1930s Sofa Slipcovering Odyssey – Sewing Tutorial

Sofa Slipcover DIY Sewing Tutorial - The Original Sofa

Sofa Slipcover DIY Sewing Tutorial – The Original Sofa

Warning: to those fashion sewers who abhor home decor sewing, may want to move along.

We needed a sofa for the living room of our new house, and I found this 1930’s settee at an antique store in the Stonington Borough, CT (sorry for the bad iPhone photo):

The light blue striped (silk?) fabric was terribly sunstained and had to be replaced. For some reason I got the idea into my head that I could slipcover the sofa. Having never slipcovered a thing in my life. I mean, the library has books about DIY slipcovering, so it can be done, right?

After about 40 hours of hard labor, it can be. Below, the photographic evidence:

Sofa Slipcover DIY Sewing Tutorial - The After Remake

Sofa Slipcover DIY Sewing Tutorial – The After Remake

Sofa Slipcover DIY Sewing Tutorial - Final Result

Sofa Slipcover DIY Sewing Tutorial – Final Result

The robin’s egg blue and red fabric is Robert Allen, purchased at a wonderful discount home decor fabric store, Just Fabrics in Cranston, RI. I draped the fabric on the sofa, and traced out where I thought the seams should go using tailor’s chalk. I then cut out the pieces with a 2 inch seam allowance using my Olfa rotary cutter arm.

Sofa Slipcover DIY Sewing Tutorial - On Progress

Sofa Slipcover DIY Sewing Tutorial – On Progress

Sofa Slipcover DIY Sewing Tutorial - in Making

Sofa Slipcover DIY Sewing Tutorial – in Making

My sewing garment skillz applied to this project: I added side panels, stengthened with cording, to accomodate the curved back (like princess seaming!)

Sofa Slipcover DIY Sewing Tutorial - The Curved Back

Sofa Slipcover DIY Sewing Tutorial – The Curved Back

I also inserted a regular – but massively long – upholstery zipper on the cushion, which is down-filled. I added these little tabs to cover the zipper ends!:

Sofa Slipcover DIY Sewing Tutorial - Regular Zipper Cover

Sofa Slipcover DIY Sewing Tutorial – Regular Zipper Cover

This part was tricky to do because I had to seam the inner arm, side arm, and deck (bottom part underneath the cushion):

Sofa Slipcover DIY Sewing Tutorial - Seam the Inner Arm

Sofa Slipcover DIY Sewing Tutorial – Seam the Inner Arm

Picture of the back:

Sofa Slipcover DIY Sewing Tutorial - Curve Along With Fabric

Sofa Slipcover DIY Sewing Tutorial – Curve Along With Fabric

In order to get the fabric to curve along the back of the sofa instead of hang straight down, I cut and basted the pieces, and pulled them very taut while on the sofa, temporarily anchoring the pieces with pins, and then re-drew seam allowances based on their new taut positions. Okay, that part was tough, too. Because the slipcover is so fitted I added 2 invisible zippers on the back side seams to enable the cover to come on and off.

Despite leaving a 2 inch seam allowance, the bottom edges came up short in a few places so I had to finish the bottom with self-made bias binding. It was actually very easy to do: just a lot of straight line sewing.

Whew. Though I still need to sew curtains for almost all the rooms in the house, I need a break from home dec sewing for awhile. A long while. Back to garment sewing, yay! (asewnwardrobe)