Ideas and suggestions for window treatments, slipcovers, nursery decor and bedding...and other thoughts and inspirations for your home and garden...

Friday, May 14, 2010

Lovely Crumpled Linen Slipcovers

My latest slipcover project: dining room chairs-a bit involved and a larger bit time consuming. But the result I think is lovely. Bleached white medium weight linen, pre-laundered (washed and dried)...this is what gives the linen that wonderful crumply look...and, after you wash and dry it once-you can do it again with no fear :) I admit it is somewhat scary to put that new wrinkle free linen into the washer and dryer, but it is worth it! Just make sure to cut large pieces, maybe 5-7 yards, for washing. Let me know if you have questions about this process. Again, it is "so" worth it!
The texture after washing lends a sort of rustic effect to the fabric...which works beautifully with the sophisticated elegant look in a dining room. The plan was to make the slipcovers follow the curves of the backs of the chairs...ok, so we will use cording...and, then the armchairs-armchairs? Armchairs always throw a kink into the much more difficult...and the decision of how to "treat" the arms. Kay, my newest client-and someone who has great ideas-, at first thought, wanted to cover the arms completely. Gasp....could I do that?...never done that on dining we left it at "let me get it going and think about it". So, think, think, think....I did.
I made the slipcovers for the armless side chairs first. Really, I want to tell all of you...your seamstress is not making a million dollars-it takes time...and lots of it :) I always worry about charging too much $, but you know, it is custom work....and did I not tell you in an earlier post...I do not have elves that come out at night to do this work (oh how I love that story "The Shoemaker and the Elves")...I stay up late, late, late at night to do this work a lot of the time-hey, maybe if I did not stay up so late, the elves would appear!! Oh, well, I don't know how I got onto that tangent-I just think about it sometimes. No one has mentioned that my prices are too high as of late...only that one time someone on the telephone about a fancy smancy window treatment and a big window, too-well-I guess she was not used to custom sewing :)
Back to the slipcovers now. I completed the side chairs using the lovely crumpled linen for the fronts, backs, cording, and skirts-and an ivory matelasse leaf design for the seats. Kay wanted a back pleat detail...with a tab and buttons-so I chose to use beautiful shell buttons instead of traditional covered buttons. It gives a little "glitz and glam"...pretty shiny buttons-they almost look like little antique mirrors. Kay designed the skirts to be tailored, with pleated corner detail...and tea length, showing just a little of the dark stained chair legs. All in all, very, very pretty and tasteful.
While waiting for the last bit of fabric to wash and dry, I played around with the arm chairs. I kept going back to the covered arm idea. And this is not my first parade...I mean, I have made slipcovers for awhile now-but how to cover that arm???? I decided to treat it like there was a full arm there (like a club chair) I corded the top shape of the arm...and sewed fabric to the top shape, creating a totally covered arm. A few of the same details as the side chairs...and a sort of crown effect using smaller shell buttons and a couple of pleats on the fronts. The result is a dining room full of lovely crumpled linen slipcovers-sophisticated and refined, yet rustic and casual...
Oh, and by the way, call or email me to help with your slipcover or window projects-I LOVE THEM!!!
And, I have now added PayPal invoicing as an option for you clients who like to pay online :)
Ask me for details.


  1. These are gorgeous! Love the details and your post is very informative.

  2. Love the fabric you chose - great slipcovers!

  3. These chairs are so beautiful! You are speaking my language EXACTLY! From how to treat the arm to the time it takes to make beautiful custom slipcovers and how much to charge. Not many people know about the dragging to and from the sewing machine with the slip growing bigger every step of the way! And all of the detail!! And I bet you had a hard time with the arm because there's no padding to pin the fabric to while you're figuring out the detail. (wink) I found that out on a patio chair. It was so funny! It kept slipping off.
    Glad I found your blog!

  4. You did a beautiful job on those chairs. I just bought some white linen in Singapore (really cheap) for my dining chairs...but was just going to do seat skirts. Did you put the linen in the dryer? I figure I should since that is what I'll probably do when they are made. I think you should quit work early one night and see if those elves appear... ;)