but I needed a chair and that one had to do.

Finally, one day, after searching online for inspiration, I said aloud, "I CAN MAKE A SLIPCOVER FOR THAT."

And then I nearly passed out from the effort of just saying I could make it.  After reviving myself, I decided that attempting to make a slipcover would be waaaaay more fun than helping the Bionic Man clean out the garage.  Besides, I had plenty of cheap canvas from dropcloths that I could use, without feeling too badly if I messed up and wasted a bunch of fabric.

So, I just kept referring to this picture from the Nester, and reading her blog post about slipcovering throughout the day for encouragement.
By Saturday night, I'd used every pin in the house, nearly said some bad words, had pricked my fingers mercilessly, and had talked my 11 year old into making dinner.  But I'd also made a slipcover!

It really was easier than that description makes it sound, just nerve-wracking for a novice like me.  I laid my oh-so-forgiving canvas over the chair, cut pieces out to "match" the various shapes of the chair, pinned those shapes together on the chair, basted the shapes together just in case the pins fell out, then took the pinned-together cover off the chair and sewed all the seams.  The beauty of the canvas is that there is no wrong or right side, so I could just flip the sewed pieces right-side-out, and throw it on the chair.

The Bionic Man was very impressed.  
As you can see, it's not quite done.  I haven't covered the seat cushion, yet.  I ran out of canvas. 
I need to decide on the length for these curtains in my dining room, so I can cut off the excess and use it to cover the cushion.
 Also, I didn't finish sewing up a couple of the seams before I tried it on the chair.  I was worried that it might not fit.
And, I'm definitely not done with the hemline.  I'm thinking a ruffle would be just the thing, there.  But hey, I've made enough progress now to know that I can do the rest.  I feel like such a smarty pants!

In fact, I'm pretty confident that I could make a slipcover for the other chair and it's matching couch, which live in our front parlor.
What do you think?  Should I do it?  The whole project has me thinking of creamy white board and batten and chocolate brown walls for this room.  Like in this room I found:
Let me know if you are interested in getting more detailed instructions with pictures if/when I slipcover the other chairs.  I didn't have a camera available while I was working, so I have no photographic proof that I actually did this.  Or a means of showing you how, for this post.

Okay, so remember how I told you the waterproof camera died?  Well, like Lazarus of old, it is back from the dead!  Actually, unlike Lazarus, the camera was not actually dead.  We had a package of defective batteries, apparently.  While this means, unfortunately, that I still stuck taking photos with a dumb ol' waterproof camera, it also means that the Bionic Man has started shopping for the kind of camera I want.  Probably because he's so impressed that I made a slipcover.


  1. PLEASE show us (me) how to do this!!! I soooo need to slipcover our couch and love seat . . . Can you come visit CT again soon? You constantly amaze me by the way!

  2. Great job! i'm, also, working on a wing chair slipcover right now.