5 Slipcover Tips for Updating a Classic Loveseat

Upholstered Loveseat Before Slipcover

Isn’t this loveseat a cutie? I’m not sure if my customer, Tamara, purchased it secondhand or it was already in her family. What I do know is she looked past the outdated features and saw potential in the solid frame, classic design, and comfortable cushions.

The only thing this piece needed was a slipcover makeover with fabric and design details that worked with her farmhouse-style living space.

Here are the five things I updated to give Tamara’s loveseat the style boost she envisioned.

Custom Slipcover for Loveseat

Tip #1: Chose a versatile fabric with good coverage.

Tamara chose Boyd Natural for her loveseat slipcover. It’s the same grainy oatmeal cotton blend I used to slipcover her swivel rocker. Boyd is a versatile neutral that works great for unifying different styles of furniture in one room.

This medium weight plain weave isn’t the most sturdy or tightly woven fabric but it did a good job at keeping the upholstery stripe from showing through.

If you are slipcovering an upholstered piece that has pile or textured upholstery choose a tightly woven heavyweight fabric for best coverage.

Tip #2: Change the skirt design.

I created big boxy pleats to the cover the original tailored skirt. Changing the skirt style gave Tamara’s loveseat an instant update and matches her swivel chair slipcover. Very pretty!

Attached Back Cushion Removed

Tip #3: Remove attached back cushions for better slipcover fit and function.

Detaching back cushions and covering them individually is a must if you want a good fitting slipcover on the frame and removable covers for the cushions.

It took me less than 10 minutes to remove the back cushions from the loveseat. To avoid leaving a hole and patching, I cut the cushions off from the back side of the cover. Never cut the fabric on the inner back of the furniture. Check out my step-by-step guide for detaching back cushions.

I took apart one of back cushion covers and used it as pattern to make the new covers. Easy and guaranteed to fit.

Loveseat Cushion Covers Oatmeal Cotton Linen

Tip #4: Choose trim that compliments the furniture design. 

For this piece I trimmed seams with self-fabric welt cord. Oatmeal on oatmeal is a fresh update from the original high-contrast brown welt. The look is classic, just like the loveseat design.

English Rolled Arm Seam Placement

Tip #5: Simplify the construction.  

An English rolled arm slipcover always looks best when you DON’T follow the upholstered arm seams. When I pin fit this type of arm design I like to simplify the construction so the outer arm fits smooth and flat as possible. The only pleats or gathers I want to see are on the front arm.

For this piece I raised the outer arm seam to sit on the arm edge right before it rolls over to the outside. I didn’t get an after photo so I drew in the new seam line on the photo to give you an idea of the placement.

There you have it! I hope one or all five of my slipcover makeover tips come in handy for your next project.

Thanks for following along! —Karen


  1. Those pleats completely changed the settee. I just adore how they anchor the piece with crisp, dressmaker detail and confident size.. The back of the arm gather…😍. Just a lovely makeover. I wish I could sew like that.

  2. The makeover of this piece is utterly charming. I love the finished results you share and each time you introduce a different fabric, I’m convinced THAT’S the one I want for my sofa (also known as design paralysis😬🙂)!

  3. Wowsa!! This slipcover turned out so perfectly! I love the new skirting and the pillows! I also love the seam moved on the rolled arm. Great work Karen!!😊

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