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Monday, October 15, 2012

The Slipcover That Took Me A Year

Ladies and gentleman, may I proudly present...

The Slipcover. 

Oh my. It was so simple and yet took me so very very long.

I started back in August of 2011. Yes, you read that right.  I had the entire back, sides and front covered within 2 days. (I used this FABULOUS series of tutorials from Miss Mustard Seed, which really helped me figure the process out. Highly recommend them.)

Then on Day 3 I began the process of covering the first of six cushions. Optimistically begun during nap time, it took an hour and a half (aka ALL of nap time). And I wasn't finished. There was almost as much piping on this one cushion as I had done for the entire slipcover so far. Pinning was taking FOR-EH-VER. And then there was the issue of closing up the back of the thing. I really wanted to do a zipper, but Miss Mustard Seed didn't do a zipper and the envelope closure was kind of a mystery to I just left it undone and smooshed it back on the couch.

And there she sat. For over a year.

It totally started to look normal to us. Five brown cushions with leather trim. One semi-completed slipcovered cushion.

You know what finally kicked me in the butt to get 'er done? Two special moms in my life. One was the mom who graciously watched all 3 of our kids so we could go on a high school retreat a few weeks ago. As soon as she said she would stay in our home to watch the kids I started looking around with a critical was like seeing our little couch for the very first time. Hey babe! Did you know the couch has one white cushion and five brown ones? Huh. 

I hastily vowed to finish the slipcover before she came (which did not happen). And was moaning about my recently-noticed lack of progress here shortly afterwards, because another mama angel offered to come watch the kids for a day so I could work on it. Seriously!? It was awesome.

The day she came I jump-started my work again. I re-discovered this tutorial (pinned over 6 months ago curiously enough) and finally tackled the zipper on the cushions.

It's far from perfect, but it works for us for now. If you know your way around a sewing machine even just a bit you can do this too. I used two packs of drop cloths from Lowe's as fabric (washing and bleaching them several times before beginning) and purchased cotton cording and zipper closures from Jo-Ann Fabrics. The total cost came in at under $100 and I spent roughly 10 hours of solid work on it. (Unevenly spread out over 412 days...) 

The result? We love it. It has survived muddy boots, Cheeto-stained fingers, chocolate ice cream and newborn poop. I love being able to pull it off and throw it in the wash with some bleach when needed.

 Here's the current state of the living room:

A million thank yous to Lu and Marilyn for the encouragement I needed to get this project finished!!! Now on to the next big thing....those built-in bookcases you can see a peek of to the right of the couch. Here's hoping they're done in less time than the slipcover.


  1. Love it! I have a wing chair that needs covering. Can I bring it up next trip to ATL?

    1. Oh for sure Aunt Susan! I'll have it back to you before my kids leave for college.

  2. Haha. Things always get done, eventually. I'm so proud of you! Love you, sister!

  3. I love the realistic nature of your blog, instead of everything being perfect all at once, tackling things as you have time money. More like the rest of us.

    1. Thank you so much! I try to keep it as real as possible around here without frightening people away from parenthood. Hee hee.


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