Thursday, January 12, 2012

{custom slipcovering}

Don't you love it when people give you good advice on something and then you actually use it? Well I want to share the same love in hopes that if you have the task of custom slipcovering something that you will better know how to get the results that you want. Well first off I had considered having a slipcover made for a settee that I had because I felt it would be a good option with having kids. I did not want it to look like a frumpy run of them mill slipcover that I may or may not have bought at a discount shop right after I was married (bless our poor ugly sofa). Anyway about that point I came across a very helpful blog post from Naomi from Design Manifest. After that, I solidified the decision to go forth with a slipcover. Want to see her slipcovered sofa..

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Not too shabby...eeeh.

Truly because of her I was able to really convey to the upholstery shop what I wanted. Like for example would you ever think of telling them to put the zipper on the side rather than down the middle...just in case it would ever be a floating piece of furniture and you needed that zipper to be much more conspicuous? Anyway I thought it would be fun to pass along Naomi's advice in case you missed it the first time.

Without further ado here are Naomi's words of advice that I used when having my custom slipcover made:

Tip #1 Get a custom slipcover

Custom slipcovers may cost a little more, but will fit your sofa like perfection and the quality will show through. They come in pieces: a fitted section that covers the body and arms, and then separate covers with zippers for each loose seat or back cushion. A better fit means less shifting with daily use.

Tip #2 A single skirt adds casual elegance

This is purely my opinion, but I love the look of a straight skirt across a sofa. I didn't want any added seam definitions. Sometimes I'll run a seam along the base of the sofa (where the feet begin) to help hold it in place, but for my own sofa, I wanted more of a flowing feel. I also did NOT want any pleats. Many slipcovers have a pleat at each cushion, or one in the middle, but I wanted a single piece of fabric across my base. I thought it looked cleaner, and thus kept the sofa more modern.

Tip #3 To welt or not to welt

Adding welt (cording) to the cushions, arms and back can help add definition and be a nice tailored look. Naomi said that she opted for no welting on her sofa because it was more modern and wanted to soften the lines up a bit.

Tip #4 Don't ignore the back

If you don't specify, your slipcover fabricator may put the zipper right down the middle of the sofa back. The horror! My sofa floats in my room, so that would certainly not be OK. I have my workroom put the zipper in the back corner every time. It's a nice clean look and it gives you flexibility. Your sofa may be against a wall now, but it doesn't mean it always will be.

Tip #5 Choose the right fabric

Cotton and linen are the most common slipcover materials. Cotton can be thrown in the washing machine. White cotton can be bleached. It's hard to beat that in terms of practicality. For families with young kids, I like to have two made. This lessens the wear and tear on the slipcovers and allows one to be on while another is being washed. For my own sofa, I was less concerned with practicality and more concerned with look and feel. Fact of the matter is that linen just has a classier look and feel than cotton. I spot treat any stains and find that it's held up great so far.

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When I went to drop off my sofa I actually brought in a couple of inspiration photos and really tried to specify that it needed to be as fitted as possible. In the end I am mostly satisfied. I still wanted to do the slipcover in a different color but went with a white indoor/outdoor fabric because of the 10 hands and 50 fingers that would assault the sofa. You would never know that it was an indoor/outdoor fabric because it is not stiff like many others are. I am really happy because it has been so easy to clean up being that it is an indoor/outdoor fabric. I am assuming that if there were ever a time that I needed a little extra help getting a stain out that I could bleach it since it is white. NOTE: Before I bought the fabric I took home a swatch a poured ketchup and grape juice all over it, let it sit then washed it off with a little soap and it all came clean. Well how about I just show you it already.

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In the above pictures I am playing around with some of the detailing..like adding a fun trim to the slipcover. I also have yet to find a fabric that I want to use for a large bolster pillow so of course I pulled out the fabric that I always pull out (hope you aren't sick of it yet). Also I am seriously thinking of making new drapes out of that coral-ly salmon color. ..kind of all depends on what my new commissioned painting will look like when I get it...I can't wait to share it with all of you. You may even know who the artist is.

There you have it. I am just a Mom who excessively appreciates home decor and design but also has lots of jr. bacon cheeseboogers around the house so it is a good day when compromise can happen and I don't feel like I have to totally sacrifice my style.

Thank you Naomi for your advice. If you all want to be inspired you can visit Naomi at Design Manifest right here...yes the same Naomi that recently had her home featured on Design Sponge. You really should go to her blog to check out her lovely color infused home.

Would you, or have you ever had a custom slipcover made?

23 comments:

Naomi@DesignManifest said...

Looks great! I really love the additional trim.

So glad I could be helpful. And thanks for the glowing shout out.

ps- I'm totally itching to slipcover my BF's sofa now too. Wonder if he would go for white zebra with bold contrast trim??

Caroline @ The Feminist Housewife said...

I just put a slipcover on my sofa yesterday...definitely wish I had a custom one, but I'm trying to make due. = ) These are some great tips!

Leah said...

looks fantastic! not sure if you are keeping the trim, but I really like it! so, I am thinking about doing coral/ pinkish curtains in my living room...care to share your source?!

Staci said...

I LOVE IT, it looks amazing! I think you will be happy with the slipcover. I had a custom slipcover done for a settee I found on the classifieds and I have been very happy with it. My sister also had her sofa slipcovered and she is very happy with the results as well. Here is the link, if you want to take a peek:

http://www.asaltbox.com/search?q=couch+before+and+after

Full House said...

Yes Leah I would love to give you the source and color ways that I am pursuing. Are you here locally in AZ?

justin jaime and crew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
justin jaime and crew said...

loooove it! it looks perfect! i would love your source, i am local and have so appreciated your other sources, most especially sas. thanks, jaime

Sue De Chiara said...

Naomi's design/house and blog rocks...as does yours! LOVE the job on that slipcover...wow!

Dayka said...

i vote yes for the trim, although i don't know how that would hold up with the 100 fingers/50 toes situation. never thought about the side zipper thing, either. thanks for sharing!

A Sewn Wardrobe said...

Your slipcover is beautiful! I love the trim idea. Stunning! I sew apparel for myself (hence, the blog name), and since I know my way around a sewing machine, I decided to sew my own sofa slipcover this fall when we moved into a new house:

http://asewnwardrobe.blogspot.com/2011/11/1930s-sofa-slipcvering-odyssey.html

The fabric is admittedly a little late 90's looking, but the colors make me so happy that I had to go with it (when do you see robin's egg blue with shades of red?).

It was a total PITA, but if you have even moderate sewing skills and a lot of patience and time (though I had neither), you might be able to pull it off on your own.

PS - I totally inserted invisible zippers on the sides since our sofa floats.

dave+sarah said...

trying to have slipcovers made for dining room chairs and with four sets of sticky fingers and two 100lb dogs i would appreciate a fabric source... can you share?

thanks!

OmeedB said...

Where can I buy that great white outdoor fabric? Can I purchase it online? Love the settee you are so creative!
Lani

OmeedB said...

Can you please share the brand of outdoor fabric you used? Can you buy it online? Love the settee! Thanks
Lani

Room to Grow said...

This post makes me so happy!! Thank you! I scored a pair of vintage club chairs on good ol craigslist and have plans of slipcovering them. I also have little people's hands to consider...this post was SO helpful!

Room to Grow said...

oh, and I too would love to know your source for the indoor/outdoor fabric you used! Thanks so much!

Bromeliad said...

Your settee rocks. Love the pillow options and the trim.

I custom slipcovered my own sofa and stole some of Naomi's tips (Although I did not put the zipper on the side - beyond my skilz.)

angela | the painted house said...

Gorgeous new slipcover, Miss C! I am a HUGE fan of slipcovers--especially with children; and slipcovers can be tailored and beautiful. Yours is a perfect example! I did as many slipcovers as I could at our rental and the place stays nice and fresh since we can wash the upholstery frequently. HUGE fan. :)

Has anyone told you today how cool that brass lamp quartet is? Consider yourself told.

Nest Studio said...

Christina - Love it and love the trim. I have a slipcovered sofa but the cover is nearing the end of its life - maybe I can get someone to make me a new one out of a fun fabric!

Ams said...

i love love love the pillow in this post (pink/orange/greek key one). Could you share where you got it from?

christine {bijouandboheme} said...

You rock my world! It's AH-MAAZING~~~

Full House said...

Hey three..for all of your wondering the fabric was purchased at by the yard in Chandler.

http://www.bytheyard.com/

I called them but they were out of stock. They could reorder. i don't know the name of the fabric but they will know what you are talking about if you tell them you want an indoor/outdoor fabric that is not stiff.

Hope that helps.

Annie said...

Was this the name of the fabric?

Michael Jon Designs-Captain-white

Full House said...

Annie. I am so sorry but I don't know the name of the fabric. Did you go to By the Yard in Tempe?