A custom-made slipcover for a large boxy sofa, like Andrea’s Pottery Barn piece, looks and functions best in a supple heavyweight fabric. It covers and defines the squared arms and other angular features better than a lighter weight fabric that is too limp or clingy.
For this project I used cotton-poly canvas in Charcoal. Besides being durable and washable this cloth has the same contemporary vibe as the sofa design. I love it when function, fit and fabric are in sync!
Don’t you love the graceful contour of this traditional high-back wing chair? It features all kinds of curvy details: flared wings, arched top, rounded tight back and scrolled arms, just to name a few.
When I created this canvas slipcover for Laura’s wingback I made sure to draw attention to the wonderful curves with simple lines and a tailored fit.
Smoothing the fabric over the rounded areas as much as possible was key. Since fabric doesn’t naturally fold neatly over curves I had to drape & shape it using a few of my favorite pin-fit techniques:
1. Insert a yoke on the arched top at inner back. To avoid gathers at the seam that joins the inner back to the back, I pin-fit a flat panel (2.5″ wide) over the arch. This does away with excess fabric that would otherwise need to be gathered in the seam.
2. Shape curved darts over the seat. Pinning a 4″ curved dart at both sides of the seat (where the seat rounds to meet the front arms) worked like charm to smooth fabric.
3. Fold soft tucks on the wings. Instead of creating gathers (too messy) or darts (too pointy) I folded the excess fabric around the curved wings with 3 soft tucks. Keeping the placement equal between the tucks makes this treatment look intentional and neat.
Fabric for this project: #12 weight cotton duck color natural from Big Duck Canvas. Read my review for this cloth on my FABRICS page and be sure to follow my pre-shrink instructions.
A simple slipcover in a neutral color. Sound boring? Not at all! Especially when you choose a fabric and seam detail that are unexpected.
For example, the fabric vision for this slipcover was grey cotton canvas. I could have easily gone with this basic solid grey 10 oz. canvas.
Instead, I chose a 12 oz. yarn-dyed canvas: black and natural yarns woven together to create a two-tone grey color effect. The yarn-dyed color has more depth and interest than a solid grey. It has the look of chambray. Love!
For the seam finish, welt cord was the standard choice. Well, it was until I started playing around with a French flange (flat welt). I’m so glad I did! The pretty 1/2″ flange with little pleats placed around the corners soften the chair’s boxy appearance.
Canvas made from 100% cotton, cotton blends, linen and hemp make a casual, versatile slipcover for everyday use.
One of my new favorites is Vintage Stone Washed Canvas in color Grey Stone, a cotton poly blend with a subtle distressed finish.
Stone wash gives this thick, durable fabric a soft, broken-in feel. Very comfy! The little bit of polyester content minimizes wrinkle.
For best results, preshrink this canvas to work out residual shrinkage. Washing & drying the yardage will also enhance the softness.
A awning stripe slipcover made for a big, old comfy chair. This piece is now ready for its new home on Lake Michigan. It’s hard to believe these are the same chairs!
To give the saggy back cushion new life, I detached it and refreshed the stuffing with polyester cluster fill. I also wrapped the seat cushion with poly upholstery batting to plump up the crown.
Fabric: Bridgewater Stripe in color Lake, a beautiful, grainy yarn-dyed cotton canvas by Roth & Tompkins.