Something about the idea of sewing a couch slipcover is hugely daunting. Maybe it’s the sheer size of it or perhaps it’s the awkward shapes, but it sounds like something for the experts.
That’s totally not the case. This is actually a project I would put at intermediate level. Surprising, right?!
Take it one step at a time. Forget how huge it all seems and just start at the very beginning, progressing as you finish each piece. Before you know it, you’ll be done!
As another resource, there is a Craftsy course available called “Custom-Fit Slipcovers” with Kim Chagnon* which gives you the opportunity to ask the tutor questions specific to your own project. Craftsy kindly let me do the course before recommending it to you, so I know it’s good!
*This post contains affiliate links which may provide me with a small commission on purchases. Thank you for supporting this blog!
Using Drop Cloth Fabric
I used 1.5 packets of heavy duty painters drop cloth and sourced continuous zips for the cushions (which you cut to length and add zipper heads where needed). It’s an affordable way to get long zips.
If you’re using drop cloth, you’ll notice it’s kinda ugly. Don’t be put off, it’ll come right. Some people like it as is, but I prefer things to look a bit crisper, so I bleached it. If you’re not going to bleach it, you should still prewash any fabric you intend to use to prevent shrinking later.
Due to the nature of it, the fabric won’t ever be totally white, but mine is now a pale oatmeal colour and I like it. If you do want white though, it’ll pay to buy a heavy white fabric instead. Note: after 3 years, the weave gave out on the drop cloth and it started getting a number of holes. If you want your slip cover to last, I recommend investing in good upholstery fabric. The Craftsy course above covers what fabrics are best to use.
Here is a comparison of fabrics before (left) and after (right) bleaching. The difference is very subtle, but still lighter. It’s purely a matter of personal preference.
How To Bleach
Place fabric in top loading washing machine (or just a large sink if you have a front loader) with warm water. Add 2 cups of bleach and let the machine mix it for a little. Leave it to sit for about 6 hours. I occassionally got the machine to swish it some more over that time, just to make sure the bleaching was even.
Drain water and fill machine/sink again. Add 1 cup of bleach and your usual amount of laundry powder. Leave it for a few hours and drain.
Then run as usual through a full cycle with laundry powder and NO bleach this time. Some people like to add Hydrogen Peroxide to the final rinse to help neutralize the bleach. I didn’t bother.
Dry fabric as usual.