STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

How to make a loose chair cover

How to make a loose chair cover

You will need:

  • An old chair
  • Enough fabric to cover (see measurements below)
  • Matching thread
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Soft measuring tape

Don't go to the expense of buying a new chair if you don't have to - here's an easy way to give an old chair a stylish new look. And you can choose exactly the style of fabric you want! It doesn't take too much sewing expertise to make this loose, slip-on cover, and the end result is sure to impress.

Time to complete the job: Approximately three hours.
Approximate budget: £30, depending on the fabric.

Tip: This cover is easy to take off for cleaning, so buy fabric you can machine wash.

  • Step 1: Measuring & cutting out

    Step 1: Measuring & cutting out

    With your measuring tape, take the basic measurements of your chair to determine the size of your fabric pieces. You will need 4 pieces all together.

    1. Arms and back piece - outside: Measure around the chair sides from one front arm to the other and around the back for the width of this piece, adding 2in (50mm) for the side seam allowances. For the height, measure from the floor to the top of the arm, adding a 6in (150mm) seam allowance. Cut out as one piece.

    2. Arms and back piece - inside: Use the same width as the outside back piece. For the height, measure from the seat to the top of the inside back, adding 7in (175mm) for seam and tuck-in allowances. Cut out as one piece.

    3. Seat piece: Measure the seat from the chair back to the front edge, adding 7in (175mm) for seam and tuck-in allowances. Measure the width of the seat from the base of the arms and add 6in on each side for tuck-in allowance. Cut out as one piece.

    4. Front piece: Use the width measurement of the seat as above, and for the height measure from the top of the seat to the floor. Add 3in (75mm) for seam allowances. Cut out as one piece.

  • Step 2: Sewing the seat to the inside back

    Step 2: Sewing the seat to the inside back

    Mark the middle points on the back edge of the seat piece and the bottom of the inside back piece with pins.

    Matching the middle points, pin the seat piece to the inside back piece with right sides of the fabric together and raw edges even.

    Machine stitch the seat piece to the inside back piece around the three edges with a 1in (25mm) seam. Trim the seam allowance at the two corners so they will sit neatly, and finish the seam edges with a zigzag stitch. Press open.

  • Step 3: Sewing the seat to the front

    Step 3: Sewing the seat to the front

    Mark the middle point of the front edge of the seat piece and the top edge of the front piece with pins. Matching the middle points, with right sides of the fabric together and raw edges even, pin together. Machine stitch the front edge of the seat piece to the top edge of the front piece with a 1in (25mm) seam. Stop short of the edges of the seat side seams and trim the corners.

    Trim the seams and press open.

  • Step 4: Sewing outside back & sides to the inside piece

    Step 4: Sewing outside back & sides to the inside piece

    With raw edges even and right sides of the fabric together, pin the top edge of the outside back piece to the top edge of the inside back piece of the completed piece so far.

    Machine stitch together around the three sides with a 1in (25mm) seam, leaving the front edges of the arms free. Clip the two corners so they will sit neatly.

    Trim the seams and press open.

  • Step 5: Arm seams

    Step 5: Arm seams

    You need to sew the arm seams in two sections.

    First, with right sides of the fabric together, pin the front edges of the arms of the outside back piece and inside back piece together and machine stitch with a 1in (25mm) seam. Stop before the seams of the seat edges. Trim the seam.

    Then, with raw edges and right sides of the fabric together, pin the lower side edges of the outside back piece to the side edges of the front piece. Machine stitch with a 1in (25mm) seam, being careful not to catch in the seat seam.

    Trim the seams and press open.

  • Step 6: Hemming & finishing

    Step 6: Hemming & finishing

    Turn the cover right-side out and place over the chair. Check the length, and trim if necessary - don't forget though that you have allowed for a 2in (50mm) hem, so there will be excess fabric pooling on the floor at this point. Don't get carried away and cut this off!

    Remove the cover and sew a 2in (50mm) hem. Press the finished cover.

    Place the cover over the chair and tuck in where necessary.