Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Tutorial: Wing Chair Slipcover

This is the wing chair I covered with a dropcloth from an earlier post and here is the promised tutorial. I warn you, there are a boatload of pictures!

The first step is to drape the fabric over the top and cut out the shape of the front of the chair. Make sure to cut it big enough for seams. It was at this point that I painted the stripes.

Do the same with the wings, using lots of pins. If you are using a fabric with right and wrong sides, pin it right sides together so you can sew it exactly as is and get a good fit. (That's one of the perks about using dropcloth, both sides are the same!) This also means that when you turn the wings right side out, they will go on the opposite wing that you originally pinned. Use a lot of pins and pin exactly where you want to sew.

Then sew along the lines established by your pins and you will get a good fit.

Drape the fabric over the arms and cut to fit.

Then pin some fabric directly on the front of the arm and cut around it to get the right shape.

 Pin this to the fabric draped over the arm and sew. (See all the pins?) If you like piping, this is a good place for it.

Pin the arm piece to the front, turning over the edges of the front to get a good fit.

Pin fabric to the back of the chair, overlapping the front piece with edge folded over. Cut two overlapping pieces to fit and sew across the top. You will eventually add buttons or ties to these back pieces so they can be closed or opened for getting the slipcover off and on.

Now you have to pin and sew the back piece to the side of the wing and arm piece. As you pin, turn under the edge so you can topstitch. This will give you the best fit without making you crazy!

Sometimes you need to put in an extra piece to make it all fit, just pin it with edges turned under and topstitch.

I usually use muslin for the seat because it will be covered by the cushion. Just cut to fit, going up the sides a little and turning the edges under as you pin, and topstitch. Pin a piece of fabric to the front of the muslin that stretches over the entire front of the chair and drops down the front.

Pin the corner and sew. Wrap the side around and pin to the side arm piece that drops down the side.

There will be a lot of extra fabric on the inside of the corner.

Just cut it off. In fact, trim all the seams so they will lay flat.

Finished corner.

This is the front bottom piece. Topstitch again to the muslin and bottom of arms.

Hem the bottom edges.

Lay the cushion over the fabric and cut two pieces with seams all around. Then measure the width and length of the cushion all the way around and cut out this piece. If you need to do it in pieces, just make sure you don't have any seams on the front.

Sew the long piece to one of the cushion sides. This is also a good place for piping.

This next step is crucial: when you sew the second cushion piece on, be sure to pin it with the cushion inside! This may sound unnecessary, but if you don't do it this way, it will get twisted and you will have to rip it out and do it over. Believe me! Just be careful getting the cushion out with all those pins!

The best way to get the cushion in and out, push down on the cushion while moving the slipcover over it.

Finished cushion before stripes.

Much better than the original!

Linking to


  1. Really beautiful and well done! Your tutorial is super! I don't know if my sewing skills are up to it, but i sure would love to try.
    Thanks for sharing,

    1. I remember that 1st slipcover, I stood for a long time with scissors in hand, afraid to make that 1st cut! But in the end, it's not really that difficult, just take it slow and take one step at a time. Good luck!

  2. Love your chair! I love the stripe and style. Great projects and tutorial!

    1. thanks! I forgot to mention that i painted the stripes on the dropcloth, i was just too focused on the tutorial!

  3. What a fantastic tutorial!
    And your chair looks beautiful - love slipcovers!

  4. This is just awesome. I have a wingback that needs to be re-covered, but I never thought I could do it myself--until I saw this post! Now I think I'll give it a shot!!

    Thanks so much for sharing this at Grace at Home. I just featured you!

    1. Thank you so much, I'm honored! I'm sure you can do it!

  5. Great tutorial! I need to make a slipcover for my couch... yikes!
    I found you today on Featherd Nest Friday's Linky. I hope you can stop by my blog to say hello!
    ~ Megin of VMG206

  6. I have been waiting for this since I saw the slipcover. I am pinning this. I have bought and washed my drop cloth and practiced the draping part. Thank you for the clear and concise tutorial.

  7. You make this wonderful slipcover look so easy! But I know that a whole lot of work went into it! Thanks for the great tutorial!!!
    You certainly breathed a new and updated life into your chair!

  8. Your chair is beautiful! And what a nicely detailed tutorial!

  9. Beautiful slipcover, you make it look so easy, but I know it takes great skill!! Thanks for the great tutorial, I think I have to try this!

  10. Your slipcover is so wonderful. You did an amazing job. I slipcovered a wingback chair a few years back in red ticking and still love it.

  11. What a wonderful project! It looks amazing! I know it had to be difficult to do, but worth it. I have a new weekly link party which is live now and I would love if you stop by and link up this wonderful post! Hope to see you there! Hugs, Maria

  12. I love drop cloths.. every chair/sofa in
    my living room is now covered with drop
    cloths and I love them... they wash well
    and look so good! Your info is perfect
    for those who have never made these great
    Great Post

  13. thanks! i have plans for a couple more chairs and some curtains!

  14. Thank you so much for the tutorial. I needed the nudge to get moving on one that I have all ready cut out. What do you do when you come to an area that is too thick for your pressure foot to go over? I can sew great straight lines with my machine which is an oldie but a goodie but I have much to still learn. Again thanks for sharing.

    1. so far it hasn't been much of a problem, but when it's a little thick, i go really slow and try to figure out if i can cut some fabric or maneuver around it. good luck!

  15. Great job! Did you just use painters tape as a guide for the stripes? I'm going to redo my dining room chairs soon. TFS!
    I'm visiting you today from Common Ground. I hope you get a chance to stop by my blog and leave a comment and Link Up, too!
    ~ Megin of VMG206
    Medicine Cabinet Makeover

    1. i started out trying to use the tape, but in the end i just winged it!

  16. Thank you for sharing, I love all the photos ~ I think maybe I can try
    this & with step by step pics, I think it will be a success!

  17. I have sew a cushion that has the shape of the arms of your chair. this tutorial is very helpful for my project. Thank you.:)

  18. That looks so great!!! I SOO wish I knew how to sew!!! I would love to slip cover my wing chairs.