*This post has been pinned so often since it was first published in May of 2010, I wanted to add an updated photo of the sectional–after two years of wear with three boys and a husband the white slipcovers have held up better than I expected.  I opted for a fitted yet relaxed style of slipcover and it’s perfect for our informal family.*

now on to your regularly scheduled “how to make a slipcover for a sectional post”

1. Invite 10 willing participants to your home, supply 30 yards of white fabric {I found mine at Mary Jo’s for 6.99/yd} look poor Lily is on the FLOOR in a dress!

2. ask them to bring their sewing machines and if you are lucky a serger

3. marvel at the fact that they are willing to get on the floor to cut your fabric

4. provide lunch because you know you won’t feel like cooking.

handmade recess

5. realize that about half the people you invited are somehow professional sewers who could or do make a living sewing–allow them to be smart and make all the decisions for you

6. Make sure you have a fearless leader {I choose Pink, the slipcover whisperer}.  I like that she is extremely easy going and has lots of experience making slipcovers.  It’s important to have a leader who can lead but knows how to let other people do their thang.  Pink is the perfect example.  She and I both are not afraid of a little imperfection.  Find someone who has the same standard of perfection as you.  That will make your life easier.

7. Wonder when they are going to realize that they came all this way just to work on your sofa, worry that they are smiling way too much to know the truth

8. Think about whether or not you swept the kitchen floor

9. Make sure you hug and kiss everyone so they know how thrilled you are that they came

10. Try not to be jealous of the sewing knowledge of a certain person

11. Chit and chat and don’t even get your sewing machine out because you are too busy laughing and hiding and acting like a crazy woman.

I am forever indebted to these wonderful women~
Ellen, Lily, Kim, Jennifer, Alisan, TraceyTracy, Pink, Carrie and my dear friend Tiny Twig who had to leave before we took this photo

Here’s a little video of Pink showing us the right side of the fabric and that leads to a group decision about cutting on the bias…

Here’s a great tutorial on bias cutting–my sewing muse wrote it up a few months ago.  We didn’t use a bias cut for the body or cushions of the slipcover but we did for the cording fabric cover.  I have no idea what the legal name is for that stuff.

When we slip covered my chair a few months ago, there was no bias cutting whatsover and it has been fine.  But, apparently, it can make the sewing easier and can lead to a prettier end product.  I’m not picky or that observant and I hardly sewed a stitch so I can’t really say I can tell a difference.  I would guess that it doesn’t make or break the end result.  Don’t NOT make slipcover because you think it’s vital to cut every piece on the bias. Or biasly or however one would say that.

What’s amazing is that each one of these cushions was made by a different person.  Or at least many of them were–some of the show offs made two or three.

Drape info coming soon…

One of the questions I get asked the most is what to do with an old raggety sofa.  I cannot emphasize enough how doable a slipcover is.  Alisan, one of the slippers who came told me about how she and a few girlfriends get together every week? month? I can’t remember.  But, they take turns going to one of their homes and working on a project.  Is that not a fantastic idea?  Slipcovering a sofa is such a great way to get a fresh, new, custom looking sofa for a fraction of the price of a new one.  And remember, you can use any kind of fabric, it doesn’t have to be white.

The 10 girls I invited over worked from about 10ish until about 4:30 or 5.  I think and that includes a break for lunch and talking and stuff and Twiggy and Carrie had to run out and buy some more supplies.  So if you have 3 friends over on a Saturday, you could knock out a slipcover for a sofa in a day {unless you have a huge sectional like mine}.  People, this is life changing!

Not only that, if you have never slipcovered anything before and need some guidance, Pink from Pink and Polka Dot has an ebook available–The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Custom Slipcovers.  It’s $10 and will basically save you from needing to buy a new sofa.

We no longer have ANY excuse to settle for a sofa that we don’t like or looks like it went through the shredder–slip covering is the new retail!  And I’m addicted!