Slipcovering a director's chair may seem like a difficult task, but it can be done successfully with only a few simple tools and basic sewing knowledge. Whether your chair's fabric is stained or you simply want to update the look of your decor, slipcovering can make a dramatic difference with minimal effort. Making your own slipcover can cost less than purchasing a pre-made one, and you can guarantee a good fit in a fabric of your choice.
Measure your director's chair, particularly the seat width and the height from the floor to the top of the chair back. Take these measurements to the fabric store when purchasing the pattern and fabric. Compare your measurements to the back of the pattern envelope, to ensure that the slipcover pattern will fit your chair.
Choose a fabric based not only on the colour and design, but on the fabric strength. Upholstery fabrics are thicker and will hold up better to the wear and abrasion that your chair's slipcover will face from everyday use.
Wash and dry your fabric in the same way you plan to launder your finished slipcover. This is a particularly important step for cotton fabrics, which will shrink when laundered. It is better for the shrinking to take place before the slipcover is cut out and sewn.
Cut out the pattern and fabric according to the directions on the back of the pattern envelope. If your fabric has a design on it, be sure that the pattern pieces are turned the correct way, so that you don't have stripes going in three different directions, for example.
Pin the slipcover together and try it on your chair. Be careful not to scratch yourself with the pins as you do this. The slipcover should fit snugly, so that it will not move around when the chair is in use. However, it should not be so tight that you can't remove it without potentially ripping the stitching. Adjust the seam allowances if necessary to create the ideal fit.
Sew the pieces together according to the pattern directions. If you made fit changes with the slipcover pinned together, you may want to try the slipcover on the chair before and after sewing major seams, such as the side seams. If any additional alterations need to be made, they can be done at this time, before you have completed the sewing.
Place the sewn slipcover onto your chair, and pin the bottom hem so that it is just above the floor for full-length covers, or to the desired length for shorter slipcovers.
Stitch the hem in place and put the finished slipcover onto your chair.
If you are using a heavier fabric, such as duck or canvas, you will need to use a heavy-duty needle in your sewing machine. Using upholstery thread for your project will help to strengthen the seams and make the slipcover more resilient.
Tips and warnings
- If you are using a heavier fabric, such as duck or canvas, you will need to use a heavy-duty needle in your sewing machine.
- Using upholstery thread for your project will help to strengthen the seams and make the slipcover more resilient.