Long before I started my slipcover business, I thought the only way to make a good fitting slipcover was to first create a muslin pattern.
This meticulous pattern method made sense to me. It’s a technique I learned in fashion design school. Creating a muslin was the first step in turning my design sketches into custom-fit garments so why not use it to pattern my chairs and sofa? Well, my finished slipcovers turned out beautiful but the process felt like it took f-o-r-e-v-e-r!
Today, I still make a muslin when I need to work through complex details. But for all of my other slipcover projects, I use pattern methods that give me great results with fewer steps.
There is more than one way to make a slipcover that’s for sure. Choose a method that works for you and dive in! Here are some of my favorite how-to resources:
The Complete Photo Guide to Slipcovers by Linda Neubauer
Easy to follow step-by-step instructions with a focus on creating a muslin pattern. Excellent photos. If you are a visual learner you will like this book. I especially like the sections on slipcovering a wing back chair and how to pattern and sew box cushions.
Marge’s Custom Slipcovers, Easy to Make & Snug Fitting by Marge Jones
Marge’s method eliminates the muslin pattern making process. Her book is filled with techniques and tips for just about every aspect of slipcover making. If you are stumped by installing decking or confused by how to cover an attached back chair, get this book!
Fit-Like-A-Glove Slipcovers DVD by Jenelle Dech
This training DVD walks you through every step of creating a slipcover for a wingback settee using the reverse pin-fit method. I like Jenelle’s concise teaching style. She also shares tips I haven’t seen in other videos. If you are thinking about starting a slipcover business consider learning this efficient technique.
Slipcovers with Shelley, How-To Slipcover DVD
Here is another DVD that features the reverse pin-fit method. Shelley shows you how she patterns and sews an armchair slipcover with a skirt. She pins the fabric inside out with welt cord in the seams and she does it fast!
Online Slipcover Classes at Craftsy
These Craftsy video classes are a fun way to learn basic pattern methods and sewing techniques at your own pace. I particularly liked Kim Chagnon’s class, Custom Slipcovers Couches & Sofas. Great for do-it-yourselfers who want to pick up a few professional tips and techniques.
Paul A. Carter’s Half Pattern Method: Video Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
In this 3-part YouTube video series, Paul demonstrates step-by-step how to create a pattern by pin-fitting only one half of a chair. You will also learn tips and techniques for cutting out the pattern and sewing the slipcover. I like this pattern method for symmetrical furniture.