Slipcovered Settee

June 27, 2010

I love it when a plan comes together !  I’ve been working on the living room all week, mostly the wainscoting, but one of the other pieces I also wanted to makeover was my brown velvet settee.  I love the shape of this piece – it fits on the wall next to the fireplace to perfection, but I was sooooooo done with the dark brown color.  Rather than pay big bucks to have it reupholstered, I decided, for now, to simply slipcover it. 

I’ve mentioned before that my sewing skills are limited, but over time, I’ve been challenging myself to take on more intermediate sewing projects – this was certainly one of them.  I confess, I’ve admired the slipcovers across blogland for a long time, but this is my first attempt at slipcovering a piece of furniture myself.  After four days of piecing it together, bit by bit, I’m pretty satisfied with my new summer linen slipcover. 

Lovely readers, meet my little settee and her pretty new linen slipcover. 


velvet settee before


cg settee slipcovered


There were several reasons why I chose linen.  One, what’s not to love, because I absolutely looooooove linen.  Okay, okay, so it wrinkles if you breathe on it, but the piece underneath is so tailored, I knew it would work if I could just keep my seams tight enough.  Two, linen is classic, and oh so French, so that completely appeals to me. 

First, I prewashed the linen, then I cut my fabric into pieces and started to pin it all around.  It took me for-eh-ver to get this right.  You have to pin your slipcover inside out, sew your seam, keep your linen tight (but not too tight!) the entire time, then flip it right side out and try it on your piece to make sure your seams are straight. 

Over. And over.  And over again. 

pin inside out

Sheeesh, sewing a slipcover is challenging – my seamripper and I were BFFs this past week. 

So after I sewed all the parts in place to satisfaction, I added a pleat at the bottom.  Gotta have the crisp pleat !  I folded my fabric strips over and stitched them together.  Then I pressed them with an iron to get the crisp edge, then slowly created the pleat with my sewing machine. 

sew linen pleat


Next, I pinned the pleat to the edges, and attached with my sewing machine.  Finally, I hand stitched the edges of the arms since I didn’t want to bother with the perfection of the perfect circular edges on the arm rest.  Works for me ! 

pin pleat stitch arm


So here she is, ain’t she sweet ?   My first real slipcover !

cg settee slipcovered


I love the flirty pleat next to the traditional dark wood leg. 

cg slipcover and endtable copy


Oooohhhh, and there’s a sneaky peek at the completed wainscoting, now finished in the living room, plus we installed a new mirror and light fixtures.  

   swirl snip

4 yards of linen on sale at $7.50 a yard = $30 for the slipcover, woo hoo !

I saved some cash by not reupholstering it, so I splurged on this pillow cover perfection from Pottery Barn.   


pillow perfection

More pics of the living room upgrades to follow later this week !   But for now, I’m loving my summer linen slipcover.  Bliss ! 



Tags: ,

125 Responses to “Slipcovered Settee”

  1. This is fabulous!!!! I have been wanting to make some slip covers for 2 chairs in my house, and this is something I can definitely use as a reference. Question for you, do you think dropcloths would work for making a slip cover??? Not sure I want linen (although I love the look, I have 2 small children), but I am thinking dropcloths would work too….

    Again, nice job!!! Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Becky says:

    You did a great job! I love the look of linen…its whats on my sofa and on my chair. I love the relaxed wrinkled look because it looks lived in…and that what we do with our homes is live in them!!

  3. Beckie says:

    Totally love my friend…I can reupholster. Slipcovers scare me though. Funny huh? You have a two tiered table like I do. I am so relieved to see you put nothing on the bottom. Mine is giving me hives trying to figure out how to decorate it. I think I have a plan. But back to the settee…I love the shape of it. Great pieces never go out of style!

  4. Way to go! It looks great! And you completely stole the words right out of my mouth when you said you loved the flirty pleat next to the dark brown leg. I was seriously thinking that same thing, almost verbatim! You did a wonderful job. I love the new look.

  5. Amanda says:

    SWOON! So jealous!

  6. Marivic says:

    Wow…this is amazing. You are one talented lady!

  7. Brenda Moore says:

    SUPERB!! You did a wonderful job. Congrats.

  8. Allison says:

    Wow! It’s stunning! I LOVE the pleats. What a job your did…it’s just gorgeous. I’m a sucker for linen, too. That sofa is a show stopper! I wish you lived closer. I’d hire you to do one for my sofa.

  9. robyn says:

    WOW…look at you Ms. SLIPCOVER QUEEN! It’s absolutely FABULOUS! AND something about those sweet little pleats next to that curvy leg….it’s SEXY! LOL

  10. Lauren says:

    I love this. Great job on the sewing. Seems like a difficult project but it came out wonderfully. I thought I’d let you know that I featured your project on my blog today —

  11. Lori says:

    gorgeous!!! you are so brave. It looks very professional! I do curtains, pillow covers and pillowcase dresses for my daughter but slipcovers are where I draw the line….too many different shapes and seams but perhaps you will spark some bravery in me?! congrats on the project :)

  12. Anne says:

    I am in the same boat as you were. I “sew” which means pillows and curtains. I too am tempted by the slipcovers in the blogosphere, but fear has held me back. Maybe I should take the plunge. Thanks for the inspiration! It is gorg :)

  13. You have really inspired me to tackle a summer slipcover for my settee. Beautiful job!

    Did you use any sort of closure in the back? I have a fabric that I want to use but it has very little “give” and I’m worried about ripping. I’d love to do something freehand like you did.

    I love your blog and all that you’ve done with your home. Congrats on another amazing project!

  14. Oh Kate, your settee is lovely! Great job! I love the linen!

  15. Nancy says:

    Oh I love it! I must run out and get a settee so I can copy this (if you don’t mind)!!! I just finished my first slipcover this week and know what a challenge they can be but I’m ready to go again. How about you?

  16. Cindy says:

    This looks great! I am not that brave yet and will be buying one to salvage a chair I rescued from the dumpster at work!

  17. Saundra says:

    Kate — I lOVE the slipcover you have made. You did an outstanding job. I do sew; however I have never attempted a slipcover even though I have a couple of pieces I would like to do. YOu have inspired me!! Did you use a purchased pattern? Or did you just measure and cut from your setee. You are so very talented.

  18. Great job Kate! I love how it turned out…beautiful! I too was pricing linen at Jo-Anns with my 50% coupon for curtains…love linen!!


  19. Theresa says:

    That is wonderful! No one would ever guess that was your first slipcover, it looks gorgeous! Theresa

  20. Amanda says:

    LOVE this settee – It’s just the right amount of frilly and clean lines. It’s absolutely perfect! :)

  21. Heather says:

    Wow! That is really impressive. I have always wanted to make a slipcover for my sofa, but thought it was too hard. I am definitely inspired. Thanks for the how-to!

  22. Sofas says:

    Oh it’s odd that you mention this – I have just bought a top quality sofa set for my den and have to say I absolutely love it! It’s a stunning 3 piece, finished in white leather. I Just felt the urge to let you know! :-)

  23. michele says:

    Hi there,

    I just found this post through Pinterest. You did a fabulous job. I slipcovered my sofa in white linen as well. I could not be happier. I don’t have a sewing machine though so did it by hand. And I have to say that it washes beautifully. I completed it in April and there is nothing that has not come out of it completely, and I have two small children. Nice job. Take care.


  24. suzie dyer says:

    Hi: I have a settee like this that I want to make a slipcover for, but the only part I don’t get is how you get the fabric to go DOWN between the bottom and the arms. Is yours stuffed down in there somehow?

  25. Kristen says:

    Beautiful! I never leave comments but I just have to here. I just love this!

Leave a Reply