Welcome to Week 5 of the One Room Challenge.
For the last two weeks, we’ve had a blast using paint to refresh wall art and other accessories.
Well, this week, we’re using the same concept, but switching over to fabric. Yep! This post is all about how to update and integrate outdated pieces with fabric. And the update doesn’t have to be a full-scale upholstery job. In some situations, slip covers or pillow covers will do just as well. It happened for me!
Yep! I was able to breath new life into an old sofa with simple pillow covers and am thrilled to bring you the super easy step-by-step tutorial.
How to Make Custom-Sized Pillow Covers |
ORC Week 5
The Decorating Train Wreck
Say hello to my 88-inch camelback sofa that is, by today’s standards, outdated in every possible way. The color, shape, size, style, fabric — all of it is one giant decorating train wreck. But even with this, it does still possess three good decorating attributes: Quality, comfort, and near perfect condition. None of these ever goes out of style. AmIright?
Back in the day, this sofa was custom ordered to fit in this area. But when styles begin to change, it was hidden away while the room waited for a replacement.
The only trouble is that none of the replacements actually fit. I tried everything from love seats to sectionals. But, in the end, nothing compared to this sofa in terms of quality or comfort without ringing a big ole’ cha-ching. So it was back to the drawing board.
How could this sofa be made “new” again?
The Ah-Ha Moment
If you’ve been following along, you have seen me use paint with specially chosen undertones to blend several outdated accessories. So I asked myself, “Why can’t the same be done with fabric?”
And that’s when the ah-ha moment of the ages finally hit me. OK, I’ll admit that it took about 10 years, but whatever. Thank goodness, it’s here now.
Time to Prep, Pack and Go
So I applied paint samples from the wall and accessories on some stirring sticks, grabbed an arm cover as a sofa fabric sample, piled all of the sofa pillows into the back of my car, and headed to the upholstery fabric store. My goal was to find a way to blend the solid, albeit gold-toned 🙁 , fabric of the sofa frame with new and current colors, fabrics, and finishes.
The Fabric Miracle
And what came together is nothing less than an upholstery fabric miracle. In one trip, I found a combination that works perfectly for this space. And because the pillows were in my car, I was also able to bring the pillows into the store and see the fabrics in real-time combinations and sizes. If you are not used to coordinating fabrics, this little exercise really does make a difference. Because once the fabrics are chosen, it is easy to incorporate fabric widths and repeats to determine exactly how much fabric is needed for each pillow cover.
Yes, I figured my basic math for each pillow size.
And yes, I went to the car and reviewed the math before having the fabric cut.
And, trust me, I only have a few inches of some fabric left over. This may be a discount upholstery fabric store, but the prices for my choices still ran $13-$20/yard. So I tried to only buy the exact amount needed.
In the end, the sofa pillows needed about 8 yards of fabric. But remember, there are six over-sized pillows to cover. And luckily, I did not have any waste due to repeats.
How to Make Custom-Sized Pillow Covers
Because cover sizes will vary widely based on:
pillow size and puffiness,
the cover style,
the width of the fabric,
and whether there is a repeat,
a generic step-by-step is included to help you walk through the process for two kinds of covers.
Basic Envelope and French Seam Pillow Covers
The process for both begins here.
When the C panel is placed over the B panel, it creates the “envelope.”
The C seam will overlap the B seam by about 5 inches.
Basic Envelope Pillow Cover
This is an envelope cover that can be made for any size or shape pillow.
The key to this cover is in creating a good fit by the exact measuring of the pillow and cutting of the fabric.
It’s not hard, just carefully think through the process. #youcandoit
And yes, most fabrics will also assemble using an iron-on bond. #nosewing
Just remember, if you use iron-on bond, the seams cannot be pressed again. (See end of Step 4)
Add the French Seam
But if you like a flat-edge fabric fringe, then one more step is needed.
This means allowing more fabric for the fabric fringe, too.
The width of the fringe is a personal preference.
For example, the sofa pillows shown in this post all have a 2-inch flat edge.
First, determine the amount of fabric needed for a basic envelope cover.
Now add 2 more inches all the way around.
After the basic cover is assembled, sew the French seam 2 inches in from the outer edge.
Sorry, this time the seam has to be sewn. #noirononbond
And that’s all there is to it.
Progress from Previous Weeks
Please feel free to click the links below to review earlier projects:
Click here for Week 1 – Eclectic Traditional Great Room Makeover Plans
Link here for Week 2 – How to Make a Discount Rug Work Like A Boss
Click here for Week 3 – 4 Easy Ways to Make Elegant Wall Art
Link here for Week 4 – Mirror Makeover in 3 Easy Steps
Week 5 – You are here
Click here for Week 6 – Great Room Reveal
In Week 6, which is next week, it’s that time! The Reveal! The entire room will finally come together in one post.
As always, many thanks to Linda from Calling It Home for hosting this event on her blog. Please stop by to see all of the work-in-progress. At last count, there are 250+ bloggers sharing ideas for every room in the house. #orc #oneroomchallenge
Thanks also to the ORC media partner, House Beautiful and to all of the wonderful sponsors. We are thrilled to share this journey with you! #housebeautiful
But –for now–thanks so much for visiting!