Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I Made a Dropcloth Slipcover!

Allright, I know it, I'm a little late to the party, seems everyone has been swooning over dropcloths and now I am too!

I had purchased a few of these to use as window (mis)treatments. But as things would happen, the budget isn't there yet to replace these ugly-but-serviceable vertical blinds. I realized I'd have to a.take them all down b. replace them with new double rods OR blinds AND a rod, then c. patch all the holes from where I took out the verticals, which means then I'd have to paint walls..... Not ready to take that on.  So......................

I remember seeing great projects out there with dropcloths, like this from Beneath My Heart:

and from The Old Post Road, an excellent tutorial. If you DO decide to tackle this, go there, my pictures really suck....aren't very good.
oh and who could forget THESE drapes from Layla at The Lettered Cottage! and Homebody's too...

I had my poor forlorn white Ikea loveseat. That loveseat has seen it all. It used to have a denim slipcover.

I took it off and the white underneath actually looked fine in my living room...

but then Murray the Cat started to graviate there, the kids too, and before long the white was  looking a bit too shabby for me. Enter: dropcloths. At first I just draped them over.

Then I decided to sew them. It took me most of a Sunday morning, and a few hours the following day. They ain't perfect, but it works! Best part is I can just throw it all in the washer. here's how I did it:

The dropcloths had been washed and dried in the dryer a few times.  I draped the cloth over the sofa. I used a disappearing ink marking pen to trace--directly on the cloth, wrong side--each section of the arms. It was a rectangle, so I planned a box-type construction, lucky for me very easy. Much easier than a curved arm! So basically, each side was a rectangle of cloth I measured and marked directly on the fabric, leaving a 1" margin all around for seams and errors.

Then I laid it all flat and cut each piece out. (yes you can make a pattern, but since these were dropcloths I didn't see the need) Back on the sofa they went, where I pinned them where they would be sewn, again, right sides together. (remember at this step whatever you are sewing this way will be reversed when placed on the furniture.) Make sure your piece is symetrical; if not you have to pin the fabric on the piece on the right side of the fabric and reverse the pins when you take it off to sew. It can be done--see photo below-- (its a pain) I had to do it this way when I sewed the back part and seat on.

Dropcloth fabric is resilient and very forgiving. It has some stretch which is great when fitting it around the furniture.
So basically you trace, cut, pin, sew, put it back on the sofa, pin again, then sew again, lastly I attached the back. It was easy, I tell you! The hard part was the arms sewn to the back, but with a little muscling you can force this fabric anyway you need it to go. Its great. I left the original hems on the dropcloth as the bottom seaming, and just used matched up the lengths of the back, the arms, and the front "apron" part...
Once it was all sewn, I put it on, tucked in in here and there- and here it is! I love how nicely the arms fit.

If you are hesitating, trust me, even with rudimentary sewing skills, this is doable. Next up I think I am going to try and vanity bench slipcover.

See you over at The Thrifty Home for the great Wed Penny Pinchin' Party! I'll be linking up.


  1. Look at you go girl!! I probably would have been too afraid to try a project like that, but you make it look easy.

  2. Do not be afraid!! if I said its easy, it is. I am the laziest crafter on the planet, and impatient to boot. This was not difficult even for me.

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  4. OK so now that you know my home address(for teh sake of the swap) you can come visit me and sew a slipcover for MY couch! I sew for a living but cant even hope to do a slipcover!
    And guess what? I just started buying dropcloths yesterday to use as window treatments. Are we separated at birth?:)


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