Category Archives: sofa slipcovers

Slipcover Makeover for this Craigslist Find

Old Henredon Sofa With New Slipcover

I think this project is THE slipcover makeover of the summer! What a transformation!

My customer found this big, comfy Henredon sofa on Craigslist complete with thick quilted floral upholstery. There was no doubt in her mind that a washable, white denim slipcover would give it the style boost it needed to fit right in with her other white slipcovered furniture and vintage eclectic decor.

For this custom cover, I used 12 oz white cotton bull denim from Big Duck Canvas and trimmed it with navy bull denim.  Both fabrics were factory seconds but you’d never know it — very good quality and no major flaws.

I changed the outdated kiss-pleat design on the back cushions to a narrow boxing and updated the skirt with 8″ wide box pleats all the way around.  It’s those little details that make all the difference.

Tip: if you want to use a dark color welt trim on your light color slipcover be sure to test it first for crocking and bleeding.

Slipcover Replacement: Can your old sofa or chair cover be copied?

Replacement Sofa Slipcover DenimCatherine’s old slipcover was cat scratched, stained, shrunk-up and stretched out. At first glance you might think how in the world can her cover be copied with good results.

Well, in spite of its worn out condition, Catherine’s slipcover turned out to be a straightforward pattern to replicate. Here’s why:  

  1. Overall good fit. The slipcover frame (the body) fit relatively well. It only needed minor fit adjustments — a few simple fixes to restore the original shape such as adding ease, squaring up corners and raising the slouchy skirt.
  2. Cushion covers intact. The overall shape and fit of the back and seat cushion covers could be copied as-is. No additional pattern drafting or guesswork needed.
  3. New slipcover fabric similar to original.  Slipcover fit translates best when the fabric for the new slipcover is the same or similar weave and weight as the original. Catherine’s old cover was made with a sturdy cotton denim. For her slipcover copy I used this durable, washable 12 oz cotton bull denim in color Soft Cream from Big Duck Canvas.

See more slipcover copies I’ve created and learn what else to consider when it’s time to have your old slipcover copied.

Cotton-Poly Canvas Slipcover for Pottery Barn Sofa

Custom Slipcover Pottery Barn Sofa Grey Canvas

Slipcover Fabric Cotton Poly Canvas GreyA 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!

Charcoal Slipcover for Pottery Barn Sofa

Should I keep my big, old sofa or replace it?

White Cotton Bull Denim Slipcover for Sofa

Philip’s old Mitchell Gold sofa, updated with a washable white slipcover, is ready to move to his new place.

Should I keep my big, old sofa or replace it? That’s the question most of us ask when we are planning a move or redecorating.  It can be a tough decision especially if you still love the comfort and size of your sofa but hate the worn, outdated upholstery or slipcover.

Keeping your old sofa is a good option when:

  • Springs are still supportive.
  • Frame is still strong and stable.
  • Seat cushion inserts are still comfortable and show little compression.
  • Size and style still works well for your lifestyle and space.
  • You can get at a least 3 to 5 more years use out of it.
  • The cost of moving your sofa and/or updating it with a slipcover, or new upholstery, is more affordable than buying a new piece of similar quality.

For my customer, Philip, the answer was keep the sofa and update it with a new slipcover in washable, heavy weight white denim.

“It turned out fantastic! I am so happy with the color and the fit. Once I get moved, I’ll use a steamer to get out some of the wrinkles and adjust the Velcro, but on first fit, it looks perfect to me. 🙂 I can’t believe the stitching and seams and welting. It looks just as good, if not better than the original, not an imperfection to be found! That old, faded and cat scratched blue denim cover is long forgotten.” –Philip

Custom Sofa Slipcover in White Cotton Bull Denim

On the flip side, replacing your old sofa is a good idea when:

  • It no longer feels comfortable.
  • You have to spend money on fixing springs, replacing foam cushion inserts, repairing wobbly legs, etc. Repairs and cushion replacements are costly.
  • It’s been exposed to water damage, doesn’t dry out and develops mold inside. Now were talking health hazard.
  • The size and style no longer suit your needs.
  • Updating it with a new slipcover, or upholstery, costs more than buying a brand new piece of same quality and size. This is usually the case for large sectionals.

Still on the fence about keeping your sofa?

Make a list of pros and cons of keeping it vs. replacing it. Compare the costs between having it moved, updated with a slipcover or upholstery and replaced with a brand new piece. Consider space planning, sentimental value, budget, lifestyle and long term use.