Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Making Drop Cloth Slipcovers...

With stormy weather and recaps of the Oscars airing yesterday morning, I thought it was a great time to begin making slipcovers for the two dining room chairs that will sit at each end of the newly refinished table. The goal of this project is to create durable covers that can be washed often while also covering the chair legs, which simply don't look that great next to the legs of the table.


I decided to use a drop cloth to make the slipcovers. Not only was it inexpensive, but they will be able to survive many washings if needed.


I got a few tips on how to approach this project from the blog Pink and Polka Dot. The most important tip was the suggestion to drape the fabric over the chair wrong side out, enabling the seams to be pinned in place. Afterwards seams are sewn along the lines the pins have been placed. This made me realize covering a chair could be very similar to draping a garment on a dress form, which after working in fashion for 12 years I'm familiar with...so I was good to go!


I began at the chair backs, and decided the best way to have success with the slipcovers was to repeat the seams seen on the existing upholstery. 


After the backs were draped, I moved on to the seat covers. It was fun to listen to reports on the Oscars and opinions on what everyone wore while working on this project. I think my favorite dress of the evening was Halle Berry's gown by Marchesa, completely gorgeous.


Tucks were pinned at the front seat corners followed by the seat cover getting pinned to the back side panel at the "L" on the chairs.



To create a finished look along the lower chair edge where the skirt will be attached, I decided to add a band of trim. The circumference of the chair was measured and lengths of fabric were cut and sewn to make the welting.



Finally it was time to remove the pinned cover and sew seams along all the pin lines.


Afterwards the cover was turned right side out and slipped back over the chair. The trim was pinned into place, following the existing seam line seen on the chair upholstery. Next the cover was removed once again to sew the trim in place. (Take it off, put it on, take it off...put it on! Hum, there was probably a better way.)


And this is as far as I have gotten, but great progress for one morning I'm thinking. Next the skirts will be draped in place, sewn on, and that should be it! Hopefully tomorrow...

In the meantime, if you haven't already done so, entry for a chance to win a $250 gift certificate to Modern Bird Studios by leaving a comment here!

52 comments :

  1. I really need to work on my sewing skills already!!! I have issues with my machine, but would love to do all these things!

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  2. You're making quick progress! Can't wait to see them done! :)

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  3. Hey, uhh, I'm going to send some chairs your way to slip cover or me! You are really great at this, Janell! Too bad I probably will never get up the guts to try it!

    And the oscars...I loved Natalie Portman in the purple! And to top it off, she won! She was gorgeous!

    I also loved Halle Berry, but its rare that I don't love what she wears. Oh, and Gwenyth Paltrow looked pretty amazing too. I like the simplicity of her dress. I can go on and on about all the prettiness I saw on the red carpet! It's my favorite subject!

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  4. Janell, You make everything look so easy. You are doing a great job as usual :)

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  5. Janell, you've inspired me! I'm picking my sewing machine over the gym today! (thank you!!!!)

    Jamie

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  6. Durn! I was so ready to see the finished product...you've inspired me to try it-this is the ONE thing that I feel so unsure at..sewing.

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  7. Love them so far. You're making it look awfully easy. Can't wait to see them finished.

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  8. Since you were watching the Oscar fashions, did it inspire you to make a ruffled skirt for your chairs? HA!
    I'm resewing the slipcover for my husbands Lazy Boy. I need to make it tighter so it doesn't look so sloppy after it has been sat on.

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  9. As always, your industriousness is amazing. Where did these chairs sit in your home previously? And where is the piano sitting now? Curious minds want to know! :)

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  10. You're making me want to take a sewing class. I love the idea of using the drop cloths

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  11. So so impressed. Thanks for the pics. It's great to see how you pinned the fabric. Great idea to use dropcloths too. It's quickly becoming a fabric. Great weight, color, and price!

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  12. You do this so well! The slipcovers are going to be beautiful!

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  13. You have inspired me! I have similar chairs in my dining room. However, mine are faux leather which I just read somewhere is totally out of style...really?! lol So after I get done making my zippered pillow covers for my couches I'll be starting this project. Thanks for all your inspiration!

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  14. Looks great! I'm excited to see the finished product! I just purchased Pink and Polka Dot's slipcover guide and am looking forward to making a drop cloth slipcover both for a slipper chair in our master bedroom and little ottoman in our living room. They seem like two fairly easy pieces for a first-timer, but I'm fighting procrastination. :)

    Thanks for the inspiration you provide!

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  15. I just cannot believe you do things like this yourself- seriously inpsired by you Janell- amazing!!! I can't WAIT to see these finished.

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  16. I've been thinking about tackling this exact project! Thanks for the details! Can't wait to see the finished product, it's looking amazing so far!

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  17. The fit looks perfect, and you know that's the most important part. I think fashion sewing must be a benefit to you. I'm tempted, but I can see the frustration rising where everything comes together! Great job! Can't wait to see them finished.

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  18. Making slipcovers for my dining parsons chairs was on my to-do lis but I never thought of using drop clothes! What kind of skirt? I am planning on making nice wide pleated skirt when I make mine {hopefully soon} - now I have a easy to follow steps from you!

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  19. GM Janell, Again you are one talented creative lady!! You never cease to amaze me. I wish I had your DIYer abilities!! KS

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  20. Ah! this is making me really want to learn how to use a sewing machine - do you have a fav brand?? these look awesome!

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  21. Looking good Janell! They are going to be fabulous with the skirt, can't wait to see them all done.

    Londen

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  22. Pin and sew and pin and sew is my motto!

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  23. Fantastic! You make it all look so easy! My sewing machine and I are not always BFF's, but it's not from my lack of trying to make friends. ;-) Well done!

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  24. This is great. I think I will try a similar technique with an ottoman. You make it look so easy, though.

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  25. Lookin good! I am making covers for 6 dining chairs, but without skirts (I like my legs!)
    I would love to know what you are using for the trim... is it the same fabric as the slip cover and does it have piping cord or just flat? I love the way it looks on yours so far, it gives it a finished look and since I have not hemmed mine yet it's not to late to add it my project.

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  26. Lisa,

    It is just a flat strip made from the drop cloth fabric...I didn't plan ahead and had no cording, but I think I'll like the flat look better in the end anyway! All the best...I can't image making six, two is hard enough. You get done with one step and think "yeah", then realize you need to repeat it!

    Angela, yes, I don't see why not. I'd probably wash the cloth prior to dying to remove any finish there may be on the cloth that might repel the dye. Good idea! Janell

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  27. Great idea to use a drop cloth! They fit your chairs so well. :)

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  28. They look amazinggg! Putting "learn to sew" on my to-do list :)

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  29. Amazing! You make it look so easy!! Love the drop cloth fabric... who knew it could look so luxe?

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  30. I'm quite impressed. There's no way I could figure that out on my own. Even if I could figure out the pattern, I couldn't sew it! Good job!
    xoxo
    Lila Ferraro

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  31. I made one chair slipcover in my life and it was a long, unpleasant process. I wish I'd seen this first. The way you pinned the fabric makes so much sense, I may actually consider giving it another try. Thanks Janell!

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  32. WOW! {wishing I could do that!}
    -{darlene}
    fieldstonehilldesign

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  33. I glanced at the Oscars a few times and of course was enthralled with Jennifer Hudson's transformation. She looked simply stunning.

    As for these slipcover, I'm loving what you are doing and envy your sewing skills! I'm always so anxious to see the end result. You're killing me with the cliffhangers ;-)

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  34. They look great so far! Can't wait to see the skirts. BTW I love your floors!
    Danika

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  35. Those are fabulous! Drop cloth fabric has got to be one of the best inventions!!!

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  36. You are a woman wearing many hats, Janell! Your slipcovers are looking great. Halle Berry's gown was also my favorite. It was jsut gorgeous! I told my husband I want to design one just like it and if I don't go anywhere to wear it that I'll throw on some ruffled rubber gloves and wear my gown and wash dishes in it.

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  37. Oh Janell
    You AMAZE me!!!! I want to be just like you, seriously!
    I never knew how people could sew slipcovers, I want to try now!!!!
    I'm going to have to try :)
    They look so good so far! Can't wait to see the skirt!

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  38. We so need to be quiet on the slip cover front because they may start to jack up the prices once they figure out they are the best thing since SLICED BREAD! And thank you for confirming that this project could be done with drop cloths -- I am going to get my seamstress on it soon to make some chair covers!

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  39. Loved paltrow's dress and love your covers!

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  40. Now there is a tutorial EVEN I CAN FOLLOW...
    I'm visual like that.

    Can't wait to see the finished.

    No comment on the Oscars.

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  41. I really need to learn how to use my sewing machine. Looking great!

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  42. Janell- you make this look doable! I have been scared to start on slip covers for some HIDEOUS chairs I inherited when I got married- but I might just build up the courage to do them now! Quick question- did you sew the piping onto the slip cover upside down, and flip the piping over and iron it down? Does that make sense?

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  43. You did that in one morning?!!! Amazing! I wish I moved a fast as you.

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  44. wow! you always impress me!!! can't wait to see the finished product :)

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  45. Allison, you are exactly right in your description of how the trim was sewn on! Janell

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  46. you're so sweet! cant wait to see the finished slips! of course they'll be fab.u.lous!

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  47. Ah,so that is how you made a chair. Nice job.


    Dining tables perth

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  48. Even after 2 years, still don't have the guts to try this lol! I want my chairs slipcovered so bad!

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