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: Slipcover  ( 2359 )
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« : February 01, 2011, 05:42:34 PM »

I've finally downloaded pictures from my camera and here are some of a slipcover I recently finished for my shop. The chair was a "cull" from a home down the road; perfectly serviceable in every way (very comfortable), just dated and "tired":
<IMG SRC="http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL889/1214523/9107531/350157881.jpg" border="0" alt="Image Hosting by PictureTrail.com">
I used fabric I've been hoarding for over 25 yrs. (yup!) and I decided I preferred the "wrong side" for the project in question.  I used the directions in a book I picked up a month/so ago; until now I've been able to use a tattered slip. for a pattern as they've fit the chair in question satisfactorily, and the customer asked me to use the original as a pattern.  
<IMG SRC="http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL889/1214523/9177286/394935473.jpg" border="0" alt="Image Hosting by PictureTrail.com">
<IMG SRC="http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL889/1214523/9177286/394934235.jpg" border="0" alt="Image Hosting by PictureTrail.com">
I quickly learned to allow more than 1" extra when dealing with rolled arms and a strongly grained pattern... I came up short on the back edge and rather than skew the pattern off centre down the top of the arm, I opted to add in a wedge that would be barely noticeable under the roll of the arm:
<IMG SRC="http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL889/1214523/9177286/394935468.jpg" border="0" alt="Image Hosting by PictureTrail.com">
I opted for the centre back button closure because I also came up scant for a decent zipper allowance on the side.  I don't have a finished shot of the buttoned closure, but it looks nice (and the pattern match was pulled into line):
<IMG SRC="http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL889/1214523/9177286/394934335.jpg" border="0" alt="Image Hosting by PictureTrail.com">
Here is a detail of the arm front and cushions:
<IMG SRC="http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL889/1214523/9177286/394934333.jpg" border="0" alt="Image Hosting by PictureTrail.com">
And here is the full shot of the finished product:
<IMG SRC="http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL889/1214523/9177286/394934334.jpg" border="0" alt="Image Hosting by PictureTrail.com">

In all, I'm pleased.  I was able to match pretty well and keep the straight lines of the fabric's print reasonably square and straight.  I learned to leave more "ease" on fabric pcs. that will be fitted around curved areas... better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it!  It took me a fair piece of time, but I also took my time fitting, did a lot of settling back on my haunches and thinking about the next move, and took things apart that didn't please me.  I have a much better idea of what aspects of a slipcover require the most fussing to get the final, pleasing result I'm looking for.  I also have enough fabric left over for arm protectors and to cover a small stool that will really complete the comfy chair effect!
« : February 01, 2011, 06:23:04 PM bobbin »
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All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.

« #1 : February 01, 2011, 08:08:44 PM »

Looks great!! If you're not already doing slipcovers for the public, you should!!
I've stated before on this forum why I don't do them. Customers around here expect them to be a fraction of the price of re-upholstering.
If YOU can get people in your neck of the woods to pay the price that you want, you ought to do them.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
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« #2 : February 01, 2011, 09:53:29 PM »

Very nice! The skirt also looks great.

I'm finding that speed only comes with doing more.


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North Central Florida

« #3 : February 01, 2011, 10:50:44 PM »

Nice job Bobbin. Very professional looking.  Many years ago my wife and I slip covered a sofa. We found it took just as long as if we had upholstering it only for less money.  Swore we'd never do another. I'm sure over time they do get faster. Congratulations.

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
YaBB God

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« #4 : February 02, 2011, 05:37:45 AM »

Thanks for the encouragement, you guys. 

I'm presently working on another one for the same room, only this is a "Martha Washington" chair and requires a lot of fitting to go around the arms and fit cleanly around the legs.  Once again, I've found there is a lot of "fussing" to get it just right and I'm not surprised that it's taken me nearly as long as the first one!  I have a second chair in the same style to do when I finish this one... that ought to really ram home the lessons learned, huh?  I've taken pictures and made good notes in my workbook to remind myself of pitfalls and things I would like to try/change on the next one.   I plan to continue "cutting my teeth" on my own furniture to really get the procedure of fitting and assembly down to a convenient personal "system".

Over the years I've been asked about slipcovers and have always said, "no", because they scared me (too much risk with too much expensive fabric).  But I live in an area with a lot of high end homes and think that slips could be a nice niche for me with local designers, demonstrating my skill and willingness to pay attention to details. 
YaBB God

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I'm Always In Trouble

« #5 : February 02, 2011, 06:06:49 PM »

I just love seeing brave souls like you tackle a project with complex fabric patterns.

That stuff would scare the hell out of me. :)

Looks great Bobbin. Nice work.

YaBB God

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« #6 : February 02, 2011, 08:53:44 PM »

Good stuff! Quite sharp!

Now, it might just be me and the way I work, but wouldn't it be easier patterning in something other than the finished cloth? I've only done a few slipcovers but (like everything else I do) I've patterned it with a separate fabric. Dust cloth usually. Then you don't have to worry about bad cuts and can get more out of the fabric. Just my 2. Don't let me mess with your success...

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YaBB God

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« #7 : February 03, 2011, 05:36:43 PM »

Peppy, I've tried patterning with a different, cheaper fabric (I used a thin plastic painter's drop cloth on a wing chair I did last spring), but didn't see much benefit it in it.  If you work with a fabric that is vastly different in hand than the actual fabric that will be used you run the risk of missing details and misjudging the ease of the actual fabric.  I agree that you eliminate the possibility of goofing up by clipping too deeply, but caution should guard against that possibility.  Also, when working with a large pattern it's helpful to see it in situ and be able to place the matches where they need to be. 

Thinking long range, I'm also facing the distinct possibility that a customer may not wish to schlep a chair/sofa to my shop and that I will have to do the basic fitting at their home.  With that in mind, I'm determined to develop a personal checklist and basic approach to get the fit as right as it can be.  I've already determined that going to a customer's home is going to cost more than working in my own shop and that any trips back and forth to tweak a fit will be charged accordingly.  Convenience carries a cost, afterall...

(I finished the Martha Washington chair yesterday and am pleased with it, pics to follow.  I have another of those to do and plan to get right on it to really ram home the lessons just learned before moving on to another more traditional chair in my home.  The thrust of this slipcover blitz is to establish a portfolio for a future website as well as a proving ground for nascent skills.)
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