Slipcovering! Part I

You know what they say.

"A poorly slipcovered recliner in the hand is worth two in the bush."

Or something like that.

Despite the challenges of sewing with little people in the house (click to the end of the last post and you'll see what I mean), suddenly I am into slipcovering in a big way friends.  Big.

I'm gonna slipcover EVERYTHING.  Okay, so maybe not everything, but *at least* two things and we don't have a lot of furniture which means -- most of the things!

Why? Well recently I had to swap out the back couch cushions in my living room and replace them with some mismatched cushions from a hand-me-down couch we had in the basement (ironically, those cushions weren't even original to that couch!).  After ten years, five moves, four kids, and a run-in or two with a bottle of Desitin, our living room couch was in rough shape to begin with.  Add some old floral cushions and yikes.  Not good!  I pulled out a hand-me-down cream slipcover (thanks Ang!) and put in on the couch and...kind of liked it.  The original cushions didn't fill it out right so it never quite worked in the past, but with the "new" cushions?  What an improvement!  A breath of fresh air in our cold-weather house arrest.

Where could I get more of this fresh air?

Sew slipcovers.  Yes, yes, yes.

Upon surveying the house for ideas of what to cover-up with fabric next, it occurred to me that I have been suppressing a certain venture I made into slipcovering about seven years ago.  Believe it or not, I had once tried to do this chair:

Lazyboy recliner bequeathed to us by my in-laws.

I got a very good start on it too.  And then I went into labor with my firstborn about twelve hours later and that was the end of that.

However, since then I have carted along all of the stuff to cover it in the hopes that one day I would be inspired to start anew.

Yesterday was that day!!! 

This is what I had to work with when I began again:


 The back comes off, in case you can't figure out the perspective in those pics!

Anyway, what was left to do was cover the removable back, figure out the logistics of finishing the seat portion, and make the skirting.

I finished everything but the skirting!

I know, I know -- my living room carpet kills me too!  New flooring definitely has priority over new furniture at this point.

FYI, the fabric is a lightly brushed cotton twill fabric from Calico Corners.
Very soft and much better in person.

Did I mention I have no living idea what I am doing?

In this next pic, I had finished the top and was trying to figure out how to do the back of the seat:

 I don't know if this was the best solution, but after looking at the bottom portion of the chair --

 I decided keep the arm portions detached from the seat cover -- but attached to each other.  Like this:

A recliner bolero.

I should interrupt this part of the recap to inform you that during one point of the construction process, I took a break to give my littler two kiddos a bath.  After the bath, my son (that's him, pictured above) ran out of the bathroom stark naked, climbed upon the chair, and tinkled on it!

Cuz, seriously, this is my life.

Moving on.

Here's the current state of things:

 I have a plan to slit the side skirt for the handle.

Another couple of hours to skirt and do the handle and maybe even serge (if I make it to the store for serger thread), and it should be done. *fingers crossed*
Stay tuned for Part II!

Why have I been afraid to do this for all of these years?  Am I the only one intimidated by sewing for furniture?

p.s. I have supplies for another chair in transit.  :o)


  1. You go girl! I once did a couch and chair. Lately I have been staring at two antique couches that need it badly. I like the idea of the bolero for the chair, any which way that looks good in the end is good in my book!

  2. Sounds like you DEFINITELY need to be remedying that couch situation Michelle!!! You know you want to ;). If I lived closer, I'd come help!


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