No-Sew Tailored – Dining Chair Slipcover


The classy appeal of the tailored slipcover – all without ANY sewing!”The classy appeal of the tailored slipcover - all without ANY sewing! Now that you’ve just read all the great reasons to use slipcovers, here’s an alternative to the wrapping technique we presented in project 5, Wrapped Dining Room Chair. A tailored slipcover such as the one shown here (right) is marvelously versatile. It is appropriate for formal and casual dining rooms. It can be simple and streamlined, or embellished with all kinds of extras for a look that is custom-designed for your dining room. This project is more time-consuming than the wrapped dining room chair, but if you like the look, you can save quite a bit of money. In home stores and mail-order slipcover outlets, standard tailored slipcovers like this one average $20.00-$30.00 a piece, depending on the fabric used. The fabric for the slipcover pictured here cost $6.00, with an additional $2.00 for other supplies. You can make a slipcover for as little as $8.00, and save as much as $22.00 a slipcover! If you’re covering 8 dining room chairs, you can save close to $200.00! And best of all, you can do it with absolutely no sewing. If you can plug in and turn on an iron, you can do this! SUPPLIES NEEDED: * Dining room chair in need of a makeover *About two yards of the fabric of your choice (For most dining room chairs — our chair is 38” x 19” x19”. You may need to adjust the yardage if your chair is unusually wide or tall. To do so, follow steps 1-3 using newspaper, instead of fabric. Then measure the cut newspaper pieces to obtain the total yardage.) *Scissors *Straight pins *Stitch Witchery bonding web by Dritz, 5/8” width (or other fusible bond) *Iron and ironing surface *Optional: embellishments and glue gun to attach them Clockwise from bottom left: chair, fabric, tape measure, scissors, iron, straight pins, Stitch Witchery. TIME NEEDED: 1.5-2 hours for the first one you make, and about half that once you get the hang of it. THE STEPS: 1. With the print side downward (if your fabric is printed and not solid), drape just enough fabric on the chair to cover the back support and the seat. Use the scissors to trim the excess fabric from around the seat and back support, leaving 1” for a seam on all edges (photo #1). Crafty Clue! You can use any fabric to make these slipcovers, although medium- to heavyweight fabrics are the most durable and hold the fusible stitching well through wear and tear. If you are watching your budget, broadcloth is very affordable (usually under $3.00 a yard) and it keeps its shape well. Furthermore, its grain is such that it tears in a perfectly straight line. When trimming the draped fabric (shown in Step 1), just use the scissors to cut a 2” line and then rip it with your hands. It sure doesn’t get any easier than that! 2. Drape another piece of fabric to cover the back side of the chair, again with the print facing the chair. The piece of fabric should be long enough to reach down to the floor. Trim the piece, again leaving 1” inch on each edge for a seam (photo #2). Crafty Clue! These instructions take you through the process of measuring and cutting the fabric right where it is draped on the chair. If you’d prefer to cut the fabric away from the chair, one easy method is to drape sheets of newspaper on the chair, cut them to the proper size, and then use the sheets as “templates” for cutting your fabric. (If your dining chair is unusually shaped, it’s a great idea to do this before you shop for fabric.) 3. Cut a third piece of fabric to go around the sides and the front of the chair. Cut this piece so its length is equal to the distance between the seat of the chair and the floor. As with earlier steps, make sure that the print is facing the chair and leave 1” all around for the seam (photo #3). 4. Drape all of the cut-out pieces over the chair with the print facing inward. Use the straight pins to pin all of the seams together where they meet (photos #4, #4a, and #4b). Every place that two pieces of fabric meet should be pinned so that there are no open “flaps” of fabric. 5. The next step is to use Stitch Witchery (or other heat fusible bond) to attach all of the places you’ve pinned. You’ll be turning the slipcover inside-out before use, so the seams that you make will be invisible. Stitch Witchery comes in rolls of varying widths (it looks like a roll of tape). The 5/8” width is perfect for this project. Work with about 4” of Stitch Witchery at a time, until you are very comfortable with it. Start with any pinned seam of the slipcover, and take out about 4” of pins. Place the Stitch Witchery tape on one of the pieces of fabric (photo #5). 6. Follow the directions on the heat-fusible bonding you are working with to make your seam. With Stitch Witchery, you simply place the second piece of fabric directly on top of the first piece of fabric, so that the length of Stitch Witchery tape is between the two pieces. Place a damp press cloth (an old pillowcase, or a cloth cut from an old cotton T-shirt) on top of the top piece of fabric. Put the iron on the Wool setting and make sure it has warmed up for at least 10 minutes. Press the iron on the press cloth and hold it down for about ten seconds (photo #6). Do not move the iron, just press it straight down. Since the press cloth is damp, the iron will steam and sizzle a bit. Then move to the next area where you have place Stitch Witchery and, again, press and hold for ten seconds. 7. Repeat these steps to place Stitch Witchery in all the seams of the slipcover — that is, between the fabrics at every place you have pinned. Just work in small areas at a time, taking out the pins of that one area as you go. 8. When all the seams have been pressed with Stitch Witchery, turn the slipcover inside-out. Then, simply place it over the chair (photo #8). It will fit snugly, so move slowly and gently.

WASHING INSTRUCTIONS: Do not dry clean. Remove embellishments (flowers, bows, etc.) and turn slipcover inside out. Wash on gentle cycle in cold water with like colors using color-safe detergent. Line dry or dry flat (do not dry in dryer.)

You’ll find that after you make your first no-sew tailored slipcover, subsequent slipcovers go much faster. Then the measuring, pinning, and ironing become routine and you can focus on the fun part…embellishing the slipcovers! For example, you can effectively add a contrasting color in about 30 seconds by tying about a yard of sheer fabric around the top of the chair back (near right). Let the ends drape down the back of the chair for a dramatic finish (far right). If you have ten minutes and a glue gun, you can embellish the slipcover in any number of ways. Especially effective is to line the seams with a thick ribbon. Not only does this emphasize the fitted lines of the slipcover, it also is a smart way to cover up any goofs (if, for example, some of the Stitch Witchery shows through to the right side). Here, we’ve created a slipcover fit for a holiday gala with red velvet ribbon and artificial white poinsettias (right). Here are some more ideas of things you can add to the seams of the slipcover: *Fringe * Beads * Garlands * Curly ribbons * Faux pearls * Lace trim * Buttons * Wooden beads * Charms * Pebbles * Moss * Dried flowers *Faux ivy * Brocade * Velvet * Small bows * Rick-rack * Tulle * Flat marbles * Strings of lights From the E-book Quick & Stylish Decorative Crafts

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