Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Slipcover Progress: Finishing Touches

Wow, I can't believe it's been two weeks since my last entry. I finished the slipcovers earlier, but haven't been able to get back to blogging until now. Part of the reason for that is I am sharing my desktop computer with Rich until his new laptop arrives, and his job search activities are a higher priority than my blogging at the moment. Right now I am using an older back-up laptop that I use mainly for machine embroidery; I've fitted it out enough to access the internet on a limited basis, but the keyboard is squishy so please excuse any typos that slip through . . .

Anyway, last time I wrote about the slipcover, I was just about finished putting it all together, but still needed to do a few alterations and finishing touches.

First, I needed to re-stitch the back section around the shoulders to take out too much fullness. That fixed the gapping problems.

Next, I needed to finish the edges of the underlays for the "faux box pleats", which I have recently learned are more accurately called "kick pleats". I pinned the underlays in place on the sofa and marked the top edges, then serged them for a neat finished edge. Each corner of the sofa has one full underlay; the front center has a smaller underlay and the front left and right corners have smaller, angled underlays. After the raw edges were serged, I attached them to the sofa with twist pins (also known as bedskirt pins).

On a different slipcover, these could have been sewn onto the body of the cover; however, my cover doesn't have a horizontal seam for a skirt and I couldn't figure out how to sew them invisibly without adding a lot of bulkiness and sagging. The original upholstery is stapled to the frame of the sofa (see my previous blog post), so I am following that design, but am using twist pins instead of staples.





I had not serged the seams of the cushion covers yet, so that was my next assignment. I used a large piping foot to help guide the way and finished all the inside seams of the cushions.

left: before serging; right: after serging


I wanted to find some fancy twist pins to use on visible areas of the slipcover, but couldn't find any that I liked. But I did see some comments about upholstering the twist pins using button covers. So you know I had to try this out.

The least expensive pins were at Bed, Bath & Beyond, a dozen in a package for $2.99. I bought several packages for this project, but have made only 6 upholstered pins so far. The button cover kit I found was at JoAnn Fabrics, a Dritz kit for 1/2 inch covered buttons.



To make upholstered twist pins, I followed the basic instructions for making covered buttons, pushing the fabric and button top into the tool as directed on the package:


Instead of inserting the button back I pushed the head of the twist pin into the button cover:

The last part was a little tricky and I had to improvise and use a few different "tools" to help push the twist pin into the button cover evenly. After it was securely in place, I pushed the bottom of the white part of the tool to pop out the finished pin.

I found that trimming the fabric after it was pushed into the bottom of the tool removed some bulk and made it easier to push the head of the twist pin into place. On a few of the covers, a few loose threads of fabric poked out afterward, so I put a little bit of Fray Check on them, just in case.

The result: half a dozen covered twist pins!


The last finishing touch is to cover the throw pillows. I could use the same fabric as the slipcover, but how boring would that be?

In my stash I found this herringbone upholstery remnant, bought at the Ethan Allen warehouse sale a few years ago, and I think it coordinates well with the Miss Kitty Denim:

I'm pretty sure this fabric will stand up to the challenge of Westie naps, but I don't think I'll finish these throw pillows for a few more weeks, since I have a few other projects I'd like to get started first.

There's no rush, since we already have plenty of throw pillows.
Keli


Next post: My final wrap-up and some links for future reference

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