Finally tried to make some slipcovers....

bestyearsJuly 25, 2010

Thought I'd start with dining room chairs, since they just seemed inherently easier. I have sewn for years and years. But for some reason I've always been so intimidated by slipcovers. Finally after spending time on blogs where the gutsier women just dove in and tried it, I thought, "You know what, just do it...!" Now on to the couch!

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cyn427

Fantastic! They look great! As one who gave up sewing in college (40 years ago-ouch) and even gave away her machine 20 years ago when it became painfully obvious that it was simply a dust collector, I am in awe of all of you.

Now...on to your couch! Can't wait to see pics.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 11:58AM
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bleigh

Those are beautiful!! Would be so pretty with a sash tied on during the holidays...sorry, I'm always thinking of holiday decorating.

I'll have to get on the ball when we move and make my slipcovers for my dining chairs. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 12:47PM
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cooperbailey

Fabulous job! Looking forward to the rest of your slipcovering adventures!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 1:04PM
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les917

Very pretty, and nicely done.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 1:06PM
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bestyears

Oh you all make a girl feel so proud! LOL! Especially since DH and DS looked completely nonplussed... thank goodness for DD!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 1:13PM
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nanny2a

Lovely job, BY!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 1:18PM
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bonnieann925

Best Years, they look like a pro made them, really! You've got talent!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 1:24PM
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WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8a

WOW! Simply lovely!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 2:00PM
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bac717

Love them! Especially the pleats on the bottom. I'm curious, tho. What do the chairs underneath look like? What kind of fabric did you use?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 2:16PM
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debnj3

Byears, Your room is gorgeous and the slipcovers are just beautiful. I am just getting back to sewing myself and like you, stayed away from slipcovers. Did you use a pattern? I have ladder back chairs and would love to cover them, you have inspired me.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 2:19PM
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forhgtv

Those look great! I am in awe!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 2:21PM
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graywings123

Love the flirty pleats! Great job!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 3:14PM
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pps7

Looks fabulous!!! Do you take orders? I've got a sofa and loveseat that need slipcovers :)

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 5:24PM
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bestyears

The chairs underneath are just a simple dark wood, with two vertical pieces running up the back, extending from the seat up to the top of the chair back. I used a wonderful fabric, from a home dec store, which was called, 'canvas' on the tag. It is softer than I think of canvas, but nevertheless, that's what they called it. Best of all it was on sale for $5.99/yard (took about a yard and a quarter per chair). It was just a dream to work with, and I loved the feel of running my hand over it.

I didn't use a pattern, I just measured well, and wrote everything down. Also, I prewashed the fabric so I could really make it the right size. Essentially, one long piece of fabric extends from the front of the chair, across the chair seat to the back, up the inside of the back, and down the outside of the back. I then joined a 4" apron to it, just easing around the corners. My chair seats are trapezoid. I found it very easy to just use a pencil to rub the border around three edges of the seat, and that was my stitching line. Then I took another four inch wide strip, hemmed it, and then pressed in the pleats. I stitched the pleats in place before I joined it to the apron. The pleated strip sewed easily onto the apron, and voila, I was done! Easier than I thought it would be...

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 5:32PM
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nicole__

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 5:32PM
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kitchenkelly

Love the contrast against that dark wood. Bravo!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 5:33PM
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alohamillion123

LOVELY!~~ Great job!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 5:48PM
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cooperbailey

any zippers or fasteners?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 6:36PM
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bestyears

No zippers or fasteners. They just slip right over the top of the chair...

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 6:38PM
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bungalow_house

Nice. That is a room with personality!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 6:54PM
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rucnmom

Your slipcovers are fantastic! I, too, love the pleats.

I noticed my favorite painting of all time "Daughters of Edward Darley Boit" on the wall. I was thinking of making a pilgrimage to the MFA but alas, that beautiful work is on loan to another museum for a Singer exhibition! It is magnificent in the flesh - or canvas I should say!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 7:50PM
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justgotabme

Great job ! I love them.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 7:57PM
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rucnmom

Of course that was "Sargent" not "Singer" - must have had the sewing part of my post taking over most of my brain!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 8:17PM
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juddgirl2

Wow! They look great! I wish I could do that.

From what I can see, your dining room is lovely.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 1:04AM
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vampiressrn

Great job...and the fabric looks wonderful. You are like me, in that I seldom use a pattern, just measure and sew. I am looking forward to your couch slipcover...YOU GO GIRL!!!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 1:21AM
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loribee

So pretty! GOOOOOD for you!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 5:28AM
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spring-meadow

How pretty! As is your room.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 5:41AM
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elle3

Best years, your chairs look great! I admire you for tackling pleats on your first attempt. Can't wait to see the couch :)

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 6:10AM
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newdawn1895

This might seem like a dumb question. But do you have to know how to sew to make slipcovers? Do you have to use a sewing machine? I know how to measure and thread a needle what else do you have to know?

Gosh those are great looking, really really nice.

.....Jane

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 6:42AM
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caminnc

i LOVE them!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 9:13AM
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daisychain01

Bestyears, I know you've been around awhile, but I don't remember seeing other pics of your home. It looks gorgeous. Do you have other pics to share?

I went the other way doing my sofa first and it was so exhausting, I'd all but given up on doing the dining room chairs. Seeing yours has inspired me to unroll that 10 yards of duck cloth I've had stashed under my bed. Great job!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 9:58AM
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bestyears

Jane, not a dumb question... You *could* do them sewing by hand, but you would have to really stitch that seam well. I would look on CL for a machine you can afford -even post a 'looking for ..." ad if you don't see one. Soooo many people have machines just gathering dust at home....

rucnmom -yes, I love that print. It has always reminded me of growing up with two sisters.

juddgirl2 -you CAN do this! Honestly, I thought it would be so much more difficult than it it was.

Everyone else -THANK you!!

I've attached a link to the blog that finally pushed me off the edge of the cliff to just do it. She's got some great CL sofas she redid too...

Here is a link that might be useful: Here's a blog that inspired me a lot...

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 9:59AM
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rjinga

VERY nice job!!! very pretty.

Jane,
if you dont have a machine, consider looking for one at a local antique store/mall. I know of several old sewing tables in our mall and the machines are intact. I also know of at least one reputable/talented sewing machine repair shop in town who could probably give it a tune up. Maybe you have the same in your area. OR even consider calling a repair shop for a reasonably priced refurb. or older model machine.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 11:54AM
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gastroc

You did a beautiful job! The room is absolutely gorgeous as well.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 2:01PM
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megpie77

Oh so lovely! You did an amazing job. I have been wanting to make slipcovers but have yet to learn how to sew. My husband knows how to. I think now he will HAVE to teach me. Thanks for the inspirational link. Please show us the couch when you're done!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 4:47PM
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mrsmarv

You did a very nice (and neat) job on the slipcovers. Slipcover sewing can be a bit intimidating to those who have never attempted it, but once you do it a couple of times, you discover that it's pretty straightforward.
I have made fitted slipcovers for two sofas, the first time with no pattern and the second using a plaid (shoot me LOL). I made my own piping, which turned out to be tricky at first because the fabric is cut on the bias.
The one piece of advice I can give you is to make your pattern out of muslin first, rather than trying to make the pattern in one step from your fabric. This will alleviate mistakes and alot of frustration and tears.

"It is magnificent in the flesh - or canvas I should say!"

The Daughters of Edward D. Boit is magnificent in real life. The canvas is (I believe) 8'x8' and is so impressive that when you enter the gallery where it's normally housed, one sees nothing except that painting. As you can see from my pic below, it's one of my all-time favorites, too.
We've been to the MFA many times and each time we visit I make sure to go "visit the daughters". The last time we visited Boston and went to the museum the Albrecht Durer exhibit was there. We were awe-struck and mesmerized.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 6:11PM
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redbazel

Gorgeous! You did good and they look amazing!

Red

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 9:36PM
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bepeace

I was feeling a little overwhelmed with the amount of upholstery I have to do, but your chairs look so beautiful, I may slipcover some pieces instead! Thanks for the blog link too - very helpful!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 2:44AM
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bestyears

Gosh, you all are way too kind about that room.... Everyone was too polite to ask, "What the heck is that think in front of the platter" on the buffet?!?!? Well, that's my husband's barometer -apparently there are people in this world who care about that kind of thing, and I happen to be married to one of them. He's always moving it around the house, and is deaf to my rolled eyes and protests of, "there?".... Ahh well... it won't be there long.

Glad some of you liked that blog -It really helps me to get motivated when I view blogs and see what other people have done. Much more so than magazines, just seems so doable.

To the poster who asked about other house pictures...(thank you, I'm not sure it's all that terrific, but thank you for asking!) I have some of our kitchen which we redid last year, and I'm pretty happy with it.

Here's where the kitchen started.....(we lived with that for wayyyyy too long)

And this is where we ended..... It was a fun room to do, though we did it on a small budget. The island was a $100 find on CL, and then we got a butcherblock top for it. The display piece is actually a Christophe Lowell office armoire, which houses my pc and files, also from CL. And the table was another $100 CL find! The sink and cabinet hardware if from IKEA.

Costa Esmeralda granite on countertops (I LOVE this!)

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 10:49AM
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