seat covers,

Easy-sew seat covers

If you loved our crackle-paint dining table makeover that appeared last issue, then you’ve probably been looking forward to this guide on making the matching furnishings. This really is a piece of cake for novices looking for their next challenge, and a great way to do-over your dining suite.

All you need
    • Some old seat covers,
    • A wodge of gorgeous fabric,
    • Buttons and
    • Trusty sewing machine.
    1. Make a template in paper to fit the cushion pad. Centre the pad over the pattern paper, press down on the edges and draw around the circumference. Fold the paper through the centre and firm up, then make the pencil lines more accurate on just one side. Add 1cm seam allowance to this line and cut out. As the template is cut out through the two layers of the folded piece of paper, the curves will be exactly mirrored on the opposite side. Mark on the template the back and front of the pad. Lay the template onto the seat of the chair and mark the position of the two outer back spindles. Position and pin the template onto a double piece of fabric with the right sides of the fabric facing each other, then cut out.

    2. Neaten the edges of the fabric pieces by overlocking or zigzagging. Match the two pieces together with the right sides of the fabric facing. Place a pin on the two spindle positions, then around the front curve of the cover. Stitch, with a 1cm seam allowance, from the first pin, around the front curve to the second spindle pin; this will leave a gap in the back.

    3. Cut a length of zip to the same length as the gap in the back of the cover plus an extra 5cm. Pull open 3cm of the zip, then pull on the zip slider. This can be a bit fiddly but with practice is an easy process. To stop the slider from coming off, stitch across the plastic teeth at both ends.

    4. Stitch the prepared zip into the opening using a zipper foot. With the right side of the fabric facing (the cover should not be turned through at this point) place the opened zip face down, matching the end with the zip slider to one end of the opening. Position the slider 3cm away from the end of the stitching, back into the cover; this will enable the zip to be stitched in place without the slider interfering with the stitching line. Pin one side of the zip in place, then stitch along the edge of the zip’s teeth. Pin the remaining side and stitch in place. Carefully thread the zip slider through to the right side, and turn the cover to the right side and press.

    5. Measure from the outer spindle to the centre of the back of the chair. Add 2cm to this. Cut two strips of fabric to this measurement and 7cm wide. Fold the strips in half lengthways, then stitch across one end and down the edge with a 5mm seam allowance. Turn the strip to the right side. This process is made easy with the aid of a rouleau loop turner. Tease out the corners and press. Make a buttonhole at the end of one of the straps.

    6. Position the raw end of one of the straps 1cm away from the end of the zip; it should be laying away from the zip. Sew the strap to the cover with a 5mm seam allowance. Fold the strap back over towards the zip, then stitch again; the raw end will be sandwiched inside the second line of stitching. Repeat the process with the remaining strap at the opposite end of the zip. Finally, stitch a button to the end of the other strap. Place the cushion pad inside the cover, zip closed, then wrap the straps around the chair back and button to secure.