Friday, June 6, 2014
Office Chair Slipcover
Earlier this week, my guy asked me if I could recover these office chairs. Hmmm....I wasn't so sure of my skills, but I agreed. I'd slipcovered my sofa and ottoman, but this was new territory.
He dropped off the chair without the frame and I got to work. Because there are two chairs, I decided to make a muslin pattern first.
I went to work pinning and fitting the muslin. I did the same thing I did when I made the slipcover for my sofa.
I sewed it together using a basting stitch (easier to take apart if there is a problem).
And ended up with this. I wasn't sure what to do around the bottom, so I made a skirt. But he's not a "skirt" kinda guy. So he asked about elastic....that would just draw the excess fabric in underneath. My thought was that I'd hem it and put a drawstring in - much better than elastic.
At this point, it looked OK. It was a bit wonky. He's an engineer. Wonky is not good.
The next morning, I had things figured out. I decided to use this muslin slipcover as a pattern.
I took it off the chair and, using a red ultra-fine-tip Sharpie, I traced my stitching.
Once I was done, I used a seam-ripper and took the muslin pattern apart.
I ended up with this. I had three pieces - a seat, the seat back, and the skirt.
Oops. OK, I got a little impatient and decided to tear...which tore! I patched it with some light-weight fusible interfacing.
This left me with the problem of adding my 1/2" seam allowance. I found my compass (every sewist should have one! ) and set it to 1/2" and went to work making a "good pattern."
I placed the pattern pieces on muslin and traced around them with my compass. I don't have any pictures of that.
I sewed it together and got this. Looks fab!
Except...I measured the skirt wrong!
I ripped out my seams to unveil my final pattern.
I ended up cutting the seat piece in half and placing it on the fold. This helped keep everything symmetrical and even.
This is the back piece.
For the skirt, I cut a piece of fabric/sewed together and ended up with a 4" x 70 1/2" skirt.
Before final assembly, I did an overcast stitch around all the fabric.
Here it is!
To make the skirt, I added two buttonholes and threaded some cord through the 1/2" seam. I used my Dritz Drawstring Threader to work the cord through.
It took me about 75 minutes to make the other one.
I don't have a final picture of the chairs in his office. I'm working on that!
There are several lessons I learned while making these: (1) It's amazing how much confidence I gain when I know someone believes in me. My guy seems to think I'm a sewing genius. I think he had more faith in me than I did! (2) When in doubt, slow down and make a pattern. This is not easy for me - I'm a little impatient. But this slipcover fits like a glove, so the time it took to make a pattern was worth it. (3) When I'm a little baffled, go for a walk or sleep on it. I'm amazed by what my rested brain can accomplish. (4) The right tools make life easier. By that I mean, hurray for the compass and drawstring threader!
Every new challenge creates new skills. What are you going to challenge yourself with!?