February 20, 2014

Making a Slip Cover - Part Three

The final step in finishing your slip cover is the skirt.  I'm going to put a tailored skirt on our couch but you can also put a ruffled skirt on your couch, chair or love seat for a more romantic look.  If you've missed my earlier posts, click here for Making a Slip Cover - Part One and  Making a Slip Cover Part Two

The first thing I do is measure out my welting by wrapping it around the couch.
Before I cut it, I add at least an extra foot.  Your slip cover may be a little looser than you expect and you don't want to run out of piping.  I use Wright's and order it on Amazon.
This is the third large spool I've used this past year making slip covers and reupholstering furniture!  After measuring out the length I'll need, I cover it with the couch fabric.

And then trim it off.  I pinned the piping to my couch approximately where I wanted and then went back around measuring up from the floor. This is the best way to make sure your skirt will be even.   I wanted my skirt to be 12" long so I measured up 12" from the floor.

I started my piping on the back corner of my couch where my stopping and starting point would not show.  I like to place a pin every 6-8".  It can be hard to tell what's going on when you take the slip cover off the couch and get it on the sewing machine.  Placing pens close together will help you be confident that you're sewing your piping where you want it.  You might want to put pins even closer together going around corners.
Then sew your piping onto the cover, pulling it tight and straight between your pins.  The above picture is correct - the below picture will result in your piping not being straight around your couch.
When you get all the way around the couch, you need to connect your piping to itself.  Cut your piping so that it overlaps the start by about 2 inches.  Then open up the end of the piping and cut the welting inside so that it ends right at the beginning of the start of your piping.

Fold back the fabric...
and fit the end of the piping around the beginning...
and sew it down, finishing off the circle around your couch.

Put your cover back on your couch, right side out.
Mark your corners with a pen or pin.  I realized after I marked  mine with a pen that I intend this slip cover to be washable and my pen mark may bleed so I recommend a pin.  Cut your skirts.  Because I had put my piping 12" from the floor, I cut 15" skirts for seam allowance and hem.

I wanted my skirt tailored with one piece on each side.  I measured the fabric, adding about 3" to each side, to fold under on the ends of the skirts.  With my cover still right side out, I pinned my skirts on.

I pinned on my front skirt and one side skirt and sewed them on; then repeated the process.  I then added small 'skirts' under the four corners.

 I used Stitch Witchery - an iron-on bonding strip - to put hems in my skirt.  This is the first time I've done it this way and I really liked it.  There is no seam showing.  If you're not planning on washing your slip cover, I would usually use iron on interfacing to finish off the skirt.  This gives the skirt some body and again, no hem showing.

And here is the finished slip cover!

This is our love seat across the room in the living room.  I made this slip cover months ago and then decided I might like a ruffled skirt on it.

I love this romantic look when I see it in other's houses but I think if I have this soft skirt, I need something a little more rustic in this area to balance it out.

I might have to replace it with a more tailored skirt.  What do you think?

When we got these new dining room chairs last summer, I immediately slip covered them to keep them clean.  They are white underneath but I wanted to be able to relax when my family ate spaghetti on them and know that if anyone had an accident, I could wash them or replace them.

This is another chair in our family room that I slip covered.  This style with a curvy back is not as easy to fit  and may want to slip down in the back a little bit but can still be done. I've added elastic circles that hook around the legs in the back to keep them from slipping.

And a parson's chair covered to match the window seat.

This couch took me several days to get done but I'm really happy with the result.  It looks just like a brand new couch and is durable and washable.  

I've never had any formal sewing training.  If you can sew a straight line you can make a slipcover. 

Love and blessings!

"Let them praise His Name with dancing" Psalm 149:3a

I'm linking up to Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesdays


  1. Oh my word, you are totally amazing. This is so much work. I made just the arm covers for a couple of chairs and thought that was hard. Not really going to try the whole chair or sofa. Yours looks fabulous. Great job. Hugs, Marty

    1. Thank you, Marty!! You are so kind! You made my day! I have to confess that I'm really glad it's done. Sometimes I bite off more than I can chew - lol. Now if I can just figure out this blog-thing...
      Have a great Friday! love and blessings!

  2. Great tutorial on the slipcover! I've slip covered a few things, mostly little chairs. Yours turned out beautifully and I learned a few things I will definitely be doing next time! Thanks for sharing. Your home is beautiful! Great blog, too!

    1. Thank you, Bobbi Jo! Thanks for visiting and for your kind comments!

  3. I love the idea but suck at sewing anything but straight lines lol! We desperately need a slip cover for our couch that our Jack Russell has torn the leather off of with her claws. At the moment I'm just using an extremely large blanket to cover the back and seating cushions but I'm going to have to come up with a more permanent solution soon. We love the couch and don't want to get rid of it.

  4. I need to make a slip cover for my living room sofa, thanks to a couple of kittens! I made a slip cover for another sofa and chair in 1990 and used a professionally made slip cover (I took it apart) as my pattern and it turned out almost perfect. But this is a different sofa so I am sure your instructions are going to help me. Thank you for posting them and making it possible for me to print them!