Cooking & Living in Small Spaces with Style

The Case For A Custom Made Slip Cover

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My Shabby Chic Custom Made Slipcover

My Shabby Chic Custom Made Slipcover

There was a time when I thought of slipcovers as nothing more than an extra large sheet of drab rough fabric, loosely thrown over an old couch.   I found them totally uninviting; perhaps suitable for a dorm room but not belonging in a living room.  It didn't matter to me that they were utilitarian and perfect for the well used room of a family with children.  It had crossed my mind that impressionable children shouldn't be subjected to those unformed over sized covers. I suppose you could judge me snobbish. 

But wait.  I felt this way until I was in a Calico Corners fabric store in Northern Virginia.  On the floor was a beautiful winged chair that had been fitted with a tailored slip cover.  The fit was tight and perfectly detailed with a self welt; a hidden back zipper closure; and the pattern meticulously lined up at the top, in the corners and at the edges.  I became a convert for slipcovers that very moment.

Before my five-year long decorating project had ended, I had slipcovers made for two old sofas.  They were both well constructed and were in excellent condition.  One was an over sized, thick cushioned love seat.  It was in the family room and had become one of the play areas for two rambunctious soft-coated wheaten terriers.  The other was a purchase from my floral-jeweled-tone-deep-burgundy-and-purple decorating days.   

Example of a Belgium arm slipcover:

One Method of How Custom Made Slipcovers are Made:

In purchasing custom made slipcovers, it was the process that I had found fascinating.  I had purchased what seemed a bolt of fabric and had some how got it home.  The upholsterer came by a week later with his helper.  He then fitted, pinned and cut each piece to the contour of the sofa, like a tailor fitting, pinning and cutting each piece of a suit to fit to the contours of the body.   He asked me what style I wanted, how tight I wanted the cover to fit, what kind of details did I want, such as a welt, pleats or gathering.  When he was finished, he simply slipped the pinned pieces off the sofa and rolled it up. 

Two weeks later, he returned with the slip cover.  It fitted perfectly.  You see one of the sofas in the photo above.  I had chosen a shabby chic style with custom made down/feather seat and back cushions.  The transformation was astonishing and I had gotten exactly what I wanted.

There are lots of styles from which to choose.  Here are just a few. 


Box Pleated Bottom:

Box Pleated Corner Bottom, note the tuffed rolled arms:

RollArm Slipcover RestoreHdwr -2 prod50008_av2 (2).jpg

Classic Englsh Rolled Arms and Gathered Skirted Bottoms:

A new sofa is wonderful to have and there are many styles to choose from.  Custom made sofas are equally desirable.  The styles and fabrics are seemingly endless.  But sometimes these choices are not always practical, necessary or even wanted.  A well constructed sofa with a cover that has merely become outdated due to color or pattern or just worn can be made new again. New back and seat cushions can be made. 

Like pillow covers, a slip cover can also be a seasonal cover.  Slip on a spring/summer cover for a new look but remove it for a fall/winter look.  Have matching pillow covers made.  The choices for fabric and style offer endless possibilities.  Costs will vary depending upon fabric selection, trim work and other factors such as new cushions.  And of course it is wise to compare the cost to a new or custom made sofa.   Still, a custom made slipcover is definitely an option not to be overlooked for that next redecorating project