Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Put Your Feet Up #2 - Custom Ottoman Slipcover

Ta Da!

Goal: Custom-fitted slipcover for a 62" wide octagonal ottoman on wooden legs.

Original condition: The original top was constructed in eight wedges and tufted in the middle with a self-fabric covered button. The wooden skirt mounted below the upholstery ends in four tapered legs connected underneath by an x-stretcher.

Fabric: Three yards of lime green vinyl "leather" (100% PVC Face/100% polyester) for $3 per yard, originally priced as $29.99 per yard. (Purchased at the same time as four yards of green, brown, teal and orange Ikat print* heavy upholstery for $2.70 per yard, orig. $9) from Hancock Fabrics during their liquidation sale.

Construction: The fabric was just wide enough to cover the ottoman with a few inches of overhang. I arranged it over the ottoman so that the two selvage edges hung down equal.

Turning the fabric inside out, at each point of the octagon I pinned the fabric into a dart, creating a snug fit. I basted the darts and retried the slipcover. I re-pinned some of the darts till I liked the fit and then trimmed the length, trying to cut it all even to the shortest hanging section.

Because I did not want to apply actual heat to the fabric I held steam above the vinyl, making sure not to get too close and then pressed the seams allowances to the side using my quilting ruler. I really must buy a clapper soon!

After I placed the darted cover on the ottoman I realized that even though the darts fit snugly, the edges were not as snug as i wanted and were slightly sticking out from the sides. I needed a way to cinch in the cover and realized a simple horizontal band like the one on the tapestry version would not work in this more stretchy vinyl.

Using the selvage from the remainder fabric I cut lengths of 3 inches deep using my quilting ruler and rotary cutter and cutting enough fabric to go around the sides. I measured the circumference of the ottoman and seamed the sections together to fit that measurement exactly.

I now needed a way to cinch in the cover and realized a simple horizontal band like the one on the tapestry version would not work in this more stretchy vinyl. So I had to think of a way using elastic that would work.

My elastic sample

I used another piece of the fabric and created a channel that would just fit 1-inch wide elastic. I found it would be the best choice visually.

I also wanted a way to attach the band to the base cover and allow me to add the elastic in a way I could then hand sew the opening closed easily. I decided to create an opening in one of the seams that would allow me to pull the elastic through and then out of the "keyhole".

 There is a keyhole opening near the top of this topstitched seam.

I connected the strips of vinyl into a loop that matched the circumference of the ottoman and attached one side of it to the base cover.

Then I thought to make it easier, I could stitch one end of the elastic into the seam so I could place the elastic into the seam before I finished sewing the band to the cover. This way I wouldn't have to thread the elastic through the channel at all.

Folding the other side of the band up, enclosing the elastic.
I then stitched the other side of the band to the base and started to gather the band by pulling on the unattached end of the elastic.
Band attached: inside.
Band attached: outside.

As I pulled the elastic more and more, I started to get disillusioned as the bunchy mess I was looking at was not going to work and looked atrocious. But I kept pulling and pushing the gathers along, bit by bit, until the covered band started to naturally pull and curve under the wooden apron lip. Basically it's like a mushroom cap and I'm pretty proud of how the finished product looks.

*Note: I couldn't get the colors to come out accurate on these photos. But the fabric is amazing and coordinates with the existing sofa, loveseat, and throw pillows even though I chose the fabric purely from instinct and memory. Hurrah!

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