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

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Shaunna's Slips (Part 2) and a few FAQ

First of all- an update on our Alabama beaches...they are OIL FREE for now-as beautiful as can see from a few of the pics I posted!!! Just wanted you to know...come for a visit :)

Now, on to the business at hand- Shaunna's chair and a half...and ottoman- oversized, to say the least. I just completed (YAY!!!!) the slips for these! Shaunna now has options - the prewashed and dried white 10 ounce cotton duck tailored slipcovers - a perfect option for summer and the new look Shaunna has going in her beautiful home!!! And, option 2...remove the slips and use the original red upholstery for: 1) a quick color change or 2) while washing and drying the white ones :)
Shaunna, I hope you and your family will enjoy these slipcovered pieces!!! Thanks again for contacting me. I truly appreciate the me again!!

So let's move on to some Frequently Asked Questions...I receive calls with usually some of the same basic questions regarding slipcovers-I love the phone calls and emails, so keep them coming :) But, for those of you who might be a bit shy, here is a "getting started" list for slipcovers...
1) What is the best kind of furniture to slipcover?
Answer: Most any piece of furniture can be slipcovered...but as for me and my shop, I prefer any upholstered piece (sofa, loveseat, club chair, ottoman). I make separate covers (with cording detail and zipper closures) for each cushion. Some pieces have semi-attached back cushions...and I have been known to do a little minor "surgery" to remove these cushions so that they can be covered as separate pieces. It doesn't hurt a thing (unless you want to go back to your original upholstery)...and really makes for a better piece of furniture.
2) What about dining room or kitchen chairs?
Answer: Yes, I will slipcover these as well. Some wood frame chairs slip better in two pieces-one that slides over the back and a separate piece for the seat and skirt. Other options, like the dining chairs I slipcovered a couple of posts back, are one piece little dresses...with a few dressmaker details- this is where you can add your own ideas :) Options include skirt length, button detail, tailored or cottage-y design elements...
3) What kind of fabric do I choose?
Answer: This depends on your design style...but, above all, for a want to be able to wash and dry the cover (after all, that is the idea). So, be sure to choose a washable fabric. And, on this topic, some of your fabric stores and websites may insist that the cotton fabric you are selecting is "dry clean only"....well, if it is a true cotton a yard and take it home and wash and dry it-see what happens. This is a great way to test the fabric before you put lots and lots of $$$$$ into the yardage. If you do not like the way it looks, try again (look for a different fabric). I have made slipcovers with heavier upholstery fabrics...but, I am limiting that option for now-you must check with me before I agree to do this. It just does not make sense to me to sew a slipcover out of a thick, heavyweight chenille upholstery that cannot be washed. And, furthermore, my sewing machine needles just can't handle the pressure :) If you want some of this heavy weight fabric, maybe add a couple of pillows using these materials.
The best fabrics for slipcovers are cotton ducks, either 7 or 10 ounce-your choice (Shaunna chose the 10 ounce for more durability), linens, denims, and other medium weight natural cotton fabrics. Cotton ducks come in a variety of prints as well as, check them out on the millions :) of fabric websites available. Look in the home decor fabric section-54"-60" width is best. And, occasionally, since I LOVE to buy fabrics at great prices,...I may have something you would like available...let me know if you would like to see a few swatches-I can take a few pictures and email or I will even mail you a swatch :)
4)How much fabric do I buy?
Answer: This all depends on the piece of furniture you are covering. Basically, you will need about the same yardage as would be required if you were having the piece reupholstered. But, remember to add a little to this depending on the skirt style (ruffled skirts use more fabric than tailored ones) and add a little extra for shrinkage. There are reupholstery charts all over the internet-google and find one...look for "your" piece of furniture...and there you go. Basically, standard club chairs take about 7 yards, standard sofas (what is standard? I don't know....each piece is different really-but just a basic size) require about 17-20 yards, loveseats somewhere in between, and ottomans, depending on the size, a couple of yards...Shaunna order 50 yards for her "huge" oversized 96" sofa, chair and a half, and large ottoman...I have not measured the leftover fabric, but there may be somewhere in the 8-9 yards area. I think these pieces took about 40 yards total.
5)Do I have to wash and dry my fabric?
Answer: If you want to be able to wash and dry your slipcover, then this is a MUST!!!! Otherwise, your slipcover will shrink after you wash it, and it will never fit again :( All that $$$ for fabric and labor would be wasted...And, if you are too afraid to wash and dry the fabric, I will adjust my labor pricing and do this part for you. Basically, cut your yardage into 4-6 yard increments and wash and really is just that easy :)
6) How much will my slipcover cost? What is the labor price?
Answer: This depends on the piece of furniture and the details you would like. My current labor pricing is as follows: club chairs starting at $150, loveseats starting at $200, sofas starting at $250, and ottomans starting at $75. As I noted, details take extra time...and buttons, cording, zippers and thread are costs to me as well-so if you have a particular piece and have a few ideas...and would like a price quote, contact me. I will be happy to figure this for you.
And for payment options...I do not require any money when I get started, unless you are purchasing fabric from me. I do, however, expect payment in full at delivery-either by cash, check, or... I am now offering invoicing by PayPal for those of you who like to pay online. Just let me know which you prefer.
7) I live a million miles away... will you slipcover my piece of furniture if I send you measurements and photos?
Answer: NO!!! I mean, I can't :( I would hate to waste your fabric-after all, you will have quite a bit of $$$ invested in it...and I require the piece of furniture (as I stated earlier, each piece is different) for making your custom slipcover. I am very picky about fitting the slipcover to the piece of furniture. I like a bit of oversize...but to do this and follow the "lines" of your particular piece of furniture ( without having it in my workshop) would take a magician...or maybe a simple "over the counter" slipcover is what you need...But, if you want a custom slipcover for your piece, it is best that your seamstress (or at least that is what I require) have the item that is to be covered. I offer a pick-up and delivery service for my slipcovers....well, Bobby does this part :) And, if you are close enough, say 2-3 hours from my shop...or you can meet us in between, we will be happy to pick up your piece!!
*******I will, however, make slipcovers for ottomans without the piece-so, for you who live far, far away-send me a photo or two...and some measurements-either through my email or my Etsy shop...I will respond with yardage requirements, labor pricing,...and I can ship your finished slipcover to you!
8) How long will it take?
Answer: Well, this is not an easy answer. But depending on my schedule-I try not to keep your item but a week, maybe space is limited,, I don't really want to store your piece for long :) (Alice, if you are there....I know we discussed your chair earlier-I still have it and your fabric, I promise -you kind of knew my crazy schedule-your slipcover is coming soon-thanks so much for your patience :)
9) Are you the "great oz" of slipcovers? HAHAHAHA!!!
Answer: No, by all means....there are lots of seamstresses out there who do a much better job than I do, I am sure...but, I have been at this for I thought it would be helpful for all of you out there to have a few clues...I love my job-sometimes it gets a bit hectic with the deadlines from the decorators for drapes and pillows and bedding...but, I still love it! And, I am truly thankful that I have been given this ability and talent from God...a way that I can help with my family's finances and meet some of the most lovely and interesting people from near and far. Thanks to all of you for supporting and encouraging my career :) I truly appreciate you!!!


  1. i LOVE it, of course, Debbie!! I'm heading out of town until wednesday, so I can give you a call then to schedule a delivery time. Yay!!!