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Thread: Thinking of slip covers

  1. #1
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    Thinking of slip covers

    I'm considering making slip covers that are machine washable. Never have I done this before, but thinking about it seriously. Budget is tight and I have a good couch that needs new fabric. Getting a second hand couch runs the risk of bedbugs, so fix what I have. Has anyone taken the class on Craftsy for making slipcovers. Has anyone made washable slipcover and can help with fabric choices. I was thinking king size flat sheets, but not sure if that would be too thin.
    Create something beautiful from scraps.

  2. #2
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    I made cushion covers (basically pillow cases for the couch cushions) from sheets and from quilting cotton. Both have lasted for years.

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    I've made slipcovers many times. Most of the time, they came out pretty good and saved us a ton of money. Besides being cheaper than buying a new couch, or chair, the older pieces are far better made than what's on the market today. Anything made before the mid-sixties was built to last forever. Here are some of my tips:

    Buy practical, sturdy fabric and make sure that your sewing machine can stitch through several layers of it. If not, consider buying a used, industrial machine for the job. Personally, I like cotton duck, or canvas. It washes up great. Watch out for prints that will fade in a bad way.

    If you have pets, be sure that the fabric isn't the type that will get damaged easily by them and that it won't show the hair. (My dogs had a ball tearing up my silk velvet pillows.)

    Buy more fabric than you need. You might make a mistake, or have a repair to make down the road.

    Pre-wash your fabric And cording several times before you make one cut, or stitch. I did a loveseat last year and I wash it all the time. Although, I pre-washed the fabric, but I didn't wash the cording and it started to slowly shrink each time it went through the washing machine. Now I have to make repairs and adjustments to the slipcover where they ripped apart, due to the stress of putting it on and taking it off.

    Make your slipcover a tad roomy. (See above.)

    Use the pieces from the old couch cover to make a pattern for the new one and use generous seam allowances.

    If you have any other questions, I'm happy to help. Just PM me. Good luck!

    ~ C
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 06-07-2019 at 07:56 AM. Reason: shouting/all caps

  4. #4
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    I have always wanted slip covers in white or off white, but with a dog and cat that may not be a good choice. Have always wanted to use painters drop clothes that have been washed a jillion times to soften them.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by lindaschipper View Post
    I have always wanted slip covers in white or off white, but with a dog and cat that may not be a good choice. Have always wanted to use painters drop clothes that have been washed a jillion times to soften them.
    That would work.

  6. #6
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    There are also covers that are quilted and simply stretch out over the seat, back and arms of upholstered furniture. Seems to me it would be a lot easier and maybe cheaper than trying to create actual slipcovers. I've seen them at ShopKo but now most of those stores are closing.

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    I love painters' drop cloths. I use them for all kinds of things, but they are a rather loose weave and may just shrink up to nothing, or get holes in them easily for this project.

    ~C
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 06-07-2019 at 07:57 AM.

  8. #8
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    ​Price out the amount of heavy duty fabric for slip covers. You might find that buying sturdy slip covers from Ikea or amazon are a better value.

  9. #9
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    slip covers made with sheets

    I'm considering making slip covers using bed sheets. First of all I have never made slip covers. I'm considering taking a craftsy class to provide some knowledge about this. From looking online for duck fabric the price seems too steep. I'm looking at bed sheets with 800 thread count. The good part is bed sheets are machine washable and I want the slip covers to be washable. Has anyone ever made slip covers using sheets? Does anyone have any suggestions for making slipcovers, any hints would be welcome. Does anyone know where to get a heavier type, machine washable fabric for $5.00 per yard or less. Thanks for all your help.
    Create something beautiful from scraps.

  10. #10
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    If I were to use bedsheets, I wouldn't use 800 count. Higher counts are made with finer threads and don't last as long. JoAnn's recently had their $10 a yard 45" home dec for half price. I chose some for family room curtains, but there were so many colors and prints to choose from, it was hard. It would be a good weight for slipcovers. A 40% off coupon would make it $6 a yard.

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    Where o where to get inexpensive fabric????
    Create something beautiful from scraps.

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    A family member today sent me a facebook screenshot that the WalMart in Washington, PA has a $1/yard fabric sale today. Maybe one near you does, too?

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    I checked out JoAnne's online. The duck fabric is only $6. a yd which is good, but it doesn't say if its machine washable and thats a big something critical. However, I do have a JoAnnes near by, so will stop in. I completely forgot about JoAnne's.
    Create something beautiful from scraps.

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    I've made lots of cover replacements. I just carefully removed the old upholstery and used each piece as the pattern. There used to be an upholstery factory outlet where I lived years ago, where you could buy left overs at very cheap prices. Some of the leftovers were quite large, and they also had 'last years' fabrics still on the rollers so you could get normal amounts for any job.

  15. #15
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    Try Ebay for fabric. Also, you don't have to take apart your couch for the patterns. Just drape the fabric over it, and trace along the seams with a washable marker. (I use Crayola and it comes out every time.) Be sure to give yourself a large seam allowance when you cut around the marks.

    ~ C

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