Remember when I started a tutorial on slipcovering my slipper chairs? And I only posted the first part? And some of you have patiently waited for me to get my act together and post Part Two?
Today's the day! (Finally. Sorry. I have procrastination issues.)
Part One is here, if you haven't seen it. I had started with the base of the chairs, and now it's time to move on to how I made the pleated skirt.
I decided to go with Miss Mustard Seed's advice and just use the prehemmed edge of the drop cloth for my skirt hem. So after measuring the length needed (and adding 2 inches for wiggle room), I figured the width of fabric I would need to go around the sides and front of the chair. 5 pleats at 5.5 inches for each side, and 5 pleats at 5 inches for the front. I added two inches to each side for the seam (where the skirt meets the fabric on the back) and 4 inches for the inside of each pleat. Total for me, 140 inches.
I took the skirt fabric straight to the ironing board to iron in each pleat. Because of the width of the fabric, I did have to make a seam, so again, I added plenty of extra so that seam could be hidden inside a pleat. If you're working with 45 or 54 inch wide fabric you will most certainly have to seam it in several places.
Next I laid the fabric flat on the ironing board, and used a small ruler to measure each pleat. You can pin each pleat if that makes it easier to keep it square on the ironing board. I wanted really crisp pleats, so I pressed really hard and ironed at the highet heat the fabric would tolerate. If you choose to do this, be sure to keep your iron moving at all times, so that it doesn't scorch. If you're not sure about how hot you can go, practice on a scrap of your fabric. We don't want any burns! And remember when you iron in the first pleat, to leave the extra 2 inches at the end for your seam. (So my first pleat was actually 7-1/2 inches. You'll see how I sewed it into the back piece in a minute.)
Just a one inch pleat is all that's needed.
Once each pleat was ironed in, I pinned it securely at the top and moved on to the next area. Here it is, hanging from the edge of the ironing board as I continued to put the pleats in the rest of the width of the skirt.
To attach the decking to the slipcover back, I pinned the seam, turned the slipcover inside out, and marked the seam with blue tailor's chalk. You can see here that I could have used a little more "wiggle room" on the decking. It really will make your project easier to have extra in the seam allowances, rather than not quite enough.
Because I'm not pleating across the back, I attached the skirt to the back like so. It took a little creative pinning and stitching to get the two to line up, which is why I saved the back panel hem for last.
I'm thrilled with the result! Is it perfect? No way! But I spent $15 on a drop cloths, a couple dollars on cording, and a few hours of my time, and look what I got -- a brand new chair! In the future, should I choose to make another slipcover with a different fabric, I can merely tear this one apart and have a ready made pattern.
Sewing the slipcover for chair base really only took about 5 hours, including planning, measuring, cutting and break times :) The cushion added another 1-1/2 hours. The second one went a lot faster than the first, because I knew what I was doing. Covering these chairs in this sturdy, neutral fabric has accomplished everything I wanted it to. Each season's decor will flow so well in our home with this lovely ivory as a backdrop to pillows, throws, and accessories.
Again, Part One can be found on this post. Please email me if you have questions, and I'll try to help. This truly was so much simpler than I thought it would be. If I can do it, you can too!
And if you think you spied some new items in the background, you're right! I have a really great Canton find to share with you all tomorrow.
I'm joining Yvonne for Tutorial Tips and Tidbits at StoneGable, Gina's Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Creek Cottage, Courtney's Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage, Cindy's Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home