- An ugly glider
- 2-3 yards of fabric (I used Waverly Cross Section in Charcoal)
- Sew-on Velcro and/or sew-on snap closures
- Needle & thread
- Sewing machine (I have a Singer Simple - it's the most basic, cheapest model Singer makes, and it's great for a proper beginner like me. Also, if you buy one from Jo-Ann Fabrics, they do a free "How to Use Your Machine" class which was really helpful.)
The Back Cushion:
I actually started on the arms, made a big mess and gave up, then did the back cushion. But I'll skip that first bit and start with the successful part instead. ;)
I should point out, in case you're not aware, that I don't really know how to sew. This is the first thing I have ever made, so this tutorial is designed for beginners. I'm sure there are better ways of doing things but this is what worked for me. :) I chose slip-covers over just recovering the cushions, which I think is probably more difficult (if you picked the original covers apart, you'd have a pattern to work from at least), but slip-covers are removable and washable, which is what you want for a piece of furniture that's probably going to get spit up on on a regular basis.
I began by removing the back cushion from the glider, laying it out on my new fabric and cutting two pieces of fabric big enough to make a slip cover.
With the two pieces of fabric pattern to pattern (if they'd been sewed together already, the cover would be inside out), I tacked all the way around the edges. Tacking, in case you are as much of a beginner as me, is very loose, hand-sewed temporary stitching designed to hold the seam until it's properly sewn.
You could probably pin instead, but I thought this was a more fool-proof way of making sure that when I sewed it on the machine, it would be a good fit.
Keeping the cover inside out, I removed the cushion and used my machine to sew all around the sides and top, leaving the bottom open. When that was done, I turned it the right way around and put the cushion back in to test the fit...
...and felt very proud of myself and started to think that this might not be as impossible as I originally thought! (If you get to this point and it's not perfect, it's easy to fix - see how I made alterations on the seat cushion below.)
To close the bottom of the cushion, I folded the fabric under and ironed along the seams...
these), but if I did this again, I'd use Velcro like I did on the seat cushion (see below) because I think it looks tidier when the slip cover is on the cushion. Sorry, no picture of this step, but I promise it's very straight-forward - just sew a few on at intervals along the bottom edges of the opening. I also sewed the edges (a couple of inches on either side) with the machine. I did a better job on the seat cushion than the back cushion for this step, so I'll explain this part better later on.
Next, I made ties to secure the cushion to the glider frame. I copied what was on the original cushion by first ironing two long strips of fabric so they'd be easy to sew like so...
Then I sewed them on the machine...
Then I hand-sewed them onto the back of the slip-cover so that they'd be in the right place to tie on to the chair back.
The Seat Cushion:
The seat cushion went pretty much the same way as the back cushion. The only difference was that because it was thicker, I had to make a few little adjustments.
Again, I began by removing the seat cushion from the glider and laying it out on the floor between two wrong-way-round pieces of fabric. I then pinned along the back on the cushion in a straight line. I hadn't needed to do this for the back cushion because it was easier to see that the pattern was straight with the thinner cushion. Obviously, if you're using a solid, it wouldn't be so important.
Speaking of corner folds (which I'm sure is not the technical term), I pinned them in place as I tacked the edges:
I trimmed the excess fabric:
The Arm Cushions:
Like I said, I haven't finished the arm cushions yet. I actually only finished the seat at 10 last night (which is past my bed time as it is), and it's taken me till now to write up this post, so I'll get to it later. Having done the two big cushions though, I have a much better idea of how to tackle the arms, so I'm definitely not as intimidated as I was! I'll update this post/tutorial when they're done.
Before & After:
Want another look at how far we've come?
Imagine the Possibilities Challenge gave me! (Thanks to bloggy friend Linda at It All Started With Paint for introducing me to it!)
Here are a few more pictures for your viewing pleasure...
Oh, and I might have been able to get some better photos had I not had a problem with trains appearing and wanting to "Say cheese!" :)