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How To Create Your Very Own Custom Sofa Slipcovers!

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We are often contacted about alternative fabric options for sectional sofa slipcovers and other household furnishings that are worn and outdated, sometimes after only a couple of years of use. As they are weary of having their sofa reupholstered due to potentially higher and expensive costs, we suggest alternative options that are less expensive, such as a slip cover. Sofa Slipcovers can be removed, replaced and washed significantly more easily than upholstery, but a bespoke slip cover for a sectional sofa or other furniture piece can also be expensive. If you have ever considered crafting your very own slipcover, and customized to fit your exact furniture piece’s specifications, we offer the following guidelines and step-by-step process to assist you along your way.

Sofa Slipcovers
Sofa Slipcovers

To begin crafting your sofa slipcovers, you will need the following items:

  1. A measuring tape (remember the woodworker’s motto, “Measure twice, cut once!”)
  2. Pencil (as a marking tool) and paper
  3. Scissors
  4. Roll of Paper
  5. Iron and ironing board
  6. Sewing machine (recommended as fabric could be hard to sew by hand)
  7. Thread 
  8. Needle and Pins
  9. Upholstery fabric – click thru to see many options to consider

First Steps:

  1. Accurately transcribe the measurements of each and every individual piece to a piece of paper.
  2. Do this for the pillows and all components of the furniture piece.
  3. Cut large rectangular fabric pieces for each component/ each furniture piece. Error on the over side, and ensure that the cut pieces are larger than the measurements previously taken.
  4. Using your pins, pin the back pieces and the side pieces to the sofa.
  5. Using your paper (and the top of paper), carefully trace along the seam lines of each component (each piece). This will help you with defining the shape.
  6. Place each of the paper pieces out of the way (you may wish to define what each part is with your pencil, e.g. left side pillow).
  7. With your scissors, trim along each drawn line to create the pattern for each piece.
  8. You should leave additional paper at any corners.
  9. Overlay the paper pieces (the cut out patterns) to the fabric, and trace them. Trace 2 inches away from the outer corners to allow for the seams.
  10. Label every piece with your pencil.

Next Steps – Adjusting the Fit:

  1. Iron out any wrinkles in your sofa slipcover fabric with the iron on your ironing board.
  2. Pin the fabric’s back pieces to the furniture piece’s back. Darts are folds (tucks coming to a point) that are sewn into the fabric to provide the shape of the piece) that should now be pinned and seamed together.
  3. Ensure that the pinned seam lines match up with the furniture piece’s seams!
  4. Sew the seam lines for each part together.
  5. Pin the armrest and side pieces to the sides of the furniture piece.
  6.  Do the same when attaching the back pieces.
  7. Now it’s time to unpin the fabric!
  8. Turn the fabric inside out and place it over the furniture piece, carefully lining up the seams before then repining it down to test the accuracy of the fit.
  9.  Make adjustments as needed at this step, and then turn it inside out .
  10. Pin the middle fabric pieces to the furniture piece and then pin the seam lines to each other.
  11.  After seams are pinned, tuck the fabric inside the creases.
  12.  Smooth out wrinkes and into the seam and then hem. You can create the darts (the folds), or cut extra fabric.
  13. Hand sew the seams (this is a basting stich and is an elongated running stitch used to temporarily hold the fabric in place).
  14. At this step, it’s time to test the entire sofa slipcover, so turn the entire slipcover inside out to test the fit.
Sofa slipcovers
Sofa slipcovers

Almost finished!

  1. At this point of the process, the entire slipcover should have been sewn together.
  2. Using your scissors, cut the seam allowances to about one inch.
  3. Trace the basting lines with the pencil (and include the folds/ darts).
  4. Take the basting stitches out.
  5. Sew the folds on your sewing machine and then iron out, and sew all pieces together with the sewing machine. Iron every seam allowance.
  6. Fold underneath the hem allowance.
  7. Sew into place and iron the hem perfectly flat.
  8. Finally, its time to place the slipcover over the furniture piece.
  9. Match all of the seams up accurately!
  10. Finished!
  11. Sit on and enjoy your new hand-made, custom sofa slipcover for many years to come!

 

 

 

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