HOW TO UPHOLSTER AN OTTOMAN
If you made a frame as in our How To Construct An Ottoman segment this will be the easiest cover you can sew for it. It is made from only one piece of material. Measure from the bottom of the frame over the top and back down, add about 1 1/2" all the way around so that you have enough fabric to get a good grip while tacking. You probably won't want to use this method with fabrics that have a pattern. It would be upside down on one side. Next measure the width and length of the frame and add seam allowance. Fold the material in half and mark off width and length dimensions. You'll cut both sides at one time. You should have 2 squares (or rectangles) to cut out. See Basic Cutting And Sewing. Back stitich or sew twice the top and bottom. Pull the cover over the padded frame and tack underneath. It should be a tight fit. Measure from the bottom of the frame at each corner to make sure each corner is the same height. Finish off with cambric (dust cover). See Basic Tacking. Also see HOW TO SLIPCOVER AN OTTOMAN.
For a more professional looking job add a front band or skirt or both, in which case the sewn cover need only finish an inch or two below where the band is tacked. These methods can be used to replace the more difficult attached pillow top (unless, of course, you're doing a job for a customer).
Here is an ottoman with both a band and tailored skirt.
This is how we made the top for the above white ottoman. This is a good example of a job that should be set up, that is, put a few tacks part way in to hold the fabric until you are ready to tack it permanently. If you are using a heavy fabric you may want to cut out some of the excess fabric inside the folds. (Same as we show in covering dining seats)
Pull the material tight. If your top is much higher than this one you'll need to either hand sew or sew the corners on a sewing machine so that people can't get their fingers in the gap. Use your whole hand to smoothe the fabric nice and even. See the ottoman in the next segment to lean to install bands.
Upholster Magazine Online by Ken Bowles, Vista Upholstery Enterprises