Slipcovers are very popular and many people love them for their versatility. They can transform old worn out furniture into fresh updated eye catching pieces that can easily steal the spotlight in any room of the house. They can be easily laundered which makes them a lifesaver for people with small children and pet owners. If you have a love of slipcovers like I do and have always wanted to make your own, then follow along as I start a series of slipcover tutorials.
If you plan to machine wash your slipcover, then you want to make sure you purchase fabric that is machine washable. Before you start your slipcover you must preshrink your fabric. I always suggest washing 5 yards at a time. If you wash anymore than that the fabric will rub against itself and abrade. So if your slipcover requires 15 yards of fabric, measure out 5 yards, cut it off the roll and wash. Then you can do 2 more loads of 5 yards each. If possible, roll the fabric back on the cardboard tube immediately after you remove it from the dryer. If you plan to wash your slipcover in hot water, then preshrink your slipcover in hot water. Dry it on the hottest setting you will be drying your slipcover on.
For today's tutorial I will be slip covering an ottoman. This ottoman is for a friend of mine that is remodeling her RV. If you read my butterfly balloon shade tutorial, this is for the same RV and I was able to get some pics of the almost finished interior.
Most ottomans will take 4 yards or less of fabric depending on the size of the ottoman and the skirt style you choose. Today's ottoman is large and has a box pleated skirt with contrasting insets. In fact we used 5 different fabrics on this ottoman so the yardage varied.
Here's the ottoman we are slip covering.
The first step in any slipcover is to block the fabric to the furniture. This means cutting a piece of fabric larger then the area it is to cover and pinning it to the furniture with T pins. If you aren't familiar with T pins, here's what those look like.
Now measure the side boxing of the ottoman and cut strips that are 2-3" wider and longer then each boxing side. Tpin them to each boxing side.
You're ready to remove all the pins and Tpins and begin the sewing.
Make enough welt cord to go around the top of the boxing and the bottom of the boxing. The welt for this ottoman was a stripe. You can find my instructions for cutting and making welt cord here. Make sure you cut your fabric strips on the bias for the welt cord, it just lays so much better.
Starting at the center of one side of your top piece, extending the welt 1/2" before you start stitching, stitch the welt to the top of the ottoman.
Directly down from where you started and stopped your welt on the top of your ottoman, start your welt at the bottom of the boxing.
Attach the welt all the way around finishing off the end like you did with the previous welt.
Place the slipcover top on your ottoman to make sure it fits right. See if there are any adjustments you need to make and make them.
Skirt- My skirt for this ottoman was complicated! It was a box pleat with contrasting inserts. I thought I had measured and figured all my skirt pieces accurately and when I went to pin it to the bottom of the slipcover, it was not lining up right. I had to fudge it a little. You can add whatever skirt style you want to your ottoman. I will attempt to give instructions for this skirt, but it may be confusing.
Measure and jot down all four boxing widths. My long edges were 50" and my short edges were 32". My friend wanted her box pleats to be approx. 4" wide and the contrast insets to be approx. 2" wide. So each pleat and it's contrast would take up 6" of space. Divide your edge by the 6", which told me I would have 8 box pleats on each long edge and 5 box pleats on my short edges.
I wanted the pleats to fold back under 2", so for the front of the box pleats I cut my pieces 9".(4" front+2" fold back+2" fold back+1" for two 1/2" seam allow)
For the contrast inserts, I cut them 7"(2" to show between box pleats+2" fold back+2" fold back+1" two 1/2" seam allow)
To figure the length of your skirt pieces and how to construct the skirt with lining, refer to my box pleat bed skirt tutorial here.
Pin your box pleats to the bottom of the boxing and stitch close to the welt.
Turn and press the pleats in really well.
Here's what mine looks like all finished.
Cute huh! My friend was very happy with it and it looks adorable in their newly remodeled RV!