Ok so I wanted something to cover our chairs with -- we had six that matched and in the course of moves,etc two have broken. Now there were two ugly, painted badly, needing to be stripped, not the greatest but servicable chairs in the garage when we moved in (they had lovely lines at one time but layers of paint and whatever they did to make it bubble up ruined that)...Anyhow so I got online and managed to find a slipcover tutorial here (http://consumption-rebellion.blogspot.com/2009/04/simple-chair-slipcover-tutorial.html) but decided I would post my own with photos for you so here goes....Tools you will need: Pins, scissors, pinking shears, measuring tape, sewing machine, iron and ironing board, ribbon, buttons,fabric, etc.
First decide what type of fabric you want to use, vintage linens? Calicos you have on hand? Corderouy? (make sure you have a heavy needle!), etc... here's my pile of vintage white linens I've amassed in our travels (I love linens, they call to me!) - European Shams, tablecloths,etc Mend any small holes in your linens with a satin stitch or well placed buttons,etc.If you wish to make patchwork ones sew up the fabric to the size needed first and then cut.
One ugly chair or mismatched,what have you... Take your Measures:
"drop" (how long you want it to hang - do you want your chairs completely dressed or showing a little leg?). From where you want it to hang to top of the chair...
Top of chair to seat seat to floor (make sure you measure this with the tape or string as if someone was sitting on it) For this type of chair because it has knobs that are higher than the actual back make sure you measure from that point to that point across, otherwise just measure the width of the widest point of your chair...Front to back
side to floor or where you want the drop
Once you have all your measurements written down then add 1/2" to all sides for your seam allowance and you're ready to cut! If you want a form fitting cover then cut out your fabric exactly, if like mine you want them a little loose and flowy then you will still want to cut the fabric to your measurements but it's ok if it's a little large. If you use vintage tablecloths and such, make sure to cut your pieces so you don't have to hem them! :) You can also cut out your front seat, seat to floor piece in one piece otherwise go ahead and sew those two pieces together first with a 1/2" seam, pink & iron your seams flat/open as you go (Or if you are making a light fabric one and want to you can always make double sets and use it to self face the inside...) Then sew your front piece to the back piece. Once that's done lay your piece wrong side out over your chair and pin the sides - just pin from the top to the seat, adjust fit and sew with 1/2" allowance. (This photo shows the whole thing pinned up but that's just for picture purposes as it looked weird without the sides pinned and I didn't want to confuse people, which I may have done anyhow!). Check your fit again and then pin on your side pieces easing in/gathering as needed by machine or handpleating as I did. Sew. I found it easier to sew up the sides and then the seat portion. If your edges aren't already hemmed then turn under 1/4 edge, turn again, pin and hem. Turn inside out and dress your chair!
For our "captain's chairs" I didn't adjust the pattern but just tucked the "ears" in but you can adjust if you wish a closer fit to a curved seam at the top!
If you like you can add ribbon,button or piping easily I added ribbon ties to the sides once they were done to keep the seat from sliding forward as it tends to when you move the chairs or sit. FYI - I can't say exactly how much yardage I used but it took 4 Euro shams, 2 twin bedskirts, 1 queen bedskirt, 1 square tablecloth and a little extra to dress 7 chairs, mind you I was keeping the edges and decoration on several of them, however if you add up all your measurements you should be able to get a good idea of how much you need. They can be as cute, country or elegant as you like! Thinking of making a lightweight denim set next -- although cranberry silk would be lovely!