Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Chair Covers Project

Wonderful news, those pesky chair covers that have been on my sewing to do list for what feels like forever are finally complete!  Hurrah! 

For anyone wondering, this project was put into work a long time ago. Our conservatory furniture was beginning to look tired and worn, and was in definate need of replacing once the rabbit started munching the piping off all of the cushions she could reach!

Here's the furniture before it's transformation - in need of a freshen up!

So to begin I traced our existing chair covers to make the pattern. It was quite tricky as not only are they quite large but the covers themselves aren't removable. So I had to battle with giant cushions,  paper, tape measure and work both on our kitchen table and on the floor to get the pattern, but I got there in the end.  

Lay Planning - To estimate how much fabric I'd need

The fabric for the chairs was bought from Shepherd's Bush Market last October (you can read about it here) and has been sitting in a giant bag waiting for the perfect time for me to get down to business!
Unfortunately with my dream house still under construction... (in my head!) my fabric cutting had to take place on the living room floor.  I spent the whole time praying my pattern cutting skills were up to scratch and I'd told my mum to buy the correct amount of fabric!

Cutting out fabric on my trusty living room floor!

Luckily for me I had and we even saved some fabric as my mum wasn't bothered about the fabric pattern matching at the seams. It's a lovely all over leaf print so you could cut the fabric both ways round and it would look fine.

I was slightly worried about the fabric fraying so to solve this I used some fray stopping glue on the main seams that's would be under the most amount of strain. This stuff is amazing, you just put it onto the part of the fabric you want to stop fraying and it dries clear and hard to ensure the fray doesn't go any further. I've used it on loads of stuff, even a chiffon top and I would recommend it to anyone,  you can buy it from Hobbycraft, or Amazon for a reasonable price and it lasts ages. (Check it out here and here). Normally I would fuse the seams in a normal garment if I was worried about fraying or the seams slipping, but the fray stopper seems to work just fine and doesn't show on the right side as it's a thicker fabric. 

As I also needed a zip for every cover I bought a length of flat zip on a roll so I could just cut each one to the length I needed instead of trying to locate so many different individual zips. It's really easy to use and I'm sure it worked out a bit cheaper. I ordered my roll online from a company called Jaycotts that I've used quite a lot in the past - they have a great selection of sewing supplies so if you need anything sewing related their website is well worth a look -

 First up were the stool covers which I manage to do in 2 hours on quiet Friday evening - with mandatory tea breaks obviously! Then I worked my way up with the single chairs next , before finally sewing the large sofa pieces. 

Stool cover in progress!

For all of the covers I decided to insert any zips first before continuing with the piece, that way you have less fabric to battle with under the machine. I also trim the threads as I go rather than waiting till the end, that way I shouldn't forget any!

And here we have the finished products!

I am really chuffed with how these came out, considering I have never sewn or patterned any chair covers before. They look brilliant (even if I do say so myself!) and have made such a difference to the conservatory. 

The next task, assisting with the cushion & lampshade buying!
Perhaps a potential career in interior design beckons?!

Em x