Making a slipcover for our sectional = madness!

I am a big fan of removable covers on sofas. In fact, I think it should be mandatory on all sofas, because, unless you refrain from actually sitting on said sofas, it is inevitable that eventually an accident will happen.
When sofas do not have removable covers, a slipcover is your sanity’s best ally. 

I am not stranger to sewing my own slipcovers, it takes some patience and time, and a lot of work, but it is not as difficult as it could appear to somebody that has never tried.
A little while I showed you our living room, and the slipcovers I made for the small sofa and two chairs. They were made out of 10 yards of white denim I bought on eBay. I am very happy with the results.
The sectional in our family room, that is another matter.

The all-white sectional actually came with a removable cover, the problem is that removing it is a lot of work, and the fabric needs to be dry-cleaned, something I’d rather avoid. I wanted something that could be thrown in the washing machine and put back on quickly. Unfortunately some of my experiments were not, er… successful (to be generous).
First I tried making covers for the cushions with some fabric that looked a lot better on the image when I bought it online. I did not like the results. And the back and arms of the sofa still got dusty.
Then I bought some 10 yards of another fabric that also looked nice when I found it online. Big mistake! I stopped before making covers for the cushions because the fabric was a hideous mixture of poo color and 80’s print. That was a hot-ugly mess.
So that gigantic eyesore sat there while I ordered something that I knew would be foolproof: white denim.

The process for making slipcovers for a sectional is a lot more complicated than sewing one for a sofa, for starters both sides of the sectional are different, so the usual method of pinning the fabric inside-out does not work. This is what I did:
1. I pinned the fabric right-side-out, marked some points where the pieces had to coincide. 
2. Then I removed the pins and turned the pieces, sewing right-side-in.
3. To save me work and fabric I did not make whole covers for the seat cushions, instead I made a cover similar to fitted bedsheets, they are easy to remove and put back on.
This is the sofa in its new slipover. Unfortunately I bought too little fabric and did not have enough for the pillows. That’s why they look a bit different than the slipcover. I already ordered more denim to make covers for them, and I am sewing something cool for the throw pillows soon.
Some people are scared of white sofas, to them I say: Fear not! These white denim slipcovers can withstand anything you throw at them, a cycle through the washing machine and some bleach will cure whatever might ail them.
And for my next trick I will paint that door white. Soon. I hope.
So what’s your opinion on white sofas? 
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{ 14 comments… add one }

  • NANCY'S SEW CRAFTY February 15, 2015, 3:05 PM

    I love this page, how many hours, roughly, did it take you to do that? I am quoting someone, and they have a similar couch to cover, so I am going to go by an hourly price, but need to make sure it is worth it.

  • Raquel Hernandez November 17, 2014, 11:12 PM

    Love what you did with the slip covers, wonderful idea when you cant take off the cushions with the fitted sheets. Now my question is about the back cushions,mine are attached to the furniture and I can’t get them off. How will I be able,to do this? If you have any idea, let me know. Thank you.

    • Aunt Clara November 22, 2014, 8:18 AM

      I would be as stumped as you. Luckily mine have removable cushions.

  • Debra June 1, 2014, 12:10 AM

    Do you know where I can buy a patterno for an L- shape sofa

  • Sparkel Lewis May 19, 2014, 1:03 PM

    I need a sofa cover for my sectional can u make me one

  • XoxoPetite December 27, 2010, 10:09 PM

    Hi Clara!!! Looove that I came across your blog. I have been trying to find a tutorial for a slipcover for my sectional. I have the leather on the outside and have microfiber cushions that I HATE. :) Your tutorial is awesome as I think that you just made me realize I can do that "fitted sheet type method" on my cushions. Could you give me details as to how you did the cushions though? How do they stay? Please, thank you!! :)

  • Clara August 19, 2010, 3:53 AM

    Kim, don't be scared by it. Yes, it's a lot of work, but it's not really brain surgery-difficult. Try with an inexpensive fabric (dropcloth?) to start, in case you don't like the result.

  • Kim@Living with Little People August 18, 2010, 5:16 AM

    I love your fearlessness! I desperately want to make covers for our sofas (hideous green check inherited from the man's bachelor life) but it is very daunting.

  • Clara August 18, 2010, 12:53 AM

    Thanks, Sana, Kat and Kim.Kim, I suggest to go with white. The advantage of white is that you can bleach it, a linen color will probably not withstand the treatment.Sana, the biggest difficulty is the size of the customer, not so much the complexity of the dress. :)

  • Kim August 17, 2010, 10:33 PM

    That looks great! I am a huge fan of white slipcovers. I haven't gone there yet, but I have thought about it many times. I'm currently waffling b/t white and a linen color.

  • Kat from California August 17, 2010, 2:40 PM

    Very nice and impressive!

  • Sana August 17, 2010, 12:12 PM

    your sofa looks great, and will even more when you replace slipcovers of those cushions. i am afraid of such a big project.