Sunday, July 25, 2010

Adventures In Slipcovering

While I was out and about yesterday I stopped by Lowe's to check out the color selection of Rustoleum oil paints. On the other side of the paint isle I spotted drop cloths. Figuring the price was right for the yardage, I bought the largest available drop cloth at 12' x 15'. I have a drop cloth that I bought over a year ago at Big Lots. The Big Lots cloth is considerably smaller, too small to cover a sofa, but made with a much better grade of canvas. If fact it's woven so tightly and smoothly that it could be stretched and painted. I've not been lucky enough to encounter these drop cloths on the few occasions that I've returned to Big Lots. The Lowe's cloth is of very poor quality, rough, nubby, and horribly linty. It was pieced together from three separate lengths of canvas as well. Not really what I was aiming for, but not totally unexpected. I was willing to try and work with the yardage. I washed the Lowe's cloth hoping, with the sizing gone and some shrinkage, the fabric might lend itself to a slipcover. Washing didn't improve it as I'd hoped. You can see in one of the images above a fraction of the lint that collected on my floor. This came off of the fabric after washing it. I'm returning the drop cloth to Lowe's. The poor quality could not be overlooked. All was not lost though, as I had a chance to practice draping the massive piece of fabric.

My plan is to construct a loose cover with twill ties. Unfortunately the book that I'm using as a guide, The Sewing Bible: Slipcovers, is more than a little ambiguous. I'm finding that how-to books with the word "bible" in the title are usually lacking details. With my confidence waning after trying to make sense of the book's instructions, I headed over to Hobby Lobby. I knew that they were having a .99 Simplicity pattern sale, and I knew that there was a Simplicity pattern that gave sewing instructions for casual slipcovers. Armed with book and pattern, I went about the business of draping. My reference materials take different approaches, so I just kept at it until I was close to satisfied with how things looked. I'm am now feeling surer of my ability to conquer the slipcover. Eventually the right fabric will find me.

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