If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Making a Slipcover

I dipped my toe in the water of making a slipcover today!  I think it made for quite a metamorphosis.

It all started with a yard sale purchase.  My eldest nephew's wife recently had a yard sale where they were cleaning out before a move.  The house they are moving into had some items left behind and this footstool was one of those items.  She put a sticker with $3 on it and I snapped it up.

I knew right away that I wanted to cover it up.  After all, it really wasn't very pretty at all.  Plus, it had some cosmetic damage - a rip and a paint droplet.

So, it sat in my craft room for a couple of weeks.  Since the temperature was so high, I decided to take on an indoor task today and this stool seemed to be calling my name.

I stared at it a bit and decided that I don't really like the color of it.  I don't really like the shape of the legs.  Really, the only thing I do like about it is the size of it.

So, I dug into my fabric stash and found a two-yard remnant that I had bought at least a dozen years ago for $4.99 per yard.  It is a companion fabric to that on a couple of wing-back chairs I have that were rescued from the dumpster by my friend, Phyllis.  My parents had them covered for me as my birthday and Christmas gift when I moved into my last house.

I measured the top from seam to seam - 25.5" x 21.5".  I added an inch to each dimension for a seam allowance, marked my fabric, and cut a rectangle 26.5" x 22.5".

Actually, I cut a rectangle and decided I wanted the fabric to run from the higher elevation to the lower elevation.  So, I measured, marked, and cut another rectangle running differently with the grain of the fabric.

The first rectangle didn't go to waste, however.  Next, I laid the stool up on its side atop the first rectangle I cut and marked the top's highest point and the top's lowest point.  Then, I drew a line connecting those two points and adding a half-inch for a seam allowance.  I cut the two sides from my original rectangle.

Next, I measured the fabric, marked and cut the rectangles for the front and back panels.  These had to be cut separately because the back side of the stool is taller than the front side.

Laying right sides of the fabric together, I stitched the front, back, and side panels to the top.  Then, with right sides of the fabric together, I stitched up the sides.

I toyed with the idea of using some sort of cording at the seams but decided that I didn't have enough fabric to create piping.  I dug through my trims and found a cording but again decided that I didn't want to use it because I wanted something far simpler.  So, I simply top-stitched the seams.

I paused and tried the slipcover on at each step to make sure it was going to fit properly.

When I got to this point, I measured the drop or length of the leg so that I could make a skirt to reach the floor and cover the legs that I'm not in love with.

I decided that I wanted to have a center box pleat in the front and back of the skirt.  After doing a bit of thinking, I decided to make the skirt in panels.  The front and back skirt have a three-inch box pleat and the side panels have a one-inch knife pleat.  I also knew that I would need some short panels to wrap the corners.

So, I measured, marked, and cut three strips to make the skirt.  I added two inches for the hem and an inch-and-a-half to finish the sides of each panel.

First, I turned the fabric hem-edge up a half-inch and pressed it.  Next, I folded it over one-and-a-half-inches and pressed it.

I stitched the hem as near to the edge as possible.

Then, I turned each end under a half-inch and pressed it.

Next, I turned that fold over an inch and pressed it.

Again, I stitched this as close to the edge as possible.

I folded the front and back panels in half to find the center-point and measured up one-and-a-half-inches on either side of this center-point.  I pulled those points to the center point and pressed.  Again, I lay my skirt along the edge of the in-progress slipcover to check for correct length.  After creating the front and back skirt panels, there was a piece left that was nineteen-inches in length.  So, I cut that in half and finished the ends just like I did the skirt panels.  This gave me my four skirt panels to wrap the corners.

For the side skirt panels, I finished the edges, folded them in half to find the center and created a simple knife pleat.

There was so much thinking and planning involved in creating the skirt panels that I completely forgot to take photos.  Sorry!

Then, it was time for assembly.  I placed the front skirt panel, right sides together onto the slipcover-in-progress.  I made sure to match up the center of the pleat with the center of the slipcover and the edges of the skirt panel with the side seams of the slipcover and stitched the front skirt panel to the slipcover.  I stitched went to the stool to make sure I had made my skirt the correct length.  Then, I stitched the the back skirt panel to the slipcover the same way and again checked for correct sizing.

I placed the skirt side panels right sides together with the side of the slipcover, making sure to line up the center of the knife pleat with the center of the slipcover side piece.  I stitched the skirt side panels onto the slipcover.

Next, I centered up the small corner wrap pieces with the side seams of the slipcover and stitched them on top of the skirt panels.  Then, I pressed the seam up toward the slipcover and topstitched it down.

I gave the whole thing a quick press and slipped it over the stool.

It is far from perfection, but I am quite pleased with it and am thrilled at how easy it was to create.  Time-consuming, but quite easy.

I had a wee bit of fabric left over - maybe enough for a pillow, maybe.

Before and After:

Here it is with the chair.

I think it was a good day's work and was a bargain - $13 for a new stool!  I also think I might try another slipcover sometime!