By Meredith Heaton. Slipcovers. Published at Thursday, June 14th, 2018 - 20:43:48 PM.
You just finished moving in and have collapsed on the sofa. But once you are sitting down you realize just how out of place your old sofa looks in your new place. The color is all wrong and the fabric pattern sticks out like a sore thumb. But you just moved in and you still have bills to pay and you can’t afford any new furnishings. But how can you invite anyone over when your sofa looks so bad? This is why a new slipcover for your sofa in the right matching colors with a different fabric can make all the difference in the world.
Construction is easy - The process of sewing a slipcover uses the familiar techniques of garment sewing. Sewing darts, facings, pleats, and piping are basic skills that are certainly easier to do on a simple slipcover than, say, a jacket. Sewing hems, topstitching seams, and creating closures are terrific practice for more complex projects. Clip and notch curves in their seam allowances, as you would in garment sewing. Pressing rules apply to slipcover construction, too. Press open seam allowances as you finish them, and press pleats carefully to create crisp edges.
Cut out the pattern pieces, folding the seat section in half along the centerline to ensure symmetry. You’ll also need facings to finish the cutout edges of the overlapping-closure areas of the chair’s arms and back. If you want to make a pattern for these, cut a rectangle at least 1-12 in. larger than the openings. Or simply measure and cut the slipcover fabric directly, without a pattern, when you’re ready to face. Place your muslin pattern pieces on the right side of your slipcover fabric, and cut them out. If there are any motifs in the fabric that need to be centered or positioned strategically, trace the muslin pieces on paper first to make a see-through pattern.
A more traditional chair slipcover is hand sewn by a slipcover professional or upholstery shop. Hand crafted slipcovers were originally made by tapestry weavers and were used to protect the furnishings of the very rich. But during the 18th and 19th century chair slipcovers became a fashion accessory all on their own. As slipcovers for chairs became the vogue, slipcover makers, often immigrants from Europe would go to the homes of their wealthy clients and measure and cut out fabrics on site. Then the men would return to their homes or shops and have their womenfolk do the actual sewing.
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