Category Archives: Tutorials

A friend of mine recently gifted this amazing antique glider to our family.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Her Mom had slip covered it for her and I decided I would try to do the same (leaving the red and white underneath, in case we do some redecorating in the next year or two :))

I started by laying out the cushions on the fabric and tracing around the edge – giving an extra inch or so around each cushion (for the side part of the cushion/seam allowance).

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset     Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

(I think the seat looks like a loaf of bread….) Don’t forget two pieces of fabric for each cushion!

I was hesitant to use this dark of fabric with our notoriously hairy cat, but there is no way she will jump on this glider – the moment it starts rocking she would freak! David suggested this color and I’m so glad we decided to go with it.

I sewed both sides together inside out, leaving the straight side at the bottom/back of each cushion open.

Then it was “fitted” and by fitted – I mean, put on the cushion inside out and deciding which areas needed to be brought in a little. I’m not a perfectionist when it comes to covers – especially with this fabric being a Kona cotton and not a heavy upholstery fabric – it was destined to show lines. You can be as picky as you like… 😉

I also wanted to put ties on the top of the back cushion (as had been done before). So I cut some two inch strips and basically made them into bias tape. Looking for a good bias tape tutorial? Head over to MADE and check out Dana’s amazing videos. I can NOT get enough of her fantastic tutorials.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Then I went singer stitch crazy, and found a fun stitch to close it up with. I took two of each strip and put them at about 10 and 2 o’clock on the rounded top part of the cushion. I chose to attach these ties as I sewed the back cushion pieces together – it worked out well!

After I was happy with the fit, I hemmed the bottom. Notice I left the bottom open.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

The seamstress before me had closed the back of each cushion by hand stitching, but I really want to be able to take the covers off and wash them… So for right now, I’m leaving them open, with an intent to eventually sew on some velcro for easy on/off.

 

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

 

And there it is! (with one of my Koi pillows)

I also made a… cough… quick stop to my local quilt/fabric shop, Intown Quilters, and picked up a few fat quarters (as well as the Kona that I used for the slip cover). Here’s a quick Fabric Friday for you.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Top: Pretty sure that first one is Kaffe Fasset (Sadly no detailed selvage on this one!), Kona Solid

Middle: Gem Tones Color Story by Michael Miller (both)

Bottom: Grey, Fox and the Houndstooth – Andie Hanna for Robert Kaufman

 

I can not pick a favorite, though I am a sucker for foxes… I’m looking forward to using these for some fun new projects coming up!

What have you been working on? Any projects on your horizon?

 


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?