Back in October, I was commissioned to make slipcovers for a chair and ottoman.
I had never done it before, but I like a challenge. So armed with a couple of books, I looked at the bolt of 15 yards of fabric and the chair and scratched my head.
I decided to start with the easy part - the ottoman! After all it was simply a box that I needed to cover with a piece of fabric. My lesson from the beginning - do not overfit. I got the top to fit perfectly but did not give it enough room to fit over the sides- the result - it looked like an overstuffed sausage ( and you can't tell it to breathe in and hold it...). So it came apart again - luckily I had left really wide seam allowances on the top Next came the T-cushion which went together pretty smoothly thanks to this book. I also marked all the straight sides of the cushion with a ruler before sewing on the welting cord. I did not do this with the ottoman and there are a couple of places where the straight lines are sort of bumpy.
Next came the actual chair. The book above suggests making a muslin pattern and then using it to cut your final fabric. I did not do this. Instead, I followed the advice in this book, which was to cut large rectangles of fabric and then fit them to the chair. I cut extra large rectangles because I also wanted to match the stripes and I did not want to take the time to figure out their placement ahead of time.
When I got to this part, I was more confident of what I was doing and it went together more quickly. This was definitely a project where my seam ripper was my friend, but I really learned alot.
By the way these are slipcovers. and totally removable. There is a zipper on the back of the chair. I think reupholstery might be a little easier - or at least have different challenges. Here I had to make sure to make it big enough for it to be removable. With upholstery, you would want it to fit exactly.
In the end, I was happy with how it turned out and so was my customer! Next time, it would definitely take me less time and probably less fabric. I would do it again. In fact, it gives me reason to go to yard sales - to see if I can find potential slipcover projects.