First Drop Cloth DR Chair Slipcover Finished!

WMA89August 3, 2014

I bought a beautiful Baker furniture cherry dining room table on Craig's List a couple of years ago. I wasn't sure I was going to keep the chairs that came with the table--I didn't like the upholstery and wasn't too crazy about the style of the chair. But after using them for a while I discovered they were incredibly comfortable and a good scale for my fairly small dining room. I decided to play up their curves and cottage style by adding white seat slipcovers. I've procrastinated about this project forever, because other than pillows and a few cushions, I've never done any upholstery or slipcovering. I loosely followed the tutorial on Miss Mustard Seed's blog. This one took me about 3 hours. Next ones will go much quicker. Here's the slipcover and the chair before:

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graywings123

Very nice! Well done! I love the choice of fabric.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 4:31PM
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bac717

Oh my, that's great! I love the chair and it looks fabulous with a slipcover.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 4:36PM
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Olychick

From someone who really doesn't know how to upholster, it seems like you are being much too modest - that looks very impressive! Darling chairs and the fabric looks like it will work wonderfully with other elements in your home.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 4:49PM
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cyn427

Bac took the words right out of my mouth! Additionally, I am very impressed that you accomplished it without any experience. Wow oh wow. When you finish all the chairs, will you give us a glimpse of them around the table? I absolutely love the way it looks now. Amazing transformation!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 4:54PM
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theclose

Looks great! Love it.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 5:11PM
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romy718

I love the style of the chair & the slipcover is lovely-very impressed your reupholstery skills.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 5:22PM
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patty_cakes

That's awesome! And your a 'first timer' to boot!! What a pretty room too, from what I can see. I think we have the same rug~mostly dark gray/beige with a little bit of blue? Tuesday Morning? Just wish I could have gotten a larger size, but it works within the 'boundaries' of the sofa/loveseat/trunk(coffee table)set up.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 5:23PM
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lascatx

Those chair seats look like they would come right off if you wanted to do them without the skirt. Seats usually have a screw in each corner that holds them in from underneath. You can then take off the old fabric or often leave it. The new fabric just goes over and gets stapled in place underneath.

I'm just mentioning that because the sewing you are doing to make the skirts is a lot more work than recovering. Skirts can be taken off and washed. Either way, what fun to use a drop cloth! I had to open the thread and see if the seats had paint too. ;) That could be fun for breakfast room seats with young kids.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 5:57PM
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Fun2BHere

That pleated cover is darling and really adds a lot of charm to the chairs. It's hard for me to believe you aren't a professional seamstress.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 6:12PM
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caminnc

Love it, good job!!!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 6:15PM
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finallyhome

Very well done!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 6:17PM
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WMA89

Thanks, everyone. I was pleased at this first effort--a bit of a learning curve due to my relative inexperience--but it was a good mental challenge. Pattycakes, I got the rug on Overstock and I love it. It's in my living room and I also wish I bought the larger one when I had the option. Lascatz, the seats on these chairs are fully upholstered with springs (which is why they're so comfortable!), so removing them for recovering wasn't an option. Cyn47--I will definitely post a picture of the chairs around the table when I'm done (and I consider your request motivation to keep working!). In the meantime here's a cell phone pic of the one chair in the DR. Please ignore the rug, it's going, and the room is not decorated yet, but this gives you an idea.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 6:28PM
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DLM2000

Wow wow wow! That is so charming! Your efforts will totally transform that set and honestly, I think the skirts were meant to be.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 6:34PM
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bac717

Wow, when you can see the chair with the slipcover and the chair without, I totally agree with dlm, it looks like the skirts were meant to be. Your dining room is beautiful! I like the little 3 shelf etagere sitting on the table against the wall.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 6:46PM
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lilsophie

Wow fabulous, cushions are so cute. I would love to make those. Going now to check out Miss Mustard Seeds site.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 6:56PM
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nutsaboutplants

Beautiful!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 8:35PM
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nutsaboutplants

Beautiful!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 8:36PM
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Holly- Kay

WMA, absolutely beautiful. Your slipcovered chair is even prettier than if you had just recovered. I can't imagine your chair looking prettier or more charming than your slipcovered version.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 8:48PM
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kswl2

Totally cute!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 10:13PM
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Laurie

Excellent job. I love it!
Can we see a pic from the back? I was wondering if the cover is secured to the chair with ties or velcro. Or maybe it fits snugly on it's own & doesn't need any "attachment".

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 10:42PM
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voila

Congratulations, you should be soooo proud of yourself. The transformation is amazing. I love the pleated slipcover on the seat! Your dining room will be totally transformed. Don't you love when your hard work really pays off?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 11:14PM
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bestyears

I do quite a bit of sewing, and I'm super impressed! I assume you made the piping yourself? Even more impressed! You really did a spectacular job, and honestly 3 hours is not bad for the first one. Really, really terrific!!!

I did some similar slipcovers for my dining chairs a few years ago, and they've worn great.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 12:49AM
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ttodd

I'm stunned! That is so amazing!!!!!!!!! WOW!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 5:14AM
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loribee

Very pretty!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 6:07AM
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anele_gw

Absolutely gorgeous!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 6:57AM
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aktillery9

Stunning! Wow! What a difference a slip cover can make. It gorgeous and so is your dining room and furniture!

I am so impressed!!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 7:42AM
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WMA89

Thanks, everyone! It's nice hear all the compliments--I love my family but they have no appreciation for any of this stuff (when I called my DH in to look his response was: "was that the look you wanted? well, then it's great!).

Laurie 2008, here's a picture of the back. With this construction no ties or velcro is required. I really didn't want any ribbon ties, a little too frilly for me.

Bestyears, yes I did my own welting. I found that working with the painter's drop cloth to be incredibly easy. The fabric has lots of give. Easing around corners and along edges was less difficult than I expected.

I bought the drop cloths at Home Depot, then bleached and shrunk them (following Miss Mustard Seeds instruction). I had no trouble stitching through 3-4 layers of fabric with a standard needle.

Thanks again, I appreciate the positive feedback--it's keeping me motivated to continue!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 8:31AM
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tinam61

Looks great! I love drop cloth fabric. It is transformed after washing. Looks like cotton/linen and is incredibly durable! I had slips made for my sunroom loveseat and chair several years ago. They are still going strong. I, too, washed and bleached first. Love MMS blog!

tina

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 9:04AM
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Laurie

Thanks for posting the photo from the back. It fits perfect!
I like the size pleats you used.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 2:06PM
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jan_in_wisconsin

Oh my gosh! What a great job! That chair simply could not be more adorable than it is now with your beautiful slip cover! Just delicious! I LOVE it! I'm a novice with the sewing machine too, but you have totally inspired me!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 5:05PM
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nosoccermom

Oh lala, what an amazing job! They chair looks completely transformed.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 6:06PM
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jshore

It looks fantastic! Now I'm feeling inspired to get out my sewing machine. From what I can see, your home looks lovely. I love diamond paned windows.
Thanks for sharing the photos!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 8:30PM
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ttodd

I have 2 very dated, cough cough, errr, retro caned wing backs (caned wings, turfed mauve velvet seats & backs) that DH rescued for me on trash day on his way to work, regaled and gave to me for Christmas. Yep - that's the way we roll in our house.

I've wanted to reupholster them just like what you did but then I struggled w/ do I paint the wood & cane too, do I leave it as is, do I just bag the whole freaking idea and ditch the chairs?

Your project has reinvented my chairs in my eyes. Gives me a really great idea of what my chairs could become.

Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 8:12AM
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desertsteph

I've done a lot of sewing in the past. Used to make most of my clothes and dd's.

I live in fear of piping... so - WOW!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 5:44PM
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teacats

So gorgeous -- meant to be -- the whole set will look so wonderful with the new seat covers!!! :)

Very well done indeed! :)

Please lots of photos!!! :)

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 7:58PM
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aktillery9

Great! Now I am looking at my dining chairs and want covers like yours! It seems all chairs need them! That's how fab yours looks!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 6:49AM
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WMA89

Wow, thanks again for all the compliments! I've got three done so far. It has definitely gotten easier and each one is looking better. I thought I had enough fabric but ran and had to get a another drop cloth. Home Depot has changed the brand they sell so I was worried it wouldn't match. But after the bleaching I see that it will be fine. The bleaching/shrinking step is really important to this process. You need to soak the fabric in the washer with 2 cups of bleach for several hours (I did overnight), then complete the wash cycle and repeat again with 2 cups of bleach and detergent. Then throw it in the dryer. The fabric is really nice when that's done, plus they're preshrunk so should wash easily in the future. Foxes Pad, I think I remember you posting pictures of the those chairs--I agree they would look great slipcovered like this. I'd try it first with just the slip cover and then see if it needs paint. I have two vintage bergere chairs that I'm going to try upholstering with drop cloths next, and I think I'm going to paint the wood.
I also want to thank this board for inspiring me--I've really enjoyed looking at everyone's home photos and various projects posted over the summer. This is what encouraged me to get started on this!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 7:02AM
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jentrex

Wonderful little slipcovers! I adore the slipcovered furniture look. I would like to make slipcovers for 2 wing back chairs. I had heard that the painters cloth at Home Depot had changed. I was glad to read that your opinion of the new version is positive. Also, thanks for the tip about using bleach in the pre-shrink wash, but why so much bleach? So happy you posted! Nice work!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 10:35AM
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rgps

I'm recovering some chairs also. The drop cloth I have is very off white and I want it that way so will just washing the cloth be enough or does the bleaching do something beside making the fabric white. I will be painting on mine with Inktense which is permanent but won't be washing these after putting them on the chairs. Not making slipcovers just re -covering. Thanks for you info so far. The chairs are great and good sewing!!!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 2:45PM
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tinam61

WMA89 - the bleached/prewashed dropcloth fabric washes up great! My slips are at least 3/4 years old and have been washed and dried many times. They will never bleach out to a stark white (which I don't want!), but you can continue to bleach if needed. It's like they get to a certain point and stay that color. My pup runs in and out the sunroom and has occasionally gotten a bit of mud on a slip, no problem at all to wash/bleach, etc. I dry mine to just not quite dry and put them back on the cushions/seats.

tina

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 2:52PM
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WMA89

jentrex--I think the main reason for the bleach is to lighten the fabric. Out of the package the drop clothes are sort of an oatmeal color. The blogger whose tutorial I read wanted something more creamy white, as did I. The other thing this process does is to soften the fabric considerably, which is a plus. I'm not sure if the bleach plays a role in that or if multiple washings with detergent would do the same thing.

Tina--thanks for sharing your experiences with the drop cloth fabric. I'm glad to hear it--after the hours I've put into just these I found myself hoping they'd hold up to frequent laundering (after all, white on a dining chair will lead to some trouble). You have reassured me!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 8:53PM
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ttodd

So I have a question regarding the drop cloth slipcovers.

Aside from bleaching them to be lighter is there any other practical reason that I should be bleaching them? I saw a dropcloth at SW that was oatmeal colored and I thought that would be perfect for the seat of a chair that I have to do.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 9:23AM
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WMA89

FoxesPad--others asked the same question so I did a little research. Bleaching the fabric softens its, which makes it easier to work with and feels better to sit on, I think. Some drop cloths feel softer out of the package than others (I think it depends on how tight the weave is). However there are ways to soften fabric other than bleaching if you don't want to play with the color (baking soda, salt, etc.) If you like the SW drop cloth why not try just washing it once or twice and then drying it. That may be enough. Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 9:33AM
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ratherbesewing

I previously purchased a drop cloth from Home Depot (brand name: Everbilt) in the 6 ft X 9 ft size and it has a seam down the middle! For a slipcover, I guess I can work around this issue, but I have seen bloggers use large sized drop cloths for drapery panels. So, now I am wondering if different brands don't have a seam? FYI: I have a front loader washing machine so the bleaching method is a bit more involved because I had to bleach in a laundry tub and then move the fabric to the machine (wearing my old clothes of course).

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 9:59AM
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WMA89

ratherbesewing, I also purchased the Everbilt 6 x 9 drop cloth--but it didn't have a seam down the middle. I think you just had bad luck--however that's good to know--probably worth opening the package and checking the cloth before purchasing. One section of mine had some significant pulls so I had to cut that part out. I don't think the quality control is probably too good for these, considering what they're actually intended for!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 5:18PM
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