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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.

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