Make a slipcover for a child's upholstered chair to give a fresh new look to a vintage piece or a hand-me-down. Slipcovers are removable, making them easy to launder. You can make several different slipcovers for a cute set of chairs in a shared bedroom or cover a child's chair to match your adult living room set. Sewing a slipcover for an upholstered chair is easy when you take excellent measurements, choose durable upholstery fabric and use a sturdy machine needle specially designed for working with heavy cloth.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Flexible tape measure
- Plain cotton muslin fabric
- Upholstery fabric
- Sewing machine
- Heavy sewing machine needle
Measure the chair with the flexible tape measure. Follow curved edges precisely with the tape measure to get accurate measurements. Record your measurements on a sheet of paper. Draw a sketch of the chair to help you remember what measurements go with what sections of the chair.
Make pattern pieces out of cotton muslin to test your slipcover measurements. Draw the pattern pieces on the cotton using the measurements you took, adding 1 inch to each measurement to create a 1/2-inch seam allowance on all sides. Cut out the pattern pieces.
Place the pattern pieces on the chair and pin them to one another along the 1/2-inch seam allowance. Check to be sure that you have a snug but not overly tight fit. Make any adjustments necessary and mark your changes directly onto the fabric. Keep making adjustments until you are completely satisfied with the pin-fit pattern.
Transfer the modified cotton pattern onto the upholstery fabric with a pencil. Cut out the fabric. Sew the fabric pieces with their right sides together using a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Press the seams.
Turn the slipcover right-side-out to test its fit on the chair. When you are happy with its fit, hem the bottom of the slipcover to the length you desire.
Tips and warnings
- Pre-laundering your fabric can limit shrinkage when you clean the finished slipcover.
- You do not need to sew the cotton muslin pattern together, but you can if you are worried about making a mistake with an expensive upholstery fabric. In this case you will need to use a seam ripper to take apart the cotton muslin to use it as a pattern when you are satisfied with the design.
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