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Monday, August 8, 2011

DIY slipcover

If you have time (approx 6 hrs), a chair, fabric, measuring tape, a TON of straight pins, and a sewing machine - you can make a slip cover.  Trust me - I am by no means a skilled seamstress and I am pretty lax when it comes to technique, and over the weekend I made the slipcover pictured above (woohoo!).  UPDATE:  I started cutting/sewing my second slipcover yesterday, and it'll probably only take me half the time (3hrs) to make it (and it's looking crisper)

Step #1: Find a chair:
(mine were 2 for $50 on Craigslist)

Step #2 and #3: Select and measure/cut fabric:

I divided the chair into sections (e.g. back, front, arm, side), measured, and then converted those measurements into rectangular cuts of fabric (approx 3 yards, I used Waverly fabric in Country Club). 

Step #4: Pin and Trim

This was the longest and most dangerous (b/c of pinpricks, ouch!) step.  Following the lines of your chair, pin the fabric (inside out) where you want your seams.  Trim areas where you have extra fabric, but not too much, since you need a seam allowance and wiggle room in case you make a mistake.

Step #5: Sew

Once your slipcover is perfectly pinned, slip it off the chair (mine came off easily), walk over to your sewing machine, and start sewing (note: I used heavy duty thread and a heavy duty needle).  Follow your straight pins, removing them as you go.

Whenever I became frustrated with a section, I'd temporarily abandon it and start on another.  I figured all the seams would meet up eventually.  After I thought I was done, I slipped the cover on the chair (still wrong-side out) and trimmed/pinned and even hand sewed a couple stitches until it looked right.

The best part of the project was flipping the slipcover right side out and putting it back on the chair.  It may still need a couple tweaks, but I think it looks 10x better than any floppy cover I could have purchased at a Department store.

The DIY Show Off
The Shabby Nest IhookedupwithHoHlamespice


  1. Oh and 2 for $50!!! maaaan!

  2. @ Ria - I know, an AMAZING deal for Ethan Allen chairs! And - thanks! Now I need to motivate to sew slipcover #2...

  3. Now that I'm looking at the pics...I've decided I'm going to paint the chair legs a dark brown. I think it'd look much nicer.

  4. two thumbs up!
    your chair cover looks amazing!

  5. Yes i agree, dark brown definitely nicer!

  6. Too much work for me. Nice job! Is your cover machine washable?

  7. Hmm...I assume it is, but I'm not positive. I'll have to research the fabric a bit.