By Sabrina Emmons. Slipcovers. Published at Wednesday, June 13th, 2018 - 05:08:19 AM.
Slipcovers are one of the all-time secret weapons of decorating. More than functional, they’re an interior-design opportunity. Garment sewers are many steps ahead of the rest of the world who must rely on expensive interior designers and upholsterers to create these versatile room brighteners. Sewers already know about making a fitting muslin and cutting and constructing a garment-skills so easily applied to slipcovering furniture that you’ll be amazed at the simplicity of it. And if you love to sew, you know the lure of beautiful fabric. Here’s your chance to expand your textile palette with the rich variety of high-quality decorator fabric available from home-furnishing stores and through interior designers.
Stretch slipcovers come in a choice of durable fabrics that are also soft and comfortable to sit on. Popular materials include twill, denim and faux suede. Most sofa and chair slipcovers are fully machine-washable, so they are easy to care for. With a slipcover protecting your upholstery, there's no need to worry about accidental food or drink spills, or dirty marks made by pets or children. There's an enormous selection of colors and patterns to choose from, so you should be able to find a slipcover design that looks fantastic with your décor.
Take out your sketchbook and try a few design ideas, like those in my drawings above. Or start with the classic seat-top, band, and skirt style as I’ve done for the chair at top left. Sketch different proportions of band width to skirt height, think about pleats or gathers to turn the corners at the legs, and dream up details using piping or other trim. You can even take photos of your chair, then trace your ideas over them. Suit the slipcover to the chair’s style, using the patternmaking process described in the photo-essay. The patternmaking process is the same, regardless of the style you choose.
Although some of these restrictions have relaxed in today's upholstery shops, covers seem likely to dominate. Fitted slipcovers are placed over the piece of furniture in moments, cutting down on the excessive time demands of upholstery. In order to have a piece reupholstered, an owner has to submit the order weeks in advance, and it might still face delays. Many decorating-savvy people enjoy the speed and efficiency of a slipcover in comparison. In addition, covers are much more cost effective. They are a fraction of the price charged for typical re-upholstery, and the price won't vary depending on the intricacy of the job. Because upholstery requires that the craftsman tailor his or her design to the form of the piece, it is much more demanding than a simple fitted slipcover.
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