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Project

Cloud Control: Waterproof Chair Cover

This stylish waterproof chair cover will keep your entryway from turning into a mud puddle.

Introduction

Making an oilcloth slipcover is a project best suited for those with sewing experience. These instructions apply to a very basic square chair, which is ideal. If your chair has any curves or flairs you will need to make adjustments accordingly.

If you're inclined to show a little (chair) leg, adjust the lengths of shapes 1, 3, and 5 accordingly.

Resources: Feeling overwhelmed? Download and print our pattern guide. Oilcloth available at mendels.com.

Materials

  • Chair
  • Measuring tape
  • A few yards of oilcloth
  • Piece of muslin
  • Colored pencils or markers
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Straight pins
  • Pattern guide

Steps

  1. Step 1

    You will need to take the following measurements in order to make a pattern for the slipcover. They are lettered for easy reference in later steps.A. Total height of chair, from floor to top of seat back.B. Total chair width, from side to side. This is easiest to measure from behind. Ideally, you want a chair with consistent width from top to bottom.C. Total chair depth, from front of seat to back of chair.D. Seat-back height, from top of seat to top of seat back.E. Seat-back depth, from back of seat to back of chair.F. Seat depth, from front of seat to seat back (don't confuse this measurement with C, which includes the seat-back depth, E)G.Seat height, from floor to top of seat.

  2. Step 2

    In step 3, you will draw and cut out a six-piece pattern based on the following calculations. They are numbered for easy reference in later steps. The letters refer to the measurements above.1. Back piece: A x B2. Seat-back: D x B3. Seat and front (one piece): F + G x B4. Side panels (you will make two pieces with the same dimensions): G x C5. Back strip: D + D + B x E

  3. Step 3

    Draw the five shapes above on a piece of muslin (don't forget to draw shape 4 twice). Number each piece and draw an arrow within the shape indicating which end is up. Add a one-inch seam allowance on all sides of each shape and cut out.

  4. Step 4

    Sew your muslin pieces together in the following order, using a large basting stitch that will be easy to remove later.Line up the bottom of 2 with the top of 3 and sew together. Fold this combined piece in half the short way to find the chair's center and pin the spot. Fold 5 in half to find the center and pin the spot. Line up the pins and stitch together 5 to 2 starting at that center point and working out in either direction. You will have to square the corners as you come to them. Fold 1 in half to find the center and pin the spot. Line that pin up with the pin at the center of 5 and stitch together 5 and 1, starting at the center point and working your way out.

  5. Step 5

    Line up the bottom of 2 with the top of 3 and sew together. Fold this combined piece in half the short way to find the chair's center and pin the spot. Fold 5 in half to find the center and pin the spot. Line up the pins and stitch together 5 to 2 starting at that center point and working out in either direction. You will have to square the corners as you come to them. Fold 1 in half to find the center and pin the spot. Line that pin up with the pin at the center of 5 and stitch together 5 and 1, starting at the center point and working your way out.

  6. Step 6

    Before attaching the side panels, lay your muslin over the chair with seams facing out. Check the fit on the back and seat. Make adjustments by pinning spots that need to be tighter and drawing new seam lines on spots that need to be looser. Re-sew problem areas and check fit again. When you are satisfied with back and seat fit, attach the side panels.

  7. Step 7

    Check the fit again by laying the completed muslin model over the chair, seams out. Mark and make adjustments until fit is satisfactory.

  8. Step 8

    Trace all final seam lines with a different color pencil or marker than you used before. Disassemble the muslin model and cut out final shapes, adding a 1/2-inch seam allowance on all sides except for the bottom edges of 1, 3, and 5. (Since you are using oilcloth, which does not fray, you will not need to make a hem.)

  9. Step 9

    Trace your pattern onto the backside of the oilcloth and cut out shapes. Stitch the pieces together in the same order as you did for the muslin model. Once assembled, turn the cover right-side-out, slip over your chair, and take a seat.

Source
Blueprint, March/April 2007

Tags

Reviews (5)

  • 11 May, 2010

    Stitched this up for an armless office chair in my doll and sewing Lab this weekend. It worked beautifully ! And it's easier than it looks. Mine took about four hours - and that's with a recut/resew of piece #5. For a muslin, it looks great ! So good, in fact, I'm keeping it intact, and I'll use the measurements as a pattern for the next one. I hope to add some machine embroidery to it, and maybe a pattern pocket or two on the skirt part.

    Thanks for my Lab's new look ! And a great tutorial !

  • 11 May, 2010

    Stitched this up for an armless office chair in my doll and sewing Lab this weekend. It worked beautifully ! And it's easier than it looks. Mine took about four hours - and that's with a recut/resew of piece #5. For a muslin, it looks great ! So good, in fact, I'm keeping it intact, and I'll use the measurements as a pattern for the next one. I hope to add some machine embroidery to it, and maybe a pattern pocket or two on the skirt part.

    Thanks for my Lab's new look ! And a great tutorial !

  • 6 Apr, 2010

    I think shower curtains will hold up better than pillows which I tried and they looked very nice but where fragile and tore easily. Also oilcloth for tablecloth would hold up I imagine and its been used for that a long time. hv3333 suggestion is intruiging and i will look into using waterproofing a heavier fabric for my outdoor cushions.

  • 6 Apr, 2010

    Shower curtains and liners work well also.

  • 2 Jan, 2009

    A carpenter friend of mine advised me to use a product called Water Seal (in the UK) to preserve my new wooden garden furniture, and I had half a tin left over. I noticed on the side that it could also be used to waterproof fabric. I've successfully used it on garden linens and I suspect it would work on this project if the fabric you wanted doesn't come in an oilskin version. It coats individual fibres, so it remains soft to the touch