Sometimes when I finish a project I’m doing yahoos all over the town. This is one of those. As part of the brown bear project I desperately needed color in my kitchen. I considered buying some end chairs to liven up the space… but buying means actually spending money and I don’t like to do that. I have six simple parson chairs that I really like around my table and I thought covering two oughtta do it! The total cost was $10, and $10 never looked so good! Before & After:
This project was easy. Like capital E easy. Follow my tutorial below!
Before you start, if you are sewing with patterned fabric decide RIGHT NOW that it’s okay that it doesn’t line up to perfection. Because especially with a chair that has curves, it’s not going to. If you’re committed to not be a crazed line-up-girl, continue (if you can’t handle it buy plain fabric!):
1. Pick a fabric that makes you heart sing. I got this chevron from Amazon.com, I used about 1.5 yards for both chairs, but measure yours out carefully before starting. Use upholstery fabric, or a heavier fabric, anything light weight will tear and you will cry. Well you might not cry, but I would. My fabric wasn’t super heavy, but it does the trick.
2. Decide how long you want the skirt around the bottom. I kept mine short, about 1 inch below the chair seat itself. Drape fabric over the back of the chair. Allow an extra inch or two on the back of the chair below where you want it to end for a hem, be generous, I thought I was leaving tons and it was barely enough. Also allow 2-3 inches where the seat meets the back of the chair to adjust that connection as well. (This is called “blocking”). Make sure the fabric is lining up decently, then cut (allowing for the extra inches in the front and back.)
3. With the fabric right sides in, pin the each side of the chair, this will be your first sew line.
4. On one side use a ruler and a pencil to mark a connection line from pin to pin, kind-of like connect-the-dots. Sew along this line to insure a good fit. (fyi there are fabric pencils you can use, but on the inside out stuff you won’t ever see a pencil works fine)
5. Right sides in and one side sewn together, put the fabric back on the chair and adjust pins where needed. Repeat step four (draw a sew line) and sew the second side.
6. At the top of the chair pin the corner down into a triangle and mark a pencil line where the chair ends… for the best fit the line should be more like banana shaped than straight. Sew along the line. You can cut the excess off if it is bulky fabric.
7. Where the back meets the seat part draw a pencil line. Be generous. If you pull too tight the seam will be too high. Pin along this line and then sit in the chair before you sew it… if your bedonk-a-donk is anything like mine you will need to make some adjustments. (the first go around I sewed and unpicked this step TWICE! If you get this part right the rest is a breeze!) Sew. After this step put the cover on right side out and test it out before proceeding, adjust if necessary.
8. More than half done, easy right? Now you are going to apply the skirt. Put the cover inside out and on the chair. Pin the skirt in the front center first at the corner of the chair and then work your way around to the sides. Then pin to the back piece on each side. Be generous on this as well. The cover will hang better if the seam is not on the seat itself but right on the crease or a little lower. Sew.
9. Last step! Put your cover on right side out and pin your hem along the bottom. You can measure this out, but I just did it by eye, feeling the bottom of my chair and folding the fabric to meet it. Before sewing the hem iron it for an easy crease.
Iron any creases and viola! Ahhhh… finally a little color!