slipcovers the Jackie Hill way

this photo shows all my cuts and a start on pinning.

this photo shows all my cuts and a start on pinning.

You need an industrial sewing machine. It doesn’t have to be a walking foot machine unless you want to sew leather. I have a Singer 191 that I bought new 20 years ago and it never dropped a stitch.

Jackie told me if there’s any doubt in your mind about how to cut, follow the upholstery. That’s why I decided to cut the front arm pieces in 2 sections and put ribbon on the edges that have upholstery tacks on the chair.

To cut you have to unroll the bolt of fabric right side out over the chair, smooth it down and pin it to the upholstery with 2″ T pins. Places where the upholstery goes back in a tight crack, ( around the deck, inside arms and inside back) you have to push the fabric back in the crack as far as you can. Jackie used a smooth stick, I used my fingers. Then stick a 6B carpenters pencil in the crack and draw a line. Pull the fabric out of the crack, cut on the line and put it back in to pin it as shown in this photo. I hope you can see my pins all along the deck. Seams that don’t go inside can be marked with a piece of chalk. Feel the cord on the upholstery through your slipcover fabric. Then cut 1/2″ outside the chalk line. I hope our sewing friends can visualize it.

On the outside seams of the chair you have to turn back the seam allowance and draw pencil marks across to the piece it joins. Patterns have triangles to go by. This solves the problem of looking at a piece and wondering where it goes. Line up the marks and it will be in the right place.

Marking and pinning are 2 important steps before you take the cut pieces off the chair.


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