How to Make Fitted Slipcovers for Chairs and Sofas

Small_0020I’ve made quite a few slipcovers over the years, they are a fun way to up-cycle older worn furniture. Recently I bought another new “old” chair that I plan to upgrade with a slipcover but I wanted to refresh my memory by looking back at a slipcover process I documented a few years ago. And while scrolling through the pictures I realized that maybe others might find this documentation useful as well. So here it is – hopefully you find these images and corresponding notes helpful to at least get started on your own slipcover project!

Small_0001 SmallIMG_4960_Small The obvious first step is to have sufficient yardage/meters of a heavy weight durable fabric. I find every chair/sofa requires a different amount of fabric so it’s best to take measurements and determine the amount of fabric you need before heading out to shop. (Always buy a little more yardage than you expect.) In addition to fabric, you’ll need a zipper or two or three to match the fabric and full side length of the chair cushions. I like to make the cushion covers removable – that way you can take them off to wash. And make sure you have PLENTY of pins and matching thread. IMG_4948_SmallRemove the cushions from the furniture to begin. It’s best to create a full cover that sits underneath your cushions. I find there is less slipping around and it produces a much more finished look vs. a slipcover that just sits on top of everything.

Next step is to use your furniture as a guide/pattern for your slipcover. Shaping and cutting the fabric in all the folds. You’ll understand better what I mean as you scroll through the images below. Make sure the good side of the fabric faces down while you do this. IMG_4951_SmallAs you cut and shape, pin tightly along the seams as straight as you can. The reason I say this is because the pin line is what you will follow while you are sewing. IMG_4955_SmallIMG_4962_Small
Curves can be tricky but if you are generous with your pins you should find it manageable. IMG_4965_SmallIt’s almost like following the lines of the furniture and piecing them together. IMG_4964_SmallOnce all the edges are sewn you can flip the cover right side out and work on the hem. Small_0017Small_0018It’s wise to leave a slit opening on each bottom corner (as pictured above) – this makes slipping the cover over the chair much easier. Small_0005I always do the cushion covers last. If the cushion has a unique rounded shape it’s best to follow the same format as above but if the cushions are rectangular I’ve found the following method best.
First measure and cut two length of fabric for the back side edge of the cushion. (As picture above.) Sew in zipper to these pieces first.
Small_0006Small_0007O nce your zipper is in, sew the four side edges together. Small_0008Once the edges are sewn, sew the top and bottom of the cushion cover to the side edges – as shown above. It’s so great to have a nice snug cushion cover and it makes the chair look far more finished.

Small_0020I hope this has been at little helpful in getting you started. If you have any questions please comment below and I’ll do my best to answer them and fill in any blanks I may have missed.

Happy sewing!!!


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