Why This Slipcover Hem Never Flips or Droops

Are you making a slipcover with a welt cord hem but don’t want to use Velcro to keep it in place? Use this easy stitch technique to create a smooth, neat hem that will stay put forever.

Camel back settee white slipcover in a bright room.
White denim slipcover for Alicia Chimento.

Isn’t this the prettiest camelback sofa? My customer, Alicia, has two of these lovelies and had me copy her original slipcovers in 12 oz. white denim.

I replicated the original snug fit and welt cord placement, which included the hem. A welt cord hem lends a tailored, professional finish to a slipcover and is a good option when you want to expose furniture legs.

But some welt cord hems require attaching Velcro strips to both the furniture and cover to keep the welt seam allowance from flipping outward or drooping down.

Not this one. Instead of using Velcro, I used a single needle topstitch that holds the hem in place even when the slipcover is washed and dried. Here’s how I did it:

Sewing machine stitching welt cord hem on slipcover.

Fold welt cord seam allowance to the inside of the slipcover. Line up your zipper foot (the outer right edge) with the cord seam and topstitch through all thicknesses.

Hem stitch on white slipcover.

Start and stop stitching approximately 1 to 1.5 inches from corner seams, arm seams and zipper opening. These areas are too bulky and thick to stitch through.

Stitch placement on slipcover hem.

You can see I stopped the topstitch about 1 inch away from the arm seams. I didn’t topstitch across the arm seam welt cord — too bulky and thick.

Too keep the welt seam allowance on the arm panels from drooping, I secured it by stitching-in-the-ditch.

White sofa slipcover before and after.

This welt hem topstitch method works best for a slipcover made with a stable, medium to heavy weight fabric and a snug fit. It creates a straight, smooth look.

I wouldn’t use it for relaxed fit slipcovers made in a light weight fabric and/or fabric that has a fair amount of give like linen. Topstitching through the welt seam allowance may result in a wavvy hem.

Thanks for following and Happy Spring! — Karen


  1. Thank you for showing this hem finish with the details, I always wondered about having to go several layers of fabric, but this finish makes so much sense! Love how it turned out!

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