So I met up with a new client a few weeks ago. She was looking for a few pillow covers and… A bench slipcover. So I did what any sane amateur sewist would do – I ran home and googled it.

And I found this wonderful tutorial!!

Thank you, Señor Google.

So here’s how it went:

I got the measurements for the large rectangle that I would need and hemmed each side ahead of time.

My client wanted a ribbon to go all the way around, 1 ” from the bottom of the slip cover – so I put it on right after the hem. Save the headache it would have been later. (Note – It still ended up being a little bit of a headache later because I mismeasured and had to recut, rehem, take off ribbon, resew ribbon because one side was too long! Two hours later…) The moral of the story is – lay your fabric out on the floor, put bench cushion side down and measure how many inches you want from the edge of the bench… so wish I would have paid attention to that – for both of the slipcovers I did!)

photo 1 (3) photo 2 (4)

I find that the first time I do a new sewing project it takes at least double the time it should. Maybe I’m still too much of a perfectionist, but I want it to look good, darn it! The other aspect of this project that made it difficult – the ribbon that was not on the hem, the fabric was super heavy, and I was making it for a client, which adds to the stress level and that “I want my client to love this” mentality.

Want to make a slipcover? Here were my big takeaways –

  1. Measure with bench face to the floor (save yourself half an hour to two hours of remeasuring, taking out stitches, etc.). Measure out 8 inches from each side (or less or more based on how long you want your cover to be). Don’t forget to account for a hem!
  2. Hint – If you put ribbon or some sort of border on – no hemming necessary.
  3. Tighten the corners with the right side of the fabric facing the bench, wrong side out. Pin and check to see if it’s tight enough before you go to sew. Then recheck after you’ve sewn.

    photo 2 (6)

    The wrong side of the fabric is facing out. Pinned and ready to be sewn straight down along with his 3 brothers.

  4. Go for super tight sides by tweaking (pinning & re-sewing closer), even after sewing your triangles originally. It really makes the cover look sharp.
photo 3 (1)

The finished product!

5. But flowy sides can still look good! (With the purple slip cover I did the hem last – with the white I hemmed it first)

Slipcover dos. Not as tight around the edges, but this was accomplished in a quick hour… And I forgot to use the upside down bench to measure again!!!

Have you ever made a slipcover before? Any tips? Do you hem first or hem after you’ve done the corners?

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