I’m an avid Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist user, in fact, I think that I may have a slight problem. Theres just something about finding items that area fraction of the cost of new that really excites me. I have found some pretty awesome things on there in the past, but my recent acquisition was a set of six Pottery Barn Samantha Parson’s Chairs. They were in decent shape but the slipcovers that came with them were pretty rough. I tried to launder them and treat stains, but I wasn’t able to get some of the marks out. I tried to find the same type of covers on Ebay, but to no avail. Either the seller had two for sale or they wanted way more than I was willing to pay. I did the next best thing, I remade them from using one of the original covers, I mean, why reinvent the wheel? I figured that if I messed one up or couldn’t figure out how to put it together, I still have five more to work with.
I studied the cover before taking it apart to look at construction and get an idea of what order to put things back together in. As you may be aware, most anything made by Pottery Barn is very well engineered and pretty high quality.
I noticed that there were flaps that anchored the seat and seat back down through the gap in the chair where the seat and back meet. You know, the one where you find pennies, old skittles and a whole lot of strange things wedged in there? What was cool about these flaps was the fact that they had two 1/2″ wide strips of a clear stiff plastic on each end. This is for stuffing the flap down through the gap and giving it some structure to make it go through the tight crack. My apologies, but I didn’t get a picture of the strips before realizing that I didn’t take a picture of them after I had already put them in my new slipcovers. Another thing that I noted was that all of the raw edges were overlocked to prevent fraying.
I used my seam ripper to deconstruct the cover and I saved the velcro and the plastic pieces. Any time you can reuse something, it saves you time, money and effort of trying to reproduce it.
Once everything was apart, I took my giant roll of Kraft paper and traced each pattern piece onto it. I didn’t use the fabric pattern piece to trace onto new fabric because it was pretty flimsy when it came down to tracing the pattern onto the other fabric. I figured that the paper pattern would give me uniform results and it would lay flat on the new fabric as compared to the bacon like edges of the fabric pattern making it hard to judge how accurate I was being.
After I cut my pattern out, I traced and cut the fabric pieces almost like a little production line, after all, I had six of them to make.
Once Done cutting out the pieces, I overlocked every raw edge on them to ensure durability when washing. There’s nothing worse than making something and forgetting to make the inside as functional and nice as the outside. In case you are wondering, I have a Babylock Enlighten coverstitch/serger combo. Best investment I have ever made! They do not pay me to promote their brand, I just love the quality and ease of use of their machines!
After overlocking, it was time to sew everything together. I started with the flaps that I had mentioned above. They were the easiest. I used the old slipcover pieces to give me an idea of where my seam allowances were. I pressed the edges and sewed the velcro and plastic pieces in place.
I took the Chair front (back) and the seat and placed the flap in the middle of the two so that it laid on the top of the stack. I sewed them all together like a sandwich, making sure the flap was centered. You will see below what I am explaining here.
Next, I sewed the chair sides together and pressed the seams open. I did this because it reduces bulk evenly when you sew all of the other pieces together versus having lumpy seams overlapping each other.
I took the chair back and sewed it to the edge and then connected the sides and the chair front/seat together with pins. I used the chair for this part because I didn’t want to sew everything together and then find out that I used the wrong seam allowance. I’m glad that I did because it would have been off! I found that the fabric I chose versus the original fabric did not have as much stretch. I was going to use the 1/2” seam allowance normally used for home furnishings but ended up using 5/8”.
I pinned all of the covers together and sewed them all up. I pressed the bottom edges inward and sewed the velcro on. After that step, I cover stitched the edges to make them look neat. I put each cover on the chairs and marveled at what I had just done! I’m that person who overthinks things and talks myself out of it for fear of messing something up, so this was huge for me. I’m proud to say, that I did it and they turned out so much better than I had imagined! If you’re like me and tend to talk yourself out of things and not give your skills enough credit, you’ll never know what you’re capable of so take that chance and you may just be pleasantly surprised.