Dining Chair Slipcover- Pictorial Tutorial

A pictorial tutorial is mostly all pictures, 
in order, 
showing how the project was done,
with minimal interruption
by words. 
I make no claim to be the bestest, baddest, 
or most blessed seamstress
on the planet.
I'm just showing you how I sewed some lovely covers in an afternoon,
and that it is not as hard as it seems to sew a cover,
and that if I can sew on my REALLY old machine
(it was passed down to me by my Gram),
and make something useful, so can you
(that is if you have a machine).
Well, let's go--
This is the finished product.
I sewed 2 of these covers for a friend,

who paid me with these chairs that live here:
(I love bartering-it's easy on the budget!)

Lay the chairs on their backs and trace around them,
leaving 3" for the hem.

Pin the cut out piece to the back of the chair, 
making sure you have enough fabric to attach to the piping,
about 1" is needed.

What's piping?

This is piping:

If this piece of fabric will work, use this piece as a pattern,
(you may have to tweak by trimming it)
(I have four, remember, since I am doing two chairs).

This is picture is fuzzy (duh), sorry.
Here we start the piping.
Piping is made with cording, which is the cotton/gauze stuff below.
I bought it at Wal-Mart.
Measure the area around the chair in which you want piping.
I just made piping for the sides/top of the chair cover.
Cut 2" wide strips, from the leftover part of your fabric, 

and sew the short ends of the strips of fabric, 
right sides together, 
until you have the total length that you need.

Fold the strips in half and put the cording/piping inside the fold.
Pin along the piping to hold it while you sew.

You may have to move your needle position all the way to the left, 
so one of the feet of the presser foot rests on top of the piping 
and the needle will sew directly next to the cording/piping.

Trim the excess fabric off the length of the piping.
1/2" from the stitching to the cut edge.

Put right sides of fabric together and pin in the piping between them,
lining up all the cut edges. 

Sew these three layers together in the same way you sewed the piping.

The right side should look like this.

Turn cover right side out.

I use a chop stick to push the corners out.

Pin the hem.

Fold under and stitch.

Cut excess fabric away from
around the inside of the cover to 1/2" 
from stitching to the outer cut edge.

Set machine on zigzag.

Stitch raw edges. 
I do this twice.

Turn cover inside out and zigzag raw edges, where cording was sewn.

I sewed a topstitch around the outside edge, 
inside the piping, to make it look more finished.
You don't have to do this.
The top is done!

Now for the chair seat cover:
Measure side to side and back to front.

leave enough fabric down the sides, plus 1 1/2" for a hem.

This seat was 31" (including extra for hem) square.
This is how I make a square 
(right or wrong- it's my method, and works for me).
Fold fabric to make triangle, 
each raw edge should measure, in this instance--31".
Using raw edge as a template, cut around the sides.
You should have your square.

Place fabric on seat.

Tuck and cut away fabric until it fits around the legs.
Do not cut away too much, or you will have no hem.

This is what my leg cut-out looked like, after hemming it.

This is how you hem the outside edges.
Fold over fabric towards the inside of the cover once.

And then in again, and stitch.

The finished seat cover.

The back flaps are just a floppin' here.

So, Velcro is the solution for this.
Fold over the floppy flaps and pin each end 
where the Velcro will be sewed.


If I have left some very important information for you out,
please ask.

I have been sewing for 30 years (learned when I was pre-teen), 
and I take shortcuts sometimes,
and this may not be the most professional tutorial.

The basic two things I am concerned with when sewing slipcovers are:

1) Are they washable?
2) Will they hold up in the washing machine?

So, make sure there are no raw edges.

Hope this has been helpful to you!


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  1. Leslie that was the bestest, baddest, most blessed tutorial ever! Thanks! AND, you totally underestimate yourself as a seamstress!

  2. Leslie,

    The tutorial is great! I have just started doing piping. I'm looking at my wing chair right now. I'm almost done with the SC for it. No piping this time around.

    But next on the ottoman in my LR and I'll use your tute for that!

    Most helpful! (I sound so normal in this comment, don't I?)


  3. Leslie, I think you are a sewing WHIZ! Great job. Thanks for all the photos, too. SIncerely, Susan

  4. Wow, it must have taken a lot longer to do it stopping for photos. Love your fabric.

  5. Impressed that you made your own piping! Makes me want to dig out my machine. It's still buried beneath boxes. :(

  6. Great tutorial. I don't know how you stopped to take photos so many times along the way. I'm too impatient to do that. And the covers turned out great. I love the fabric. I’ve never done slipcovers, but have done my share of sewing clothes, curtains, pillows, crafts etc. I would make one suggestion, if you haven’t already tried it. Try using a zipper foot when working with the piping. It allows you to sew a seam really tight up to the cording. It’s difficult to decide who got the better deal in the trade.

  7. Oooh good thing you guys tested them out! That would have been miserable for you and your guests. WEDDING CHAIR COVERS

  8. Excellent site, keep up the good work my colleagues would love this. I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks hcg drops

  9. Nice slip cover! I like the print of the cloth you used. I'll try to make one for these outdoor furniture as they get dirty easily.


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