Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Novice Makes a Slipcover Part II


Yesterday I told you the sad tale of my worn-out sofa. Today I will begin to explain how I went about making a slipcover for it - my first ever!



Before I could even begin, I had to attempt to do something about the saggy left side of the sofa. Unfortunately, I did not think to take pictures during this part; I just enthusiastically dove right in.  My process, though, was to turn the sofa over on its front side so I could get access to the bottom. I pulled the staples out that were holding the black netting in place (on the underside) by using a flathead screwdriver to pry them up and pair of pliers to pull them out. I was careful not to rip the netting since I was planning on reusing it. I only removed the staples on one long side and both short sides, leaving the netting still attached on the other long side of the sofa. There was no need to free it since I could get access to the sofa supports at this point and was planning on reattaching it when finished.

It was crazy how much junk I found in there: gum wrappers, food, a dog treat, a long-lost remote control, and much dust. I used a small vacuum to clean all of that out (except for the remote control, of course, which we all did a happy dance over). At that point I could see that the only support system for the cushions was a series of straps that ran horizontally under the sofa and I could see no way of tightening them up. Instead, I went to the fabric section at Walmart and purchased some jute webbing - enough to run the length of my sofa three times.


Once home with it, I used my pneumatic staple gun (which my husband gave me for Christmas. Love him!) to staple three lengths of this webbing tightly along the underside of the sofa. I did not remove the old straps, but just reinforced them with the new webbing. I then reattached the netting with said staple gun and returned the sofa to the upright position. Better!

The next issue to tackle was the upper-cushions-sewed-to-the-back-of-the-sofa issue.  Ugh.  Why do those sadistic manufacturers do this to us?!  I used my seam ripper to carefully detach the cushions from the back of the sofa.  Once they were free, I had an open sofa back as well as open cushion backs.  There was fabric that had been attached to the backs of the cushions that was still attached to the sofa under where the bottom cushions would be, so I simply pulled that up and stapled it directly to the upper back of the sofa. 


Next, I went to my stash of left-over fabric, chose one that I thought was about the same weight as the sofa fabric, then cut and hand-basted the fabric to the backsides of the upper cushions.

Not pretty, but it works!
At this point, I could begin actually cutting out the fabric for the slipcover.  I was nervous, but excited.  In another post I will show you how I measured, pinned, and sewed the slipcover.

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