Category Archives: slipcover design

3 Slipcover Design Tips for Updating Your Old Sleeper Sofa

Sleeper Sofa Slipcover Ticking

There comes the day in the life of a sleeper sofa when no one — I mean NO one — wants to sleep on it anymore. The mattress is kaput.

Around that time you begin to notice how outdated the upholstery looks.  You wince every time you walk by it. As one customer puts it, “Blech.”

So, you ask yourself should I keep it or get rid of it?

The good news is your well loved pullout couch doesn’t have to go by the wayside just because the mattress is shot and the upholstery is ugly. If you have a classic design that is structurally sound and the cushions still offer good support it can easily be updated with a slipcover and become a great looking, comfortable sofa for everyday use.

Here are 3 design tips for giving your old sleeper sofa a new look and function:

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Why I Never Use This in My Slipcovers

Welt Cord Trimmed Slipcover

I often trim my slipcovers with welt cord (piping).  It adds a subtle design detail and professional finish. When the cord is covered in the same fabric as the slipcover it blends right in.

Welt cord also adds a lot of function to a slipcover. It gives structure to the furniture body, cushions and arms. It defines a skirt line or hem edge. And, it adds strength to seams.

The right type of welt cord will hold its shape and look smooth and straight throughout the life of a washable slipcover. I always use washable, flexible, non-shrinking cord. It has a poly tissue core that’s wrapped with a braided cover.

What I NEVER use is plastic clothesline.  Here’s why:

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Slipcover Design: 5 Tips for Creating a Look You Love

One chair, four slipcovers. It’s amazing how each slipcover gives the same chair a completely different personality!

The wingback chair featured in these photos is mine. It’s worn & loved and, yes, it has 4 (or more) slipcovers. Years ago, I did a pin fitting on it and created a reusable slipcover pattern. Now, whenever I get the urge to update my decor, I pull out my pattern and tweak the details to design an entirely new look for my old chair.

Fabric choice and style details make all the difference in how your slipcover will look, fit and function. Here are 5 tips to help you design a slipcover you will absolutely love:

1. Enhance your furniture’s best features. Design your slipcover to show off one or more of the unique design elements on your chair or sofa such as arms, legs, arches, wings, etc.

2. Choose a slipcover fit that matches your personal style. Is your style loose and shabby chic?  Snug contemporary?  Or, relaxed and tailored?

3. Decide on slipcover details before you buy fabric. Consider skirt style – short, long, pleated, tailored or no skirt.  Think about seam finish such as top stitch or welt cord — self matching or contrast. Is your fabric a print that requires matching? Be sure to account for these details in your yardage calculation to avoid coming up short

4. Pick a timeless fabric and color for long lasting design appeal. Classic fabrics such as denim, canvas, twill, ticking, linen and matelassé in slipcover weights (10 to 14 oz.) will add longevity to your slipcover. Neutral colors offer the most flexibility when it comes to decorating.

5. Match your slipcover function to the fabric. When choosing fabric consider how you will use your slipcover. If your slipcover will get heavy traffic and require frequent washing go with a durable, heavy weight fabric. If you want your slipcover to be pet and/or kid friendly avoid brushed fabrics (pet hair magnet) and textures that snag easily. And, for occasional use slipcovers that are mostly decorative a medium weight fabric, solid or novelty, will work fine.