Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The New Slipcover For The Old Ugly Sofa- Part 3

Hello again!

I am finally getting around to posting Part 3
of "The New Slipcover For The Old Ugly Sofa".

If you are just happening upon this post,
you can read Part 1 

and then Part 2

Part 3 is all about how I made the
new cushion covers.

 Happy Happy Me!!

As I showed in Part 1,
I had measured around the circumference of the 
cushions for the boxing measurement.

Part of this boxing would include the zipper.
 So the zippered portion of the cushion cover would
have to be in two pieces.

The original (ugly) cushion covers had the zippers
measured to 30 inches, 
so I just used that same measurement.

For each cushion, I cut 2 pieces, 
each the length of the zipper.
 Then I sewed them together with a 
basting stitch and pressed
the seams open.

I cut the length of the zipper roll
and made sure I had a zipper pull on it!

I had to be careful not to zip that pull off
before I stitched the ends closed.

I pinned the zipper under neath the seam. 

Then I sewed the zipper in place using my zipper foot.

As I got close to the end of the zipper,
I carefully opened up a few inches of the seam
with my seam ripper. 
Then I lifted my presser foot with the needle still down.
I very carefully pulled the zipper open and past
the presser foot.

Next, I sewed the long boxing piece to
the zipper boxing panel, on each end.
I reinforced this seam and top-stitched it
for strength.

This boxing panel was the length of
the circumference of the cushion,
minus the zipper panel length,
plus about 3 inches for seam allowance
and a little zipper protection.

Then I tried the whole boxing strip on the ugly cushion. 

This is the zippered panel. 

After I tried the boxing panel on the cushion,
I was able to pleat the excess fabric over the
end of the zipper, to create a protective 
fold over the zipper head.

This will prevent that zipper pull from rubbing and
wearing the other fabric out.

After I got the boxing the correct size for the cushion,
I pinned the piping all around both edges.

Notice the cut ends of the piping on each side.

I stitched the piping all around and then left
the ends unstitched.

Where the piping overlapped, there was  
an excess of the piping cord.

So I pulled it out and cut it off.

Then I folded the excess piping fabric and 
wrapped it around the other side of the piping.

The cut ends of the piping cord met I could 
lay the piping fabric over them.

Then I was able to pin the piping down

and stitch it together with less bulk.

Once the boxing was all finished and piped,
it was time to wrap the cushions.

Uh wow.

Lets just get that covered, shall we?

As each of these foam cushions was actually
in pretty decent shape,
I decided to just wrap them with 
fresh batting.
I didn't even bother taking off the current cover.

As I wrapped them tightly, smoothing out the wrinkles,
I pinned the edges in place.

And then I stitched it all in place,
with a doubled thread for strength.

I wrapped the corners and stitched 
them down to the sides.

I cut 6 identical rectangles,
each the dimensions of the cushions plus 
1 inch on each side for the seam allowances.

Then I put the boxing on the wrapped cushion, 
wrong side out,
adjusting the zipper panel to the
correct edge of the cushion.

I opened each zipper a few inches so 
that I could unzip it to take it off 
once I was done pinning the top and bottom on.

Using the piping seam as a guideline,
I pinned the top and bottom seat panels
to the boxing.
This is the inside of the front edge of the cushion.

Each corner will end up being slightly rounded because 
of the wrapped cushions.

I pinned it to fit snugly.

As fabric fibers relax from being sat on,
the cushions can get sloppy looking.

I wanted it to fit cleanly so I made it tight.

After I pinned it all the way around, 
I reached into the unzipped area and 
unzipped the rest of the cushion.

Then I VERY VERY VERY carefully
pulled the pinned cushion cover off 
of the wrapped cushion.

I say very carefully because those sharp 
pins stabbed me so many times on this step!

Then all that was left was to 
sew those cushions together!

Once again, I used my zipper foot,
stitching on the piping seam to get
a snug seam for the cushions.
 After I sewed on the piping seam,
I ran another row of stitches,
1/8" away from the first row,
as reinforcement.
I didn't even trim off the 
excess fabric from the corners,
as that extra fabric provided a little more stability.

I turned the covers right side out!!!!!

And then  I stuffed those wrapped cushions back into 
the completed cushion covers,
and zipped them closed.

I covered a few old down throw pillows
with some plaid fabric from my stash,
and added some of the leftover 
sofa slipcover piping. 

Then I jumped up and down and did a gleeful
yet embarrassing happy dance!!!!!
Much whooping and hollering
and loud raucous singing took place at this point!!!

The old ugly sofa was completely hidden
and in it's place was exactly the sofa I had 
dreamed of when I bought the fabric
all those years ago!!!!

Thank you for bearing with me
for these 3 long posts.

I hope they have made sense
and maybe even helped you
drum up the courage to take on the
daunting task of making a fitted slipcover
for your sofa. 

Next up, 
Back to school sewing!

Happy Sewing,

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The New Slipcover For The Old Ugly Sofa- Part 2

If you are wondering what is happening here,
you may have not read 

So, If you need to catch up,
go ahead and do that

Ok, all caught up now?

On to Part 2!

After sewing the sofa arms,
my next step was to sew the sofa decking
(the part under the seat cushions)
to the seat front panel.
So I did that and laid the decking and front
panel piece back on the sofa face down.

Then I pinned the completed arm to the decking piece,
across the front of the arm, and across
the decking into the arm.

Do you remember how I left the piping long
on the outside of the front arm panel?

Well that is now pinned between the front panel and
side panel.
You can see where the yellow pin heads
are pinned in place.
I did this to the other arm as well,  and
then took the arms and decking piece off
and sewed them together.

This shows the left arm sewn to the decking
and sofa front.

The next thing that has to happen is assembling the
seat back.

This sofa has a channeled or modified tight back.
This is different from a sofa that has removable cushions
for the back.

Because of the shape of this back,
it had to be made in 3 pieces and
sewn together.
I laid the fabric face down and then
pinned the tucks in place,
like the arms,
and then joined each piece with piping.

It is starting to look like a sofa at this point.

But the seat back is just tucked into the deck
and arms at this point.
Because the next step involves putting
zippers into the back panel.

This is a roll of cut to size upholstery zipper.
it is a roll of zipper tape and several
zipper heads.

I cut 2 pieces of the fabric
the height of the back of the sofa, by about 5 inches wide.
I stitched the zipper to the strips.

I stitched the other side of the zipper to the wide back panel piece.

With cut-to-size upholstery zipper,
you need to make sure you tack or finish
off the bottom so that you don't
accidentally zip the head off.

I took two little scraps and sewed them to the ends.
Then I pinned the back zippered panel  in place,
pulling in folds to cover the zippers.

After I got the zippers sewn on to each side of the back panel,
I pinned it, wrong side out,
to the seat back.
The seat back wrapped all the way over the
top to the back.

Then I sewed that in place.

The pieces are getting heavy now,
with as much fabric as I am wrestling.

 As each piece is joined with piping,
 it is really starting to have a finished look in places.

 The back zippers are hidden in the folds of fabric.

 So now I have the slipcover in two pieces.
The seat back is sewn to the zippered back,
and the seat deck is sewn to the arms and front panel.
 (sorry this one is so blurry)

This is where it starts to get a bit crazy!

I turned both pieces wrong side up again,
so I could pin them together and
figure out that little side panel.

I decided to sew the back piece to the
side panels so that I had a better fit
while wrangling those little side panels.

Just like the arm fronts and seat back,
these little side panels needed
to have tiny pleats where the back

So I pinned those pleats in place and tacked them down.

Believe it or not,
these little panels are the smallest
pieces in the whole sofa,
yet they caused me the most concern.

I cut the rectangles much larger and then
pinned them in place and started cutting around
to get the shape.
I was concerned that
the grain would get all wonky.
(like my technical term?)

But then I sewed those in place.

And then it was time to connect the back pieces
to the arm/deck/front pieces.

This is a picture of the excess fabric
of the arms and seat back that tuck
into the joint of the sofa.

This is what makes a nice tight, smooth look.

This is a HUGE pile of fabric to wrestle under
into my machine!

But it was worth it!

I love how the little side panel fit
to the rest of the cover.
The seam is tucked into the arm joint.

And the back fits nice and tight
to the side and arm panel.

At this point, I decided I wanted a ruffled skirt
all the way around the sofa.

So I measured the size I wanted the
ruffle to be, and then drew
a line all the way around the slipcover
based on that distance from the floor.

Then I pinned the piping all around the sofa.

 I added up the measurements of the
circumference of the sofa.

Because the back was separated from the front and
sides, by zippers,
the ruffle had to be in two pieces.
I figured I wanted the ruffle to be roughly
2.5 times the width of the sofa, for fullness.
 So for the back, the measurement was
75"x2.5= 187.5.
The fabric was 54" wide,
and I wanted to use full widths.
So, I could have used 3 or 4 widths
for the back.
I decided to round up and use 4 widths.
 The front and sides ruffle ended up
being 7 widths.

So I cut 11 widths,
allowing 2 extra inches in depth
for hem and gathering at the seam allowance.

 I pinned all the pieces together,
matching the design at seams.

Then I hemmed the ruffle pieces and
zig-zagged over fishing line for the gathering.

Fishing line gathers are so much easier to handle
for bulky fabric.

Then I sewed all that piping onto the slipcover.

Then I pinned and gathered
that ruffle to the slipcover,
right below the piping.

Next, I sewed it all down. 
Did I mention that it was getting 
really heavy to sew?

I folded back the selvage at the zipper
for a smooth edge.

Yes, I used a contrast thread
for zigzagging over the fishing line for the gathering.

I often use up old spools of thread
for gathering so I don't waste my
matching thread.

Now it looks almost complete!

I am in love!!

This is where the sofa back joins the rest of the 

All that is left to sew now, 
are the 3 seat cushions!


I will post those photos in a day or so.

Happy Sewing!