Slip-covering a wing back chair

There are some projects that are just fun, and then there are some that are just necessary. I would place slip cover sewing into any category other than fun. Slip covering a chair that has curves, like a wing back chair, well, now we are talking a tedious test of patience like no other. Perhaps I exaggerate, but only ever so slightly. Next time I decide to invest in three enormously curvy pieces of furniture to slipcover, someone might recommend I try learning on, oh, a square box first.

how to slip cover a wing back chair

This is experiment number one. For this chair I chose a cream colored home decor weight fabric with a very light plaid print on it. I chose this because, for one, it was a cheap buy at my local salvage shop. And for two, I must have thought that slip covering would just be too boring if I actually picked a fabric that didn’t have, you know, lines that needed matching on top of everything else! Some people just have an unfortunate knack for making life difficult for themselves. And no, I didn’t get all the lines matching, just in case you were wondering.

I’ll spare you the insult of pretending I know what I’m talking about and leave my sage slip covering advise to this…cut bigger pieces than you need and follow the seam lines already on the chair.

slipcovered chair

I thought I would be a smarty pants and just cut big pieces for the sides instead of following the existing seams. Turns out those seams are actually there for a reason, and I had to go back and redo my cuts to get it to fit right. I left humongous seam allowances until I was sure the pieces would fit together correctly, and only trimmed them down after I had fit the sewn pieces onto the chair. I worked one seam at a time, and fit it to the chair after every line I sewed. It took forever, but that way I didn’t get too far ahead if I had made a mistake.

I did a lot of internet browsing for slip covering tutorials before I started. The one thing I did differently than most I saw, was to make an envelope style cover for the seat cushion. It’s really easy to do, and you don’t have to buy or mess with a huge long zipper. All you have to do is cut the top side of the cushion cover normally to the shape of the cushion, and cut the bottom one in two sections that can overlap.

slip covering a chair cushion

Hem the two long edges and the sew them on the sides to equal the same shape as the top of the chair cushion. You will have a nice pocket to slide your chair cushion into on the bottom of the cushion.

how to cover a chair cushion with a slip cover

I used a long strip of fabric equal to the sides of the cushion to do the sides.

how to make a chair slip cover

I skipped out on using cording, but as the experts say, it would have made a nice professional touch. Perhaps when I’ve achieved saint hood with my patience level I’ll try it some time in the future…in the mean time, I’m fairly satisfied that I didn’t sew over any of my fingers or donate the chair to goodwill before finishing it.

how to sip cover a wing back chiar

The back is just a large flap that ties near the bottom. It stays put fairly well and it is easy to take on and off. I completely cheated on hemming the thing, and sewed on some trim I found at Hobby Lobby. I was going to make a pleated trim with the remaining fabric…but somehow or another by the time I got that point, the motivation was utterly lacking.

simple tips on how to slip cover a chair

Here is a shot of the dear thing before she got dressed…not bad but a little too “hotel” green for my liking.

slip covering a wing back chair

Despite all the flaws, which I’m sure are all too visible, she does look immensely better in my opinion.

tips on slip covering a wing back chair

Slip covers certainly aren’t for everyone, but in this hard playing, furniture jumping, pajama partying, little princess housing home, slip covers just make sense for us. I’d rather not stress about dirty furniture, and a washable cover is a great solution.

tips on slip covering a chair

So, in other news, I still have another chair and this monstrous thing to do….

tips on slip covering

…I don’t suppose anyone wants to come have a slip cover sewing party?

P.S. Sorry I skipped out on blogging last week…I spent the week playing with a bunch of family I hardly ever get to see. Terrible for blog stats, I know, but great for post recovery of slip cover sewing trauma!

Ephesians 4:29   Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers

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About Abby

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22 Responses to Slip-covering a wing back chair

  1. Oh my word, that slipcover is gorgeous. I love the little scalloped and ruffle detail on the bottom. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  2. Beverly says:

    What a great job you did. I have two chairs like that that I want to slip cover. I did my couch already, pick the hardest first. It does test your patience.
    Good luck with your couch.

    • Abby says:

      Oh you were a brave woman to pick the couch first! I’m hoping it turns out better than the chair, but we’ll see! Thanks so much for reading!

  3. Katie says:

    The chair looks goooooood. Slip covers are not easy. Have you ever considered painting your couch? I have never done it but have seen several successful examples… Just a thought. So glad you had play time.

    • Abby says:

      I’ve seen some really pretty painted furniture too…honestly, I’m a little scared to try it! Maybe if I found something for free to experiment on? It would be a lot faster than slip covering that’s for sure! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Trisha says:

    I just finished making a slip cover for my wing chair trash pick – I used a single bed George Washington bedspread. I agree, it is not an easy task!! I thought it out in my head for many many months! You did a great job! Good luck with that couch……. :)

  5. Kathy in VA says:

    This looks beautiful! You have inspired me yet again! I always look forward to reading your posts. But play time with family is very important so you did the right thing :-)

  6. Your chair looks great! I recovered a chair, my first time, a few months ago and it was hard. Love the trim detail that you used. Good luck with your couch.

    • Abby says:

      Thanks Kristi! The first time has got to be the most intimidating, but isn’t it great when it’s done?! Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  8. Talented girl. I could never do that. Yes, I said that bad word “never”! Love the pic with your girls. Good luck on the rest of the pieces!

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