Thursday, February 11, 2010

TOP 10 THINGS EVERYONE NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT WHITE SLIP COVERS ....and creating a beachy style......HOW TO MAKE WHITE SLIPCOVERS YOUR FRIEND

Have you ever wanted to have WHITE SLIP COVERS but went...

 NAAAAH my kids ...my dog ...my cat...excuses excuses...

I HAVE HAD THESE SLIPCOVERS FOR OVER 10 YEARS...I love them and everyone who comes to my house is shocked

that I have had them this long...here's how I did it on the

cheap...so to speak...I went to Walmart (when they used to have a fabric department) and bought this white canvas- 

like fabric for $4:50 yd (it wasn't duck cloth) it's too stiff and rigid ...I will go into that later...My friend Susan Tancer also was in love with the slipcover look but... it seemed impossible 15 yrs ago to find anywhere to purchase such a thing...
so Susan (my inspirational friend who 
now handpaints canvas bags with a partner Liz Krieger) http://unframedartbags.net/default.aspx   
knew a lady from the Northeast who specialized in slipcovers who eventually made all of my  slipcovers for me.

Believe me I went around the bend before I found someone like Florence (now retired)...my first lesson learned was I used this oriental woman who was an upholsterer who said she could make them...she tried to talk me out of slipcovers ...she said "too old fashioned well she made them alright..  and guess what she knows upholstery... not slip covers...  Over 15 years ago... 

I started out with these 4 parsons chairs from 

a thrift store...check out the fabric 

underneath in the picture..ugh! ugly 70's fabric...  well, anyways, here is what I think are the.... 

Top 10 things you must know about White  slipcovers...

1.CUSTOM MADE vs MANUFACTURED -
 For custom made..You need to make sure that the person you are going to use understands slipcovering it's not just about sewing there are many ways to do a custom slip cover..i.e. ties in the back or sides,zippers, and velcro... yes velcro (i will go into detail later about that)

Manufactured easy to find now (which I couldn't find way back when) like POTTERY BARN, BALLARD DESIGNS, RESTORATION HARDWARE..etc follow there instructions for care and use...manufactured ones are everywhere.  Where were they when I needed them?

2.FABRIC CHOICE
Pre-washed or YOU PREWASH  I chose to pre-wash my own as the fabric was so inexpensive..here's the kicker If YOU pre wash you need a large capacity washer..I have some really big oversized pieces so I cut the fabric every 10 yds then washed it in a front loading washer I have the Duet ones..if you do not have a large capacity washer or dryer I would take to a commercial laundry mat.  I wash the fabric in hot water and rinse with cold 
and then dry the fabric...press it, unless your slipcover person will do for you...mine wanted hers pressed..I already told you where I got the fabric now... another WHITE fabric choice... Denim looks great also..you can choose a blend or all cotton..mine are all cotton. Remember it doesn't need to be too heavy, but thick enough for no show thru.

3.DESIGN STYLE:  
There are many styles (look though catalogs and magazines to show your sewer what you are looking for BE SPECIFIC. Traditional - which would include skirted or non skirted with a pleat like in the picture above picture.
SHABBY SHIC OR BEACHY CASUAL you can do more of a ruffled skirt long to the foor or short)
MODERN OR CONTEMPORARY  (no skirt) CLEAN LINES I have all three..see pics

4.CLOSURES: TIES,ZIPPERS,OR VELCRO
Ties are nice for a certain look but they need a piece (see picture to make sure the furniture underneath isn't visible)
this is more of a casual beachy chic look also.  Let's talk about zippers most commonly used ...but, here's the thing depending on what's holding your cushion together they can break over time from washing them... they can get stuck on the cushion underneath etc...you get the picture...my favorite is velcro (shown here)sorry tomorrows photos ..I know it sounds tacky, but if it's done right it will make a world of difference when you are taking them on and off as I do once a month or so...

5.SIZING:  

I have had so many slip covers made over time and seen other slipcovers of my friends made that were problems.. and here is my suggestion... even though you have pre-washed to allow for shrinkage you still need to make them slightly larger because trust me... it can be tough when they are fitted to a tee...
think: trying to get a square peg into a round whole...no fun.

6. WHAT ARE YOU COVERING OVER?

If you have an existing cover that you plan to keep on make sure it isn't some funky design that will show through or will bleed through.If this is the case spend a little more and get your slipcover person to make a liner cover out of an inexpensive fabric...my slipcovers have lasted forever because they were made right.  It's an investment..but you'll thank me when it's all said and done.

7. PILLOWS: "PIMP" OUT THE PILLOW

I like to stack the back of a  sofa with 26x 26 inch euro size pillows and fill in with 18x 18 or 20x20 for seasonal change.
see Abbey and COCO sink into heaven..

The 26x26 back pillow can be any white fabric that matches the base slipcover or the exact same fabric. This is where the "PIMP" my sofa out comes in... I have bought 26 x 26 euro pillow covers from WEST ELM and filled with 2 king size down or down alternative bed pillows...(COSTCO has them 2 for 17.99) I like them cushy, not stiff. I want to sink into. COCO and ABBEY love them.

8.WHAT TO COVER: NEW or OLD

Anything and everything (almost) can be slipcovered...I joke about my home being one big giant slipcover...I have bought pieces from antique and thrift stores and even ROOMS TO GO brand new and then had slip covers made for them.  To keep the rooms unified I tried to stay in keeping with the same fabric.  If you are not buying new be careful to inspect older pieces for any wear and tear and anything else depending on where it came from.

9. OUTDOOR SLIPCOVERS

I always use SUNBRELLA fabric it's expensive but worth it you also need to know that if you are covering something that was not made to go outside choose the right kind of foam rubber or filler that is made for outdoor pillows. (i will focus on that in another post.. OUTDOOR LIVING WITH WHITE.

10. VERSATILITY

The greatest thing about having WHITE SLIP COVERS is the versatility.  Having White does mean you can't live...when your kids or pets are lounging ...sometimes you need to lay some throw blankets down(easily washed) or spot clean every now and then... big deal...to me  having white is like having a fresh new canvas every season to change the look of my home... have any questions please comment or email me 
suzannepignato@mac.com
enjoy the pictures of white slip covers...more tomorrow my brain needs a slipcover  ...
the end







OK OK this is totally Rachel Ashwell....this just sends me right over the edge....

thanks Rachel for making slipcovers so wonderful...


  
      


8 comments:

cate said...

they look gorgeous...& so is your puppy..Cate

House of Giggles said...

Hi Suzanne! So glad you found me! :) I'm so totally hooked on slipcovers now....after only a week! haha.....I actually got them at Walmart.com....shh...;) They're made by Surefit. My couches are a sort of boxy contemporary style leather, definitely not your usual slipcovered couch, but they're working just fine. I have great aspirations to alter them, but who knows when I'll get a chance! For now I'm kind of loving their shabby chic bagginess ;)
Thanks for the tip about the comments....I took your advice. We ventured downtown Vancouver this morning, to see what it was like....it's so hard with two little kiddies, but it was fun to just be a part of the buzz!

Happy weekend!
Tracey

House of Giggles said...

ps...I've actually only really been at this whole blog thing for about 2 weeks :) I started a different blog almost a year ago, and gave up after one post..haha!

Classic Style in City said...

Lovely pictures from your beach house..glad your find me :)

La Dolfina said...

Just stumbled across your blog and became your newest follower!!
This post on slipcovers is terrific.
You dispense some invaluable advice.
I was very fortunate to find a seamstress who made the most amazing slipcovers for me... and after reading your post I see she did everything right!!
Look forward to following you :)
~xo
Therese

beachhouse etc. said...

Thanks for the comments hope it was helpful...suzanne

LeeAnn@Encouragement Is Contagious said...

I love all of your great info on slipcovers! I've been wanting to use them but was afraid too. Your ideas and tips are so helpful. I love your style. It makes me wish I lived near the ocean.

Thanks,
Lee Ann

Tricia Rose said...

Yes, you did get all the advice right! I have been talking friends and clients into white slip covers for years, because you can bleach them. Nothing easier!

My final hint would be to ease them onto the furniture relatively damp (don't put the cushions back on top) smooth out the cloth with your hands and let them dry completely overnight. It is incredibly difficult to iron out a wrinkle baked in by a dryer. I made coarse linen slipcovers for my own sofas and spray the odd wrinkle with water and it disappears - wish I could do the same with my face!

" Beauty. . .

when

you look

into a

woman's eyes

. . . and see

what is in

her heart. "

~Nate Dircks

music for Your soul ...you may turn the music off if you don't need any soul...