Monday, July 28, 2014

Making a Settee Cover, Part 2

Last time  we left off I was getting ready to show you how to measure for the back-piece of the sofa.  My original measurements showed this sofa as 33" from the floor to where the center of the wood curve is at the "upper back."  This settee used to have a decorative oak arch along the top, but I grew tired of it and it made the sofa look really 90's, so I took it off, padded the space, and stapled and pulled the upper back fabrics together.  This has created a new "arch" that looks great, but is a bit unsightly the way I finished it, especially since I move the sofas around a lot and like them away from the walls. :)  In addition, now without that oak piece, the added benefit is the two settees look more like a pair. :)  Anyway, this is one of the reasons I wanted to make a slipcover for this and the other settee. ;)

Here I have left the original 12' of canvas drop-cloth fabric just hanging over the back of the sofa. The seat-deck is tucked-in with it's seam in place. I have drawn a line where I want my back-piece seam to be. I cut 5/8" BELOW this back-line to create the seam-allowance. This is where I will add-in welting. The side-seam and its seam-allowance are ready to go!

How to Make a Settee Cover (cont.)

  1. Step 6, really -- For the "back-piece" of the sofa cover, cut BELOW your drawn line either 1/2" or 5/8" for your seam allowance. Also, if you have put that "drop cloth seam" over at your sofa's edge like I did, above, cut that off, too.  Cut it off just PAST the seam (in my case, just to the left of the seam).  This will create a seam-allowance for joining your "arm-piece" to the "front" and "back" pieces.  The right side was already up-to-and-slightly-overlapping the right edge, so no need to cut anything over there except where the fabric needs to be cut off for the arm.  The rest of the length of yardage, put aside for just a second.  
  2. Find the center of the curved-over "front piece."  Place a glass-head pin there. This can be easily done by pulling the piece up, folding the piece itself in half and marking the middle with your pin and/or marking with a pencil, or by doing the following.  Tip:  This is how you can also mark-off "store-bought pattern pieces" without having to cut out those little triangles or squares where you will match-up pattern pieces -- just put a 1/4" slit perpendicular into the fabric, like you would do when "grading a curve." This eliminates the need to cut-out those "tabs." Makes getting to your sewing faster!!! 
  3. Now, re-tuck and lay the "front piece" back down along the sofa's upper back-edge.  Carefully, realign the drawn edge back along the wood edge.  Realign the side edges, which you should have drawn-in before so you can see where to stitch after everything comes off. :) If you haven't already done this, do so now. :) *** Sorry if I didn't make this very clear in the last post!  Trying to think of it all. :) -- (top photo)
  4. Rehang the back-piece -- Take the remaining length of fabric and pin it back to the "front piece." I did this with overlapping my 5/8" seam in the middle (fold this fabric in half along the cut-off edge, pin as for the "front-piece", above, finding the center point in this next piece, the new "back piece," going ABOVE the curved line of the settee's back. It will look like a big box at first. 

  1. Redraw the wooden piece's curve onto this new "back-piece."  I like that you can feel the wood piece below and can use it as a guide.  Your sofa may not have one, so make an arc as best as you can.  Cut your "seam-allowance" ABOVE this newly-drawn curve.  Now you have the upper curve of the "back-piece!"  After I drew the curve, I unpinned and took the whole canvas off moving over to my table to cut the curve over there.  I wanted to make sure my "seam-allowance" for this piece was going to be correct.  I folded my fabric over, rechecking my center point.  This also gives you the point to match-up with the "front piece." Make sure you have enough fabric to get to your sofa's side edges.  If not, add in fabric with extra seams to the "back piece" on both sides to make your piece work for you. 
  2. Measure the heights from the five pins along the back's lower seam will be. These should all be the same height as your "deck-height" from the "front seat-deck piece."  Adjust as necessary. Our floor is slightly irregular as we laid it ourselves.  My measurement is 12-3/4", so now measure from each pin vertically up to where a vertical line would hit along your sofa-back's curve.  Write those measurements onto your drawn diagram of your Back View.  Transfer all those lengths to your "back piece," then cut off the remaining fabric length.  This is what I have already done in this photograph. 

  1. Here I have shown several things at once: * Measuring up from the floor, you can see where the pins have been placed along the back (above the blue painter's tape, at 12-3/4"/12.75" off of the floor) where the sofa skirt will attach. * The yard stick is there as a guide to show various lengths -- the height of the pin at that point, about 33" off the floor. * The painter's tape at the upper center along the curve shows the upper-middle of the sofa where both pieces are pinned together.

  2. My original post didn't include this next photograph, so I hope this helps!

    I hope you are enjoying this little series on how to make a slipcover for your sofa!

    I have tried to make this simple enough for anyone to sew.

    I may not have enough photographs for those of you who are beginners but I've tried to be thorough in the written details.
    Write me and I will be happy to help!

*Update 2018*
Find the other links here
Making a Settee Cover ~ Part 1
Part 3
Ruching ~ Part 4
Making a Sofa/Settee Cover ~ The Reveal

Happy Sewing!

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Happy hugs to you,
Barb :)

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