Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Easy Slipcover for People Who Don't Know How to Sew

I want a new couch. I love my couch and have major sentimental attachments to it, but it’s showing its age. It’s faded and stained and looks more shabby than chic these days. The reality is we’re not getting a new couch any time soon. Have you priced those suckers lately? The good ones are not cheap and the cheap ones are not good.

So like anyone who reads too many home décor blogs and watches a lot of HGTV, I thought, “I’ll just slipcover it.” I’m smart, no? Yeah, except the only time in my life I’ve ever used a sewing machine was in seventh grade home ec. class where I made a lumpy stuffed duck and broke the sewing machine in the process. That was the lowest grade I had ever gotten in a class until I got to college.

So if you’re adventurous and/or stupid a great first sewing project is slipcovering your sofa. Because I have no sewing skills, I invented a process for how to do this and then proceeded to think about it for two months before actually attempting it. To my surprise, it wasn’t THAT hard and looks ok.

Basically, I made giant pillowcases for the cushions. I laid the fabric out on the floor and cut a piece big enough to cover it with very little overlap.

Then I folded the fabric in half and pinned the side opposite the fold and an adjacent side. So now one side was folded, two sides were pinned together, and one side was open.

Sew along the two pinned sides. It’s two straight stitches in an L-shape, so it isn’t very hard. The longest part of this process for me was watching the instructional DVD that came with my sewing machine on how to thread my machine. After seeing like 22 times, I got it threaded.

I put the cushion inside its new slipcover to make sure it fit. It did, but the slipcover is inside out, so I had to turn it right side out and pop the cushion back in. When I put the cushion back on the couch I simply folded the extra fabric under the cushion so you can’t tell it isn’t fitted. This was necessary for me because I didn’t feel quite ready to take on a zipper yet.

It probably would look more professional with more seaming and piping, but given my skill level, I’m happy with it. Now to cover the body of the couch. Eek! Stay tuned.

I'm linking to Anti-Procrastination Tuesday and How To's Day.


  1. If I had a sewing machine, this would be a great project for me to try! I can't wait to see how you do the rest of it. I love that fabric, btw.

  2. Good start! I like the fabric too, is it thick/heavy like a thin canvas? (I know, that's kinda contradictory, ha) I have to give you props for at least breaking out the sewing machine. I have one that's been sitting in my house since late fall...I'm in a sewing class to brush up on my skills, but I haven't touched the one that came to live at my house (was my MILs).

  3. Wow, that looks really good actually. Very inventive!

  4. It looks adorable! I'm about to teach myself to use a sewing machine... scary thought! They've always actually kind of freaked me out for some reason!

  5. That would be me! Sewing machines scare me. Although I would love to learn.

  6. Great job! That is an awesome idea that I wish I'd thought of back when I used to just drape a sheet over the whole sofa. (Yep, been there..)

    Also, let me say to you all who don't sew much and/or are scared of zippers - a) sewing machines are awesome! All you have to do is learn to thread it (that took me a few days) and then you can do almost anything you need with just the first straight stitch on the machine. Oh, and if zippers are scary - just use velcro instead! :)

  7. I love your style! So like mine! Keep up the good work!


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