Sunday, April 24, 2011

How To Sew A Chair Slip Cover - From A Girl That Can't Sew

Here are the chairs I started with.  Red and modern!

So first after picking my fabric out, of course, I laid it out on the chair to see how I wanted to center the design of the fabric.  I cut the fabric to fall to the bottom of the chair (past the seat) in the front and back.

Then next, I turned the fabric inside-out on the chair with the fabric pattern in the same position.

Next I cut off the excess fabric down the side of the chair.  I made sure to leave at least two inches of extra fabric.  It can be cut down to an inch or so, after pinning.

Then I pinched about an inch of fabric across the base of the back of the chair, where the seat and back come together. I pinned the fabric together all the way across the seat of the chair.  Make sure you are not sticking your pins into the chair fabric.

Here is a close up.  You should have a fold in the fabric at this point with the pins close to the chair.

Next, cut down the fold.

Now your seam is already pinned together ready to sew. 

Then I went up to the sides of the chair back.  I pushed the fabric down the side of the chair from the top and pulled the fabric from the front and back of the chair to the middle of the side.  It should look like this picture below.  The are better ways to do this that would probably look more professional, but, this way was easy for me to do and looks good in the end.

I continued to pin the fabric in the middle of the side of the chair all the way down to the bottom.

Do that on both sides.  It should look like this picture below when you are done.

Cut off any excess fabric on the outside of the pins.  Just be sure to leave an inch.

At this point take the fabric off the chair and sew down your pin lines.  Remove the pins as you go.  Don't sew over them!!  Next up is a skirt for the seat of the chair.  Determine how long you want the skirt to be, then add another 2 inches.  That way you will have an extra inch on the top and bottom for your seams. 

  Lay your fabric out, measure, and make a cut on each end of the fabric at the length you need.

Then I folded the fabric at the cut marks on both sides.  Make sure your sides of the fabric are lined up straight before you cut.  Like the picture below.  Then cut down the edge of the fabric, and cut down the fold.

I made two strips at the same time, so I folded the fabric in half and cut down the fold again.  If you are doing two chairs and want your pattern to be identical on the skirt you can't do it this way.  You have to cut one strip then find the same area on your fabric roll where the fabric pattern matches and use the strip you have cut as a cutting guide.

Once I had my skirt pieces cut, I went back to the chair and folded the fabric up about an inch along the side of the top of the seat cushion.  Like the picture below.

Then I pinned the skirt down the side of the seat.  Leave an inch at the top of your skirt for sewing and use the edge of the chair seat cushion as a guide, as you pin your way down.

Leave an inch of fabric past the end of the seat.  Repeat this all the way around the seat of the chair.

I had to make two slits for the chair legs to come through. Then I hemmed the edges of the fabric.

Then take it all off the chair and sew down your pinned lines again.  Fold the bottom of the skirt up an inch, pin and then sew for an nice hem around the bottom of the chair.  After all of that flip it right-side-out and put in on the chair.  It should look like the picture below.

I got this far on both chairs, but I still have to cover the box cushions and lumbar pillow.  But then....MY STINKING SEWING MACHINE BROKE!!!  Big ole hunk of junk.  On the bright side I have another one ordered and on the way.  And..... It's a heavy duty one!  Guess this means the rest of the chair slip cover "how to" will be next week.


  1. Wow that looks like a lot of work!!! Great job! :)

  2. Great photo's and instructions! Making slipcovers is SO intimidating and you make it seem a little more possible for people like me to do. ;-)

  3. Thank You! This is so such a simple way to make slipcovers. And you are funny to boot! Loved it

  4. Awhhh! Thanks for your comments! They made me smile!

  5. So, did you get that new machine?? I'm all anxious to see how you did the cushion and the new look!

  6. Would love to see the end of the project as well! And for truely heavy duty sewing, I've found old thrift store sewing machines from the 60's and older to be the best. They go through ANYTHING like butter, are easy to repair and maintain, and you can find them cheap, like $10 and up- $50, $75 average,

  7. Great slipcover! Thanks for sharing this tut.

  8. I really appreciate this. I do need to see the end result. You are a funny person. Thank you for the time you gave to us.

  9. You are obviously a. "Can do girl!" great job!!

  10. Thank you. This really helped me. I am looking forward to the cushion tutorial next time.


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