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Mary-Jane

Instructions on how to make loose covers...

...where can I find them? We've got a couple of old leather sofas - looked lovely in our previous (modern) house but plain daft in our old Welsh Farmhouse. I'd like to have some rough-ish loose covers made for them, but can't afford it.

So, how difficult can it be? Confused Any tips or hints. Or does anyone know where I can find instructions...?
sally_in_wales

What about covering the chairs with newspaper and parcel tape to get the shape right, then take that off and cut open along the most likely seam lines to make a simple pattern. Would that work to give simple drop over covers?
Jonnyboy

We've used the check travel rugs in the past to disguise a worn out sofa. Check and you can tuck them round the cushions and pin at the back to stop them falling down
Mary-Jane

I was thinking about using a combination of your two ideas actually Sally and Jonnyboy - something very simple which drops over the top, but can be fastened with ties (or pins) to hold it in place.

The trouble with leather is that everything slips off it (if you see what I mean) Shocked so it needs to be fixed with ties etc. And the problem with our sofas is that the cushions are zipped on to the base, so it's difficult to tuck things in effectively. I've tried using throws, blankets and all sorts, but they constantly slip down and fall off - so I've decided to get my sewing machine out of storage, dust it down and give the covers a go.

As Gervase always says, "It's not rocket science..."





Why do I know I'm going to regret this...
marigold

I searched Amazon for "loose covers" and thought this looked quite good. Therea re loads of other options, but "in a weekend" is my kind of phrase when it comes to projects Very Happy . I'd probably start by having a look in the crafts section of my local library though.
Mary-Jane

marigold wrote:
..."in a weekend" is my kind of phrase when it comes to projects Very Happy


You and I are cut from the same cloth (so to speak) Marigold Laughing

Yes, that book looks good. I've just called our local library too and am going down there later to see what they've got before I buy a book (albeiot hopefully second hand).

Thanks for your input.
marigold

Mary-Jane wrote:
marigold wrote:
..."in a weekend" is my kind of phrase when it comes to projects Very Happy


You and I are cut from the same cloth (so to speak) Marigold Laughing


Strange though that in elapsed time most things still take me about 3 years Embarassed .

Mary-Jane wrote:
Yes, that book looks good. I've just called our local library too and am going down there later to see what they've got before I buy a book (albeiot hopefully second hand).

Thanks for your input.


I think the library is great for projects like this. If you buy a book for a one-off project it just becomes clutter as soon as you've finished (or clutter while you are getting round to starting....), but a book from the library kind of imposes a deadline to get whatever it is DONE within 3 weeks. That's my theory anyway Laughing .
hedgewitch

Mary-Jane wrote:
marigold wrote:
..."in a weekend" is my kind of phrase when it comes to projects Very Happy


You and I are cut from the same cloth (so to speak) Marigold Laughing

Yes, that book looks good. I've just called our local library too and am going down there later to see what they've got before I buy a book (albeiot hopefully second hand).

Thanks for your input.


M-J - isn't your local library service online so you can check their catalogue? Tell me the name of your local authority and I'll check if you like.
Mary-Jane

hedgewitch wrote:
M-J - isn't your local library service online so you can check their catalogue? Tell me the name of your local authority and I'll check if you like.


Right-ho. It's Ceredigion County Council and our local library is Cardigan. Thanks HW Very Happy
hedgewitch

Here you go.... online catalogue.... (OPAC - Online Public Access Catalogue) -


here

Guide to using the catalogue here

Opening hours here

On the catalogue, you can specify the branch you want to search in. It would be worth doing a search of all branches, though, as I'm sure they will have a service where they will get something from another branch delivered to your branch.

You can order online and reserve books online too. You might need a pin number to do this if you haven't already got one. Worth asking when you're next in your branch.
hedgewitch

Oh - and the toilets are first on the right at the main desk Laughing
Mary-Jane

Oh brilliant HW - that's fab! Thanks sooooo much. All the links are safely stored in my Favourites Menu in their own file. Very Happy




And I'll just nip to the loo now.... Wink
hedgewitch

Mary-Jane wrote:
Oh brilliant HW - that's fab! Thanks sooooo much. All the links are safely stored in my Favourites Menu in their own file. Very Happy




And I'll just nip to the loo now.... Wink


Rolling Eyes Laughing Laughing Laughing
Chez

I recovered a ratty old chair with a loose piece of fabric and judicious use of a staple gun ... it worked quite well and no cutting needed - and then chucked a throw over the top; but obviously can't take the stapled on bit off to wash.
Mary-Jane

Chez wrote:
I recovered a ratty old chair with a loose piece of fabric and judicious use of a staple gun ... it worked quite well and no cutting needed - and then chucked a throw over the top; but obviously can't take the stapled on bit off to wash.


I like the sound of that - although I wouldn't want to use such a method on these sofas...
judith

I've been pondering this overnight (I know, I know, I need to get out more), but are you still not going to have the slippy seat problem even if you make a full slip cover? I can't see how you are going to "anchor" the cover at the bit where the seat cushion meets the back.
But then I know absolutely nothing about reupholstering furniture. So you are probably better off ignoring everything I've just said.
So I'll be off then...
mochyn

You may find judicious placing of sticky velcro dots will cure slippage.
judith

mochyn wrote:
You may find judicious placing of sticky velcro dots will cure slippage.


Ah. Words of wisdom from one who actually knows what she's talking about.
Mary-Jane

mochyn wrote:
You may find judicious placing of sticky velcro dots will cure slippage.

Shocked Shocked Shocked Oooh-errr...
sally_in_wales

Or, if the zips are in sensible places, could you sew some long tapes to the fabric part of the zip and use that to tie down the cover in a couple of strategic places? Probably wouldnt work on some shapes of chair though
Sarah D

I can't find much useful online at all on this; I think the best bet is a library book too.

If you sew a long tape or make one out of fabric and sew it to each end of the piece that covers the back of the sofa (ie the side that goes up against the wall) then tie in the centre this will help anchor it in place; the same can be done with tapes on the sides. It's one of those things that I can do when faced with the rel furniture and fabric but very difficult to describe in words I'm afraid.
mochyn

judith wrote:
mochyn wrote:
You may find judicious placing of sticky velcro dots will cure slippage.


Ah. Words of wisdom from one who actually knows what she's talking about.


And from M-J:
Shocked Shocked Shocked http://forum.downsizer.net/images/smiles/icon_eek.gif

And from me: likewise, Shocked Shocked Shocked
Mary-Jane

mochyn wrote:
judith wrote:
mochyn wrote:
You may find judicious placing of sticky velcro dots will cure slippage.


Ah. Words of wisdom from one who actually knows what she's talking about.


And from M-J:
Shocked Shocked Shocked http://forum.downsizer.net/images/smiles/icon_eek.gif

And from me: likewise, Shocked Shocked Shocked

Laughing Have you been on the cooking sherry Mochyn?

Anyway - I've made a start! I went and bought some fabric from the market and have actually started cutting, pinning and have done one seam on the sewing machine! It's been so long since I've used my sewing machine that I'd forgotten how to go backwards...and broke two needles trying to remember how Embarassed

I'm now debating how to do the side bits... Confused



What did I say earlier about rocket science? Shocked
Mary-Jane

Mary-Jane wrote:
What did I say earlier about rocket science? Shocked



Ta-daa!



Click to see full size image

Far from perfect - but what I wanted. The cover is shaped and seamed, with hidden ties holding it in place. I have yet to get some slippage-preventing velcro, but at least the old leather is covered up and not just with a throw that keeps falling off and exposing the old leather!

Total cost = 30
sally_in_wales

That looks fab, well done you!
Mary-Jane

sally_in_wales wrote:
That looks fab, well done you!


Awww - you're very kind Sally. As I said, far from perfect I know, but I'm happy with them...

Actually, they look nicer in real life than on film!
Penny Outskirts

Wow MJ, that looks splendid. I'm very impressed Very Happy How's it's slipability going??
Mary-Jane

Penny wrote:
Wow MJ, that looks splendid. I'm very impressed Very Happy How's it's slipability going??


Well, there are a number of hidden straps (oooh-errr) I mean ties, attached to the underside of the covers and the sofa which keep everything in place...or as far as it can on shiny leather. I'm going to get some sticky-backed velcro when the shops open again to help matters along.

The market hall have set aside the rest of the fabric on the roll for me so I'm going to get that and cover the larger sofa too. I have to say that the piccie doesn't do it justice (honest!) and it really looks nice. It's not a cloour I would have chosen - but at 4 per metre I couldn't really refuse and thought that some nice big, bright maroon or red cushions would help. At least I won't have to wrestle with slipping throws any more Laughing
sean

Looks good. I'm glad you hadn't installed them before I had to dismantle the sofas in order to have somewhere to sleep. Wink
Mary-Jane

sean wrote:
...I'm glad you hadn't installed them before I had to dismantle the sofas in order to have somewhere to sleep. Wink


*Ouch* Embarassed Embarassed Embarassed

I really, really, really did have the mattresses there all ready for you both to sleep on - honest. I was just a bit tired and emotional that evening to give them to you...
sean

No, honestly it was fine. Explaining that we'd poisoned your dog *and* demolished your soft furnishings would have been tough.
marigold

Looks wonderful Mary-Jane Very Happy . Be very pleased with yourself Very Happy Very Happy .
Mrs Fiddlesticks

looks great.

Reminds me of my Gran who use to make covers for chairs that had seen better days. She didn't have a sewing machine so would sew it by hand actually on the chair itself using a curved needle to get the seams tight to the original upholstery - not even sure you can still get a curved needle.
Jamanda

Mrs Fiddlesticks wrote:
looks great.

Reminds me of my Gran who use to make covers for chairs that had seen better days. She didn't have a sewing machine so would sew it by hand actually on the chair itself using a curved needle to get the seams tight to the original upholstery - not even sure you can still get a curved needle.


You can. I got some in a set of repair needles. They are called mattress needles or lampshade needles.
Mary-Jane

Jamanda wrote:
Mrs Fiddlesticks wrote:
looks great.

Reminds me of my Gran who use to make covers for chairs that had seen better days. She didn't have a sewing machine so would sew it by hand actually on the chair itself using a curved needle to get the seams tight to the original upholstery - not even sure you can still get a curved needle.


You can. I got some in a set of repair needles. They are called mattress needles or lampshade needles.


Yes, I've got some somewhere in a box in the barn too. If anyone wants one/some I think our local market hall haberdashery stall sells 'em too.
hedgewitch

Looks great, M-J. Very Happy Did you use a book in the end, or just your initiative?

You are inspiring me to tackle the blinds I need to make and keep putting off. Might dig out the fabric and plan it this afternoon Cool

Love your rug, by the way. Cool
Mary-Jane

hedgewitch wrote:
Looks great, M-J. Very Happy Did you use a book in the end, or just your initiative?


Thanks so much!

I found a couple of articles on-line which were helpful in terms of measuring and cutting...then just guessed the rest, but following my later father's old adage at all times "Measure Twice - Cut Once".

The leather sofa underneath has zipped in cushions which therefore can't be covered separately so I had to work out a method for fixing the covers down the sides, yet for the cover to go over the top of the cushions which was a bit tricky. Ultimately I wanted some seamed and semi-fitting covers which still gave something of a feel of a throw and that's what I ended up with. The sofa is covered all round so I'm quite pleased with myself.

I just have to do the other sofa now...which is matching, but larger!

Yup - I like the rug too...a pressie from my Mum absolutely years ago...it's still surviving though!
hedgewitch

It'll be great to have both done. See what you mean, you needed to be a bit more bespoke with your setup I think Very Happy

Your Mum clearly had taste at one time... in light of the matching desk sets, is it something they lose with age, like their teeth, their hearing and their glasses? Shocked Laughing Laughing
Mary-Jane

hedgewitch wrote:
Your Mum clearly had taste at one time... in light of the matching desk sets, is it something they lose with age, like their teeth, their hearing and their glasses? Shocked Laughing Laughing


Yup, must be! But you missed 'sanity' off the list as well... Laughing
Mary-Jane

hedgewitch wrote:
You are inspiring me to tackle the blinds I need to make and keep putting off. Might dig out the fabric and plan it this afternoon Cool


Good for you! Actually, once you get yourself organised and get into it, I find that making these things is not half as bad as you think it's going to be.

Now, I must get back today's project...removing all the cement render from the bathroom walls. Where's my bloody drill gone...?
Chez

I've just caught up with this thread - they look brilliant.
Mary-Jane

Chez wrote:
I've just caught up with this thread - they look brilliant.


Awww - thanks Chez Embarassed
Anna-marie

Well Done, Mary-Jane!
Your sofa looks lovely, and the cover drapes so nicely, too Very Happy
Good luck with the bigger sofa - better do it quickly, before Sean comes to stay again Very Happy Rolling Eyes Very Happy
By the way, I have a chair almost identical to the one to the left of your picture. I have never seen any others - what an amazing coincidence! Wink
Anna-marie
Mary-Jane

Anna-marie wrote:
By the way, I have a chair almost identical to the one to the left of your picture. I have never seen any others - what an amazing coincidence! Wink
Anna-marie


Good heavens - I've never seen another one either Shocked

It was a gift to my late father from one of his customers many, many years ago. The family lived in a huge, beautiful Georgian house in our village and my father spent many years restoring various bits of the house for the family. The family were really refugees from the last vestiges of the old British Empire days (brought up out in the Raj-India and the like) and the chair was one of the peices that they brought back from India with them when they settled in the UK again. The head of the family was an old Major who had fought out in the desert and apparently (so the story goes) got some poor sods to lug this thing around the desert with them during the war so he could sit and eat in dinner in comfort each evening... Rolling Eyes

My father took a bit of a fancy to it so the Major gave the chair to him...and I subsequently inherited it from my father. I'd love to see a pic of yours Anna-Marie Very Happy
Anna-marie

What an amazing story, Mary-Jane. I wonder if mine has a similar history?
I will do my best to post a picture, but I have been less than successful so far Embarassed
Anna-marie
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