Should I or shouldn't I?

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How hard are slipcovers?  I fell in love with a fabric on sale at
Hancock's today. I would love for my sofa to be that color. It would
absolutely brighten up the room and it matches stuff I already have.

One of the books I bought because someone here suggested it (I think the
Reader's Digest?) gives pretty basic instructions on making them, but my
couch isn't square. It's rounded.

And the fabric is striped.  I'm afraid I'll be getting in over my head,
even if I do a mock up first.

I wish I had friends locally who sewed, but I'm afraid you guys are
about it.

What do you think? Can  I do this, or is it going to be an expensive
exercise in futility?

Re: Should I or shouldn't I?
if you do a mock up in muslin, then you will be creating a pattern for
the real fabric and all should go well.  And slip covers can be snugged
up with ties because  everyone knows they are just seasonal covers.


Re: Should I or shouldn't I?

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I've done slipcovers and simple upholstery.  It's pretty straightforward
as long as you make sure you have enough yardage for matching or for
piping, ties, extra arm covers, etc.  The advantage is that you can so
easily and inexpensively brighten a room, update something that's
looking a bit tacky, or cover something that is just worn.  The
downside, IMO, is that it's boring after awhile so I usually break up my
projects with sewing that's more interesting to me.  Writing down
project measurements and details in a notebook (that won't get lost like
a loose piece of paper) is extremely helpful when your decorating
project is interrupted by something else.

Singer has a really good book on making slipcovers, pillows, cushion
covers, etc.  I was in Hancocks the other day and they had numerous,
reasonably priced books (some on sale at half price) that deal with just
this kind of thing.  Good luck!

Phae

--
I fear me you but warm the starved snake,
Who, cherished in your breasts, will sting your hearts. (Henry VI, Shakespeare)

Re: Should I or shouldn't I?
angrie.woman wrote:
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Threads had an article a while back about how to drape fabric over a
sofa, and the results really looked nice.  They used to have it on their
web page, but I think I have seen of late that they are charging for
everything, but if you can find the article online and then look at that
copy in the library, you would get the drift.

Re: Should I or shouldn't I?

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DD has draped various items on her sofa, I have seen at least 3 different
ones, and they all looked good.  She often picks up a "bed set" or a
comforter at a yard sale to use.  (she has pets so needs to be able to
change the cover often).

Jean



Re: Should I or shouldn't I?
I took a two day class in England on making slip covers a few years ago.  It
really does help to be shown how.  It's not difficult but there are many
steps.
I've made many slipcovers since that class and I've picked up lots of tips
along the way.  I started off measuring as I was taught in England.  Then I
met a norwegian who was taught slipcovers in France and Denmark.  Her method
is easier and faster.
Get some very soft brown paper.  Lots of it.
Get a very soft pencil, like BB.
Make a pattern of each section and label (ie. inside back, outside back,
inside arm, outside arm , front piece,).  Make a pattern by pinning the
brown paper to the sections of the sofa and then with the pencil rub along
the outlines (just like in school when the teacher asked you to lay paper
over a penny and then rub so that you could see the design appear like
magic).
Sew the pieces together using a 1cm seam.
Place velcro or a zipper one one outside back seam.
You can add a skirt around the bottom.
.Once the paper pieces are cut out it's easy to lay them right down on the
fabric for cutting out.
With this method curves are easy - make a dart and cut and tape the paper.
Allow 9 meters for a 2/3 seat sofa.  Cushions are extra.  Allow 1 meter for
a box cushion.  Piping is about l meter I think, maybe more.  Cut on the
bias for the best piping.  But I have railroaded when fabric is in short
supply.
Give youself plenty of time and you will be fine.  Spend time looking at the
sofa, its shape etc. and visualize how you will put the pieces together.
Often the peices can be put together in a number of different ways.  There
is no right way - if you're happy with the finished look - that's the test.


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Re: Should I or shouldn't I?
Oops,
I didn't mean sew the brown patter pieces together of course.  Lay them on
the fabric and then cut out and sew with a 1 cm seam allowance.
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Re: Should I or shouldn't I?

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It's always interesting to see how other people do things.  I'd never
have imagined using paper or a pattern.  I just use the drape method
like you would with garments.  And since you want a firm fit over
furniture, unlike ease in clothes, I do most of the fitting with the
slipcovers inside out.  No pattern at all.  That gives a very tight fit
where appropriate and allows one to get any piping, curves and pleats in
precisely the correct spots.  First I do the smaller sections, reverse
fitting the chair arms.  And then once I know that the smaller sections
and details work, I do the larger sections and then assemble it all.  I
use 1" seam allowances because furniture and cushions are hardly ever
regular.  There is always some fudging required.  Once I have the fit,
then I serge off the excess.

--
I fear me you but warm the starved snake,
Who, cherished in your breasts, will sting your hearts. (Henry VI, Shakespeare)

Re: Should I or shouldn't I?
I have seen slipcovers that looked pretty awful.  The problem was,
they slipped.  That is, they fit over the furniture fairly well
originally, but when someone sat on the couch or whatever it pulled
the cover down the back, off the arms, and generally made a mess of
it.  Is there a way to avoid that?


Re: Should I or shouldn't I?
Yes, you can wedge long rectangular pieces of foam rubber down in the
crevices. This keeps most of the errant slippage at bay.

You can find plastic pieces meant for this at home stores like Bed Bath
& Beyond, but it is much less expensive to just purchase a pillow form,
and then cut it up to make the wedge pieces.

Karen Maslowski in Cincinnati
www.sewstorm.com


David Harmon wrote:
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Re: Should I or shouldn't I?
David said:
'I have seen slipcovers that looked pretty awful.  The problem was,
they slipped.  That is, they fit over the furniture fairly well
originally, but when someone sat on the couch or whatever it pulled
the cover down the back, off the arms, and generally made a mess of
it.  Is there a way to avoid that?'

-If slipcovers are 'slipping' that means that they have not been fitted
properly.  It's like making a dress, the dress can be perfectly sewn and
look like a dress but it may not fit the body.  Unless you are making the
'shabby chic' style the slipcovers should be just to the point of being
taut, but not tight and stretched obviously.  When I'm finished with the job
and I put the slipcover on the sofa and pull up the zipper or close the
velcro I have to pull very slighty to get that nice taut finish.

Try the paper pattern next time you'll be surprised how well the slipcover
will fit.  And you can keep the pattern for next time.

For customers I make two trips to the home for slipcover.  Once to make the
paperpatern.  Then a second time for a fitting, and any small adjustments.
That's all.   The most important thing for me is that I don't need to move
their big heavy sofa to my house!



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