How to Make Slipcovers

hate me, why didn’t I straighten out the slipcover first?

I made this beautiful white slipcover last weekend.  And by “I” I mean, my friend in real life, Kristi, the slipcover whisperer from Pink and Polka Dot. She is a self taught slip cover queen. And also, the title of this post is a lie.  I am not going to be telling you how to make the slipcovers, but I can tell you where to find out how to make them.  It’s easier than you might think.

Here we all are Tiny Twig (Hayley), The Nester, Kristi and Edie.  And our victims, an office chair and my $12 thrifty wing back chair.  I know it’s hard to tell because of my mad photo shopping skilz but Edie wasn’t actually able to make it for the weekend.  So I just snuck in a photo of her to make it look like she was here.  We so missed her.

I used about $50 worth of white canvas or duck or something like that.  I just asked my fabriteer what people use for white slipcovers.  They can also tell you how many yards to get for your item.  Then you need to wash it in hot water and dry it so it shrinks before you sew it.  Did you hear that?  It’s pretty much the MOST important step. For the love of slipcovers, PREWASH YOUR FABRIC OR ELSE.

Kristi commented on the fact that I should have found a curvier chair for my first slipcover.  I think she was being sarcastic.

I am not even going to try to tell you what we are doing in every photo.  Not because it’s hard or impossible to remember but because Kristi has already done the hard work of creating an ebook so the world can know her secrets.

Basically we cut pieces of fabric the shape of the chair and pinned it all together, I couldn’t believe how easy it was once we got the hang of it.

Doesn’t it look like something out of the Curious Sofa’s Halloween Extravaganza?

We basted everything with black thread.  Basted is fancy talk for let’s pretend we are in the 1800’s and get out a needle and thread and do really big stitches around where we pinned everything so that it will help hold all these pieces together.  Then we all started sewing.  Including Edie.

Here’s Twiggy’s slipcoverd chair~she is so adorable.

Because I am Nellie Olsen, I decided it was imperative to have the most elaborate, labor intensive, persnickety skirt possible for my slipcover.  Much to my surprise, Kristi was all for it and knew just how to attack making the little knife pleats all around the bottom.  She’s almost like a slipcover mistreater, she knows all the cheats  to make slipcovering easy and not intimidating but also is smart enough to know how to make it so it won’t fall apart when you wash it.

Here’s Kristi, slaving away.  In my defense, I actually did sew the entire body of the slipcover all by myself.  But she did all the real work.

It took the four of us from 10ish in the morning until 5ish at night to do the two chairs.  Edie was no help whatsoever though and Hayley left at 2ish when her chair was done.  I think it was one of the most rewarding things I’ve done in a long time.  Not that raising boys and stuff isn’t rewarding but there is something about seeing immediate results that is so invigorating.

The chair has claimed it’s rightful place as my most adorable piece of furniture I’ve ever owned.  I am in love.  I wish I would have done it sooner.  And I feel totally confident that I could recover another chair all by myself.

If you love white slipcover but think you can’t have them because you have kids and animals, read about Pink’s experince with white slipcovers. She’s had them for years.  However, it is a commitment to wash them from time to time.  Here are a few comments from the post I did the other day when I asked if you like white slipcovers.

If you are ready to take the next step and want to know how to make your own slipcovers you will want to invest in a little $10 ebook that Kristi from Pink and Polka Dot wrote.


Lastly, before you need to go trim your 5 inch long fingernails, shave your wool legs and meet your new grandchildren for the first time, after reading this post, would anyone out there be interested in coming to my house sometime in the future to learn how to do slipcovers with me and Kristi and hopefully Hayley and Edie?  We could um…practice on my sofa.  It would be like a sweat shop fun hangout time for you to learn how to make slipcovers while I watch everyone sew serve up iced coffees and entertain you.  You would need to be able to get here to the Charlotte area, know how to sew {just VERY basic sewing nothing at all fancy} and bring a sewing machine.

**Updated:: we did it!  I was so happy with the chair that I had a group of friends come over and we slipped our sectional sofa in ONE DAY  you can do it too read all about it here.



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