Previous Slipcover Work - Part I

I had promised to go back and try to detail my earlier work on the sofa slipcover. So here is an overview of what went before the cushions.

Back in April of last year I was having family over for dinner and thought that the sofa looked too shabby for company. We’ve had this foldout sofa for years and in a previous house it was situated next to a sunny window. It was a favorite spot for the cats to lay along the back and alternately snooze and gaze out the window. The result of all this cat love and sun damage were torn and faded spots along the top. The sofa was a perfect candidate for a slipcover.

Nudged into action by the thought of house guests I took out my sofa patterns and studied them for ideas on how to proceed. I already had about 30 yards of a very nice floral home decorator Waverly fabric. I had found it at Fabric, Laces and Trims where it was sold to me by the pound! This store carries lots of remnants and seconds quality fabrics and trims. The fabric had obvious printing defects but most of it was in good shape. I immediately thought of using it for making a slipcover. I believe I got the whole thing for about $15.00. Of course, it sat in my sewing room for many years, but I always knew that some day I would try it.

Well, I never did get it done in time for the family dinner, but I made a start back then and finally a full year later finished it off in about two months.

This is what the sofa looked like at the start.

 
I used McCalls pattern #3278 to guide me. It has a great explanation on all the basic techniques needed to take measurements of the couch, construct your muslin pattern, pin fit it to your couch and mark it up for sewing together.

 

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With my measurements done I started laying sections of muslin on the couch and smoothing them down.
I followed the instructions on pinning the muslin to the couch.
As each section was pinned and fitted I would make marks on it indicating seam lines, gathers or center points, anything that would help me later in sewing it together. Then I would cut around the piece edges leaving ample seam allowances.
In this way I ended up with the whole couch covered with cut out pattern pieces. This was a good time to mark match points on adjoining pieces. I also labeled the different sections (left front, right gusset, etc) which aside from the obvious would remind me which side was the right side of the pattern.
From start to finish the pattern making took me about two days. Not bad, I wish I would have been as diligent doing the rest of it.