Friday, October 18, 2013

Dropcloth Seat Covers

It all started with this fabric. I just had to have it after seeing it in a direct mailer from Walter E Smithe, a local furniture chain. I loved the curved lines, soft blue and thin navy outline.

I spent an embarrassing amount of time hunting the fabric down in the wee hours of the morning and finally found it here. With a 50% coupon it still cost $30/ yard so after ordering 3 yards plus shipping & tax I was out just over $100 to recover 6 dining chairs purchased from Craigslist. This was a lot for me to spend on fabric per yard but it was only 3 yards and I had enough fabric left over to make 2 pillow covers.

Well it didn't take long for me to realize the new seats needed some protection from my 3 young children. At 6, 4, and 2 they have their fair share of spills and messes during mealtime. Slipcovers seemed the only reasonable option so I attempted to whip up a little something regardless of my lack of sewing machine skills.

I chose a fabric drop cloth from Home Depot because of it's low price and durability. To soften the color I soaked the entire dropcloth in a 1 part bleach 3 parts water solution for a few hours. After washing in the washing machine and drying on high heat I was ready to attempt a slipcover. I decided on a very basic cover with a short hemmed skirt on the sides. I used a prehemmed side of the dropcloth for the skirt to save time.

Some of the excess fabric was trimmed to make handling the fabric easier at the sewing machine. I then used my daughter's orange marker to mark the sew line to help guide when sewing it together.

The next hour was spent wrestling with my machine and the fabric. The corners were hard! I wasn't able to create nice little matching pleats but no longer was worried about that and just wanted to finish these things. They are meant for kids and what do they know about slipcovers? I mean, anything had to be a vast improvement over the white bath towels that were constantly draped over the seats right?

I added a back panel after piecing the main parts together. The cover stayed put with no slipping so I skipped ties or tabs. Two of them have been completed, one from start to finish each day.

They have been washed and dried a few times so far and seem to be holding up. Obviously they have a "homemade" quality to them but I really like the way they look with the color and texture - and I feel a sense of accomplishment for tackling a new sewing project. Now only four more to go!

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