Free Directions for Making Sofa Slipcovers


Making a slipcover for a sturdy sofa that has worn or unattractive fabric is a low-cost do-it-yourself project. This simple sewing project requires basic skills for cutting fabric and sewing straight seams. The result is a custom-made slipcover that revitalizes the sofa, along with the look and feel of the room. You will find that a medium-weight decorator fabric made from cotton or cotton/polyester blend is a good choice for slipcovers.

Things You'll Need

  • Flexible measuring tape
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Washable fabric
  • Fabric scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Serger (optional)
  • Measure the length and width of the sofa body. Start at the floor in front for the length and measure across the cushion, up the back and end at the floor in back. Measure the body width from the outside edge of one arm to the opposite outside edge.

  • Measure the length and width of the sofa side. Start at the floor side under one arm and measure over the arm to the start of the cushion. Measure the side width from the front edge of the arm to the rear edge.

  • Add 12 inches to the body length and side length measurements and 2 inches to the body width and side width measurements.

  • Draw a picture of the chair and measurements to get a visual of how the slipcover will fit. Sketch an image of the three pattern pieces you will make: two arm pieces using the side measurements and one body piece using the sofa body measurements.

  • Cut out the three pieces of fabric using the measurements and visual sketch. Lay the body pieces over the sofa and pin the arm slipcover pieces to the desired location with right sides together.

  • Sew the arm pieces to the slipcover body with a 1/2-inch seam. Zig-zag or serger stitch the raw edges to limit fraying. This step creates a "T" shape with the slipcover.

  • Lay the "T" slipcover on the sofa. Pin the seams on the front edge of the sofa arms with the right sides together. Pin the seams on the back edge of the sofa arms and back with the right sides together.

  • Tuck in excess slipcover fabric over the cushion to verify that the pinned seams create the desired fit. Sew the seams with a 1/2-inch seam and finish the raw edges with a zig-zag or serger stitch.

  • Hem the bottom edge of the slipcover by turning the fabric under 1/4 inch, followed by another 1/2 inch, to the wrong side. Sew close to the interior fold to finish the hem and complete the slipcover.

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