Saturday, December 18, 2010

Slip Cover

I don't know why I start projects like this during the Holidays? I have a short memory of how much time these things take. I think it's like childbirth, you forget the pain once you have the baby in your arms? I decided to make a new slip cover for my couch the week before Christmas. This is my sewing/craft room, my kitchen. The counter is great for sewing, but the mess migrates all over the family room and the kitchen. Perfect for the Holidays.

Here is my slip cover project, not the dog, the couch.

Our couch is 12 years old. It has been used daily as Roscoe's personal post meal napkin and her favorite place to barf. It's been used as a handy place for my girls to put their horseback riding boots and soccer cleats. It's been through sandy beach feet, sleeping kid drool, sweaty workout husband, baby formula, and countless other messes. I have spot cleaned, machine washed the pillow covers, and had it professionally cleaned, but it's seen better days.

Saggy cushions

(I can relate after turning 46 this week. 12 years in couch age equals 46 years in people age)

Rosie loves it as a bunny chew toy. Bad bunny!

This couch is a Bernhardt. It's an 8 way hand tied, 60/40 down, blah blah blah. You know, a good couch. I'm a bargain hunter on many things, but even at a bargain, a good quality couch isn't in the budget. Couches are one thing I won't skimp on quality, especially one we use every day. In the meantime, I have had my eye out for some fabric for months to make a slip cover.

I slip covered our old couch before we had this one and most recently I slip covered the matching chair that I bought with the couch.

Here is the chair. I showed it to you on the blog about Casey's room.

I knew exactly what I wanted, I just couldn't find it at the price I wanted. It needed to be economical, feel great, hold up to everyday use, and be the right color. I love the look of white slip covers, but I have puppy paws, soccer cleats, and all the rest. I don't enjoy doing laundry and white would get dirty to quickly on a couch we use every day. I'm also tired of beige and brown. I wanted charcoal gray.

Sometimes the answer is right in front of you. I found an almost free alternative in my own closet. I had these Ikea drapes which had hung in my office before it became Cami's room.

Sanela 100% cotton velvet drapes from Ikea, $49 for a 2 pack.

Economical (free is good), comfortable, durable, but wrong color.

I already had them, not the color I wanted, so I dyed them gray. Perfect! I spent about $40 on Rit dye from Ralph's. It's probably cheaper at Walmart, but I didn't want to deal with the Christmas crowds. I dyed the fabric in my top load washing machine. I split the fabric in to two separate loads, four drape panels in each load. First I washed the fabric in hot water with the Rit Fabric Lightener. Than I dyed each load of fabric with a box of dry Denim Blue Dye and 2 bottles of liquid Black Dye. Follow the directions on the box.
You will also need 2 cups of salt (1 cup for each load- see box directions).

Here is how the fabric turned out.

I realize this is going to change the color scheme of the room. I have had a paint swatch painted on the wall for months that has a gray undertone. This is the only room in the house I haven't painted since we moved in ten years ago, so it's time. I'm just waiting for the right time to paint because it involves painting the ceiling too. I eventually will remove the carpet and paint the concrete. The carpet is shot. The brown chairs will get a face lift too. Not sure about the drapes? They are made from paint drop clothes, so if I decide to change them they will go to good use when I paint the room.

This is how I start the process of making a slip cover. First I make a drawing of the furniture I'm about to tackle. Drawing it helps me figure out how much fabric I need, how to use the fabric most economically, and how to to place the seams? It's no fun to start a project like this and realize you didn't have enough fabric to finish it. I like to cover each cushion individually so they can be washed if need be. This way takes a lot more fabric.

Here are the first two seams. Next I add the arms. I'm done with the arms, but I need to run to a soccer tournament, so I will need to finish the cushions later. I'll post the completed project when I finish.

I'm slow.


  1. Love the color and the idea. Let me know how the timing works for ya. Was going to slip cover our sectional after Grandma leaves in Jan. I'll have to check out your pattern and see if I need to "borrow" it.
    can't wait to see the done photos. Love the color.

  2. I love the slipcover concept! Fun to find you!

  3. I finally finished today thanks to some rain that kept us home. I will post the completed couch soon. Thanks for checking in!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...