If you live with solid color slipcovers you know how practical and versatile they are. But do you ever get in a decorating rut with them?
I’ve been feeling that way about my red slipcovered chair, which is tucked into a cozy corner of my home.
I want to give it a new look but I don’t have time right now to sew an entirely new slipcover. Should I just swap out the accent pillow and be done? No, not again!!
So, I started playing around with mixing layers of pattern and texture against the solid red canvas. Using what I had on hand, I pulled in an old cushion cover, textured blankets, a vintage grain sack and other accents. I even created a simple cushion sleeve for extra layering. Here’s what I came up with:
I have always like the look of farmhouse-style decor. Above I used a ticking cushion cover from my chair’s previous slipcover. I combined the stripe seat with a vintage wool plaid blanket and a sweet velvet bird pillow. Oh, and the handwoven striped rag rug adds yet another layer of texture and richness. Pretty cozy don’t you think?
Once you get started in mixing patterns it’s hard to stop! In this French country version, I kept the ticking cushion cover and then layered it with a floral linen sleeve. I made a fabric tube from a Waverly print, pressed it flat and seamed the ends together. The finished sleeve is the width of the cushion. Think of it as a fabric loop. It slides over the cushion and fits snug so it won’t shift around with use.
I love the look of the ticking stripe and floral with the vintage grain sack. It was long enough to hang over the chair so the inside back is completely covered. I added even more pattern by layering in the plaid linen pillow cover and a striped quilt. It looks like a different chair, doesn’t it?
OK, now it’s your turn. How will you give your slipcover a style boost?
When I spotted Rachel Ashwell‘s washable velvet slipcover I started thinking about velvet in an entirely new way. I like the washed-worn look and not-so-perfect fit. The overall feel is more comfy-cozy than formal upholstered velvet pieces. I’m inspired!
The last time I made anything from velvet was back in the 1970’s when I sewed practically all of my own clothes. The velvet fabrics I used were so slippery to sew! Pressing had it’s own challenges. Machine washing them was out of the question.
Fast forward 30+ years and a whole new generation of velvet fabrics are available: distressed velvet, vintage velvet, heather velvet, chenille and velour that look like velvet, etc. Not all are machine washable or easy to sew but now we have options galore. I haven’t experimented with velvet recently but when I do I will opt for a washable 100% cotton or cotton blend and stay away from the slinky and stretchy polyester-nylon-acrylic versions.
Velvet upholstered sofas and chairs are trending! Here are a few pieces I found that have the relaxed, lived-in look I like so much. Great inspiration for slipcovers.
I just added another favorite slipcover fabric to my FABRICS page. It’s the 10 oz. organic cotton canvas (duck) from Big Duck Canvas. When you compare it side by side with the Big Duck’s regular 10 oz. cotton canvas it looks exactly the same. However, you’ll notice right away the difference in the hand-feel; slightly softer surface and overall less stiff.
The nicer hand-feel is a result of the certified organic cotton and how the fabric was processed. The cotton is grown, harvested, woven into fabric and finished without the harmful, toxic chemicals traditionally used in conventional textile manufacturing. The entire process, from field to fabric, meets the Global Organic Textile Standard.
When I find an organic cotton fabric that is suitable for my slipcover projects I’m all over it. I opt for it because certified organic cotton is produced with care for people and the environment. I like supporting sustainable farming. I like that organic production methods significantly reduce field and factory worker’s exposure to hazardous substances. And, I like having textile products (including slipcovers) in my home that don’t outgas toxins.
Take a look at the Choose Organic Cotton video above. It’s a simple and informative intro to why organic cotton fabrics benefit us all.
*Big Duck’s organic cotton canvas has been preshrunk by the mill, however, you still have to wash and dry your yardage before making your slipcover to remove residual shrinkage so that your slipcover doesn’t shrink.
Video source: created by G. Kennedy Creative, found on prAna channel at YouTube.