Slipcover Tutorial, part 3 – Sofa

Finally, the last part of the sofa cover tutorial. Thanks for waiting so patiently!

This is a lot easier than you might think, so don’t allow yourself to feel intimidated by the project. Just take it in baby steps. 

First, remove the cushions from your sofa and drape a piece of fabric over the back of sofa. Be really generous and allow good room for seams etc. I went crazy and had about 10-15 cm on each seam. It’s easier to alter the fit when you have room to move.

The piece of fabric for the back of my couch ran up the back and down the front again. That’s one piece done!

I then draped a piece on the seat part and leaving good seam allowances, I cut a piece for that.

Pin both pieces together and then take it off to sew along this seam.

Do the same for the arms of the couch, draping fabric up over the arm and down to the floor again. Cut with generous seam allowances.

Measure the height and width of the front arm piece. Don’t worry about the shape for now, just cut a large rectangle with extra for seams.

Pin this rectangle to the fabric over the arm of the couch, following the curves as you go. Sew along this line and put it back on the couch inside out to check the fit.

Continue to pin and sew, focussing on just one area at a time to avoid getting overwhelmed. Because the pieces are so big, you’ll make faster progress than you may have first thought!

Now for the skirt at the bottom. Of course, you don’t have to do this and can just make all your pieces long enough to touch the floor. I preferred something a little fancier, so did it with a pleated skirt.

Unfortunately, though, I was so excited about getting the project finished, that I whizzed through without taking any photos! Sorry.

Here’s what I did. I used the edges of the drop cloth as the hem line, so I didn’t have to sew it (and they won’t fray). I measured the height I wanted and added on a seam allowance for the top edge. I then ran long strips along the bottom edge of the couch, pinning it to the cover.

For each of the four corners on the couch, I did a little pleat as well as one for the centre of the front and back (just ’cause it looks pretty). The pleat just folded back on itself by about 10 cm and then ran 10 cm under the other side too.

Like this:

I hid any seams under this pleat, rather than having a seam show part way along the skirt.

When you’re happy with how it looks, sew it in place and then put the cover on the couch one last time to admire your handy work. That’s it!

You can now enjoy a fresh looking couch with a sense of pride and satisfaction. You’re a legend.


  • Don’t clip away the excess fabric until you’ve finished the entire cover and you’re happy with it all. Even then, allow at least 3 cm to remain in the seam allowance because this fabric (painters drop cloth) frays badly! Some of my seams began to pull apart a bit because of small allowances.
  • Zig zag (or serge/over lock) all your seams to stop the fabric unravelling when you wash it. Despite using pinking shears on all my edges, they won’t stop fraying!
  • After using my covers for a few months now, I’m starting to notice the fabric piling. If this is a pet peeve of yours, you’ll want to use a different fabric.

Part 1 – Bleaching

Part 2 – Sewing the Cushions

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5 thoughts on “Slipcover Tutorial, part 3 – Sofa

  1. Pingback: Slipcover Tutorial, part 2 – Cushions « Offsquare

  2. Pingback: New Corduroy Cover for Curved Rocking Chair | sewpro

  3. You slipcover looks really good – nice and tailored. I love the skirt and pleats. I wonder if you left a flap or anything to make taking the slipcover on and off more easily, and if so, what did you do? In the Miss Mustard Seed video tutorial she leaves a flap at the back. Anyway, thanks for these posts!

    • Hi Korena. Thanks for your kind words! No, I didn’t leave a flap at the back, the drop cloth fabric seems to have a little give (it’s just 100% cotton but maybe the weave allows slight stretch??), so it pulls over the sofa without problems. In saying that, if you are using a fabric has a tighter weave or your sofa is wider at the top than the bottom, then a flap may be a good idea. Good luck!

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