19 February 2009

The Slipcover that Saved my Sanity

Today I'm participating in an event over at Nesting Place, a blog I read regularly.


The Nester has been posting great ideas for 10 minutes to the room you love. This project took more than ten minutes to make, but it would have taken less than 10 minutes if I would have purchased instead of created. Alas, I'm too cheap!


We live in Spain, temporarily. We're here for two years, with about 5 months of that two years left to go. We are blessed with a beautiful yet tiny little apartment while we're here. It's just big enough for the two of us, and not much more! Although we have supplemented here and there, most of the furniture we have came with the place, and will stay here when we leave, including the love seat pictured above. I'm not too picky, for the most part (Vino might disagree!). All I ask for in living room seating is comfort, the right size, and not ugly. Well, I can't have everything. Two out of three will have to do. This piece of furniture was most likely donated, having been very well cared for by the previous owner, who spent the money & time to have it reupholstered. She actually chose this fabric. Here's a close-up:


All it's purple, green & blue majesty just didn't fit in with my style. So what's a girl to do? We have boxes and boxes of old drapes in the attic where we live, and I had free reign to use what I found. What I did find was a pair of ridiculously wide & short, fairly ugly tan-ish drapes. They had a couple of stains here and there, but the fabric was promising. Thick enough for upholstery fabric, but thin enough for me to sew with my limited abilities. I had sewn a removable slipcover once before in my life and had vowed to never do it again. Well, I had to break my vow. I'm sure you can understand why. I proceeded to make the most simple slipcover that I could possibly make. I can't stand the slipcovers that require constant tucking, so I was glad that this love seat has removable cushions. Pretty much all I did was hold the fabric up to each section of the love seat and cut it out. I've said before on this blog that I don't like to measure. I wing it a lot. What I did plan for, though, was to use the existing hems of the curtains for the bottom hem of the slipcover. No use in reinventing the wheel. I didn't use piping, and I didn't bother to make the arms fitted. I wanted something that would hang straight and that I could pull off easily to wash. Plus, I don't do zippers. The cushion covers overlap in the back. I suppose I could have made button holes, but that would have been more work, so I just tacked them shut with a little thread that I cut & retack for washing. Enough talk. Here's the after:


Not too bad, huh? By the way, the rest of my color palette revolved around trying to make the orange chair look like I want it there, thus the orange & green pillow made from Ikea dish towels and the bowl of oranges on the table.

Do you have things in your house that aren't what you would have chosen, but they are what you have to live with? There are almost ALWAYS cheap yet satisfying things you can do to make them your own. So put away that wallet and figure out something great to do with what you have! And be sure to head over to Nesting Place to check out everyone else's 10 minute makeovers!

21 comments:

Kelly said...

Wow you did a great job- I love to see the rest of the apartment-

Rachel said...

Ah, the beauty of a slipcover to cover over a multitude of sins. :) It looks so nice.

Megan O. said...

I think your room looks so cute and the way you made the orange chair work is awesome-- I thought the chair was so cute before I read that you were trying to work around it.

jenjen said...

You did a great job! What a difference! It looks so light and airy.

Love it!

Jen

june@craftyniche said...

Great job on your slipcover! I can't sew at all, so I'll be purchasing one for my couch. I'll wait for a good sale or clearance!

Mom said...

Great job, Erin! I'm proud of you.

Jamie said...

This looks great! You did a really nice job!

Gina said...

Great job! I like how the neutrals and orange play off each other. I actually didn't notice the red/orange chair till you mentioned it...

Kimm at Reinvented said...

You made that sound so easy, but I can tell you are very talented!

queenbee said...

You must be super talented with a sewing machine to come up with a slipcover that looks so perfect. I love the orange chair, by the way. Stop by my blog anytime.

ellen said...

What a difference! It looks great.

Rachel said...

I'm back again and reading very carefully to figure out how you made this slipcover. I have a chair that I would really like to cover up. It's not a bad chair, really, but the colors don't go at all with what I like. I've been thinking that I can't make a slipcover, but after reading your post, I think I can! I'll give it a try one of these days. Hopefully soon!

Bethany said...

it looks so good! Would never know you were just winging it! :)

koehmstedt said...

That slip cover is amazing! Well done.

Crystal Leigh said...

I actually prefer the couch the original way....florally, purplely, nice pattern.

well, on second thought, I do like the slipcover.

Jodi said...

great job on the slipcover! very impressed!!

Miss(es) Canadian Pie said...

You are way too talented to just peice together and sew a slipcover! It made an amazing difference. Looks so fresh and inviting.

Aubrey said...

That looks so good--I actually did think you wanted the orange chair there before reading you made it look that way, so I guess it worked!

The Nester said...

Bravo!

you embraced the truth that it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful!

Do it yourselfer said...

I do love your slipcover! You really did do a great job! Wow! Spain...how lovely!

Happyhome said...

Awesome job! I love how you tied in the orange and green...orange is a very happy color.