After researching, “pinning” and committing to making slipcovers, I found a couple of pieces of my own that I thought could use a little update and twist. I had a couple of benches that were made from reclaimed barn wood to go with my treasured white oat table that I acquired and refinished from my old church, St. Thomas More. I loved the casualness of the benches but always felt they looked too narrow. My first project to reclaim my love of sewing was to make slipcovers for the benches adding a foam topper for softness and height.
I purchased a large piece of 2″ foam at Hancock Fabrics that was 40% off, costing me $30 for both cushions with a bit left over for a small project. After measuring the tops of the benches, I cut the foam easily with an electric knife. For the slipcover, I went with a drop cloth purchased at Lowes. It was a good buy at $30 for lots of yardage (and leftovers) and would give me the casual clean look I was going for. And, if I messed up, I wouldn’t be out a lot of money. I prewashed it, an absolute must, to shrink it and then started cutting away. The material gets a little wrinkly once it is washed, so I cut and ironed as I went along.
To make the piping around the top of the bench, I cut 2″ strips on the bias, connecting several pieces to make a long strip to make a continuous piping for each bench. I like to make piping on the bias so that it bends easily around the corners and doesn’t pucker. It’s a little more work, but definitely worth it.
Once the piping was done, I was ready to start constructing the pieces together. I basically just measured pieces, cut and ripped on the grain, pinned, readjusted, trimmed and sewed. Once I was happy with the fit, I would go back and finish the edges to prevent excessive raveling, drop cloth will ravel a lot it you do not do this.
To hem, I pressed the completed slipcovers and placed on the benches, measured where I wanted them to fall, pinned, trimmed the excess and then sewed a 1″ hem. I repressed the pleats and hem. The slipcovers looked great, but decided they still needed something more. Covered fabric buttons pinning the end pleats and buttons on tabs for the side pleats was just what it needed for a finished structured, clean look. What do you think?