Friday, January 10, 2014

Linen Slipcovered Couch-Tutorial

Happy  New Year Everyone,

I apologize for the long delay between posts.  The holidays were naturally a blur and well, now  the girls are in school I have a little more time to dedicate to my blog.   Sadly, our Christmas decorations are packed away for next year leaving the rooms feeling "bare".  I arranged a few accessories this morning and played around with a new seating arrangement.  I guess the after Christmas decorating and the beginning of the New Year left me feeling like the house needed a fresh start. 
Our basement and family room certainly received a fresh look.  I managed to fit in a challenging sewing project by slipcovering our weathered couch.  Since the couch is quite large it takes up a great amount of space and was a big color block for me.  Beside the fact it had several holes in the arms and cushions from everyday wear and tear, the olive green shade looked tired.  I do however, love the couch, it is very comfortable, classically designed and constructed beautifully.  I figured I would try my hand on slipcovering rather than reupholstering professionally and maybe a few years from now we can replace again.  Thankfully slipcovers are so relevant these days, especially Linen.  I purchased my fabric at Hobby Lobby.  It a thick, durable slub linen perfect for slipcovering.  A few months back I slipcovered the chair beside the couch in the same fabric.  It is holding up well despite the few messes and frequent use. 

Below is my promised tutorial for slipcovering all upholstered furniture-:

An Aside Note:
Most of my slipcovered projects are sewn without the use of piping.  I personally like the clean sleek look of the "Restoration Hardware" slipcovered pieces.  But it is important to note that the piping does bind the fabric seams well and since I opted not to use the piping I reinforced all my seams with zig zag stitching and other decorative stitch settings on my sewing machine.
Below are pictures of the stitching I use for the seams and cushions.

Supplies Needed:
Linen Fabric at least 10 yds.  I used 18 yds total for my couch, but this did include slipcovering all the cuchions-6 total on my project.
Ruler a great tool for tucking excess fabric into the sides.
Pins I used at least a box to shape the arm and create a nice snug fit.
 Step 1
Pin carefully the shape of the arm of the chair.  Placing the pins closely together.  This will make the stitching process that much easier with little room for error. Make sure to create a pleated detail on the four corners of the couch.  This step will allow the slipcover to fit over the shape with ease without compromising the snug fit.

Step 2

Mark with a ruler the placement of seam under the rolled arm as shown below.  Snip away extra fabric from step 1.

Cut fabric just beneath the curve.  This will help shape the arm so the fabric doesn't drape to the floor, but fits snugly around the curves.

Step 3

Pin front piece to back piece following a straight line of pins from one top edge to the opposite edge and also pinning the side piece to the back following the curve of the couch.

Step 4
Continue pinning the  fabric on the other arm and sides of couch and complete the pinning by attaching the bottom front piece to the arms.
Carefully remove the pinned slipcover and stitch all pin markings as accurately as possible around all the curves and straight edges.  At this point I turned my linen fabric right-side and reinforced all the seams with zig- zag.  I gives it a beautiful custom touch and binds the fabric perfectly.

Step 5

Properly place the slipcover with cushions and double hem the slipcover.  At this point
I pressed it well  especially on the hem line, stitched the hem in place and pressed again.

The cushions were a little flat from use over the years so I added just one layer of batting around the foam.  What a difference it instantly made!

The End Product after a couple of days of hard work...

Picture  of my slipcovered pieces on a very dreary day ~ sorry for the rather terrible photo.

I hope this was helpful and easy to understand and replicate.  Please let me know if you all have any questions. 
On  a different note... a  huge thank you for your readership this year.  Thanks for following along even though my posts are sporadic and infrequent.  I hope to over the next year or so continue my journey on blogging and sharing and I  look forward to connecting.
Enjoy your weekend my friends.

Savvy Southern Style


  1. Very nice! They look beautiful. The explanation seemed really clear. I upholstered my first chair for my stepdaughter this Christmas. It's very satisfying! I might try slipcovering some day.

    1. Thanks Jan! Its easier than you think to slipcover. I would certainly give it try!

  2. Wow, your pics, description and text on pics was so helpful! The sofa looks gorgeous and blends so nicely with the linen. I feel capable of slip covering! Thank you!!!

  3. I also like the no-piping look, but hadn't seen the seam treatment you did (with the zig zag). I love it! I finished a linen cover for a wing chair last year, now I need to take it off and zig zag all the seams :-) Thank you for the inspiration!


    1. Thanks for the comment Patty. Glad you found some inspiration!

  4. OMG!! Sarah!! This blog is incredible!! I am bookmarking it right now and it's just the inspiration I need for some projects I've been putting off. I just gave my Mom her sewing machine back because she's about to start a project. Any advice on buying a sewing machine? I really want one of my own but have been overwhelmed when looking on Amazon. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. You can reply here or email me directly. Thanks!! And again, seriously. Your writing, the pictures, the explanations; all FANTASTIC!!

    1. Sonja, Thank you so much for your sweet comment!! Glad it has given you inspiration for projects around the home. A far as sewing machines go..I have a basic Brother, nothing fancy at all! It is a great utility sewing machine and I have really given it such a workout over the years. However I too am in the market for a new machine...I don't do any quilting and sometimes sew apparel so I am looking at Bernina (pricey, but worth it, I think) and Babylock. I would take some fabric samples to the sewing stores and try them out on machines in your budget. Hope this info. helps!