Slipholstered Couch

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Our small couch was in excellent condition when we got it in April of 2010. We bought it from someone on Craigslist (of course) for about $75. Over time though, the fabric did not stand up to the wear and tear of two boys. After about a year a tear in the seat started. It was small but after three years it had grown. On went a blanket to cover the hole until I formulated a plan. The couch is very structurally sound though so definitely worth refurbishing.

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I flipped the couch and pulled the staples that were holding the black fabric to the underside. This way I could see how it was constructed and how best to recover it. There were lots of trinkets and crumbs in there (eww). This is when I discovered that this was not going to be an easy project. There was no way to really completely disassemble and reupholster the couch. But I didn’t want to just slip cover it. So I decided to do a mishmash of both and slipolster it. My plan was to sew the top slipcover style but then staple the bottom to the frame and reattach the black underfabric.

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Maybe here is where I should mention that I have never upholstered or reupholstered anything. Nor have I ever sewn a slip cover. Heck, I’ve never even purchased a slip cover. But details such as these will not stop me.

I went to JoAnn and picked up some upholstery fabric from the clearance section. I also got some batting to put under it to smooth out the seat a bit. My total was about $15! Then I brought it home and started working.

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I cut my pieces, placed them wrong side up on the couch and started pinning. And my pins promptly came undone. I pinned and sewed and tugged and pinned and sewed and wore myself out quickly. So the fabric got left in a bin for months and months while the project stared at me from the to-do list. I would pull it out every once in a while and work on it and get wiped out. Then it would be left in the box for a few more months.

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After I did the patch job on our recliner I decided it was time to pull this one out and work on it again. This time I decided I would work a little at a time and then put it away until I had the energy to work a little more. I did some more work on it and put it back in the bin for a few months.

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My hubby then started threatening. Either I finish recovering it or the couch goes. (He even offered to help). Now this simply can not happen. (The couch going, not the help.) If we put it to the curb it will end up in the landfill. I am the only person who cares enough to bring this sucker back to life. So I again start pinning and sewing. And seam ripping. And pinning and sewing and talking out loud to myself. And saying “good enough” a lot. All the while channeling my good friend (even though she doesn’t know it) Victoria Elizabeth Barnes. I will complete this project despite it’s seeming enormity. I will not be outwitted by some fabric and a couch. Maybe I should take some photos for my blog. Maybe I should take a break and blog. Yes definetly. But I am not done, it’s not going back in the box!

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So I pinned and sewed and put it back on and pinned and took it off and sewed some more and finally I had it all sewn. I put the batting down to give it a little more padding and to ensure the tears in the fabric underneath couldn’t be felt through the new cover. Then I slid the cover on top. The entire middle section wasn’t sewn at all. All of the fabric was long and loose and I pushed it down through the middle where it could be pulled through the bottom and stapled to the frame.

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Now it was time to staple the cover to the frame.  My hubby made good on his offer to help and pulled the fabric taut so I could staple and he also played photographer.  (And yes I wear a hat inside during the winter.) I stapled the fabric to the frame and then stapled the black fabric back to the bottom.  You know, in case anyone is ever laying on the floor looking up at the underside of my couch.

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Two days of dedicated binge working and finally it is done! It has been about a year in the making but it is done! And I am actually fairly happy with how it turned out. For my first slipolstery project it looks pretty nice. Just don’t go looking at the details.

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2 responses to “Slipholstered Couch

  1. This inspires me to cover The Chair….finally. I keep threatening it (yes, I talk to inanimate objects). I tell it I will toss it, but I just can’t. There is no reason to other than the fact the fabric gets dirty so quickly and I hate that. I looked at slip covers and cringe at the thought of putting that much money into fabric that will probably not last long to begin with. I have little faith in the manufacturing business anymore. Quality seems to be an after thought.

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