I’ve had an idea swirling around in my head for about a year now. I wanted to make a sew-easy slipcover for the bench in the dining room. I’ve looked at lots of decorator fabrics for the slipcover, but I couldn’t find anything that I felt worked with my rug. Then I had a lightbulb moment… why not use a dropcloth! They are so inexpensive and durable and a light neutral color I’m so fond of! Don’t you love when an idea becomes a real tangible thing… and is so much better than you ever imagined! This dropcloth slipcover was easy to make and I’m thrilled with the way it looks in my dining room. If you can sew a straight line you can make a bench slipcover! I’ll show you how…
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The dining room bench at StoneGable gets a whole lot of use! I bought a lovely bench from World Market. It is sturdy and has wheels, which makes it so easy to use. The detailing on the legs and base is beautiful!
Over the years I repainted the legs and reupholstered it to work with my ever evolving dining room! Now, it’s time to change it again!
From start to finish this dropcloth slipcover took a couple of hours (and that included ironing all those pleats!) If you try this project, and I hope you do, make sure to measure twice and cut once! You may also want to wash and dry the dropcloth to prevent it shrinking in the dryer when the finished slipcover is washed.
I tried to make the directions as easy as possible… and very detailed too! If you have done any sewing at all this should be a very easy project!
I bought a heavy duty painter’s dropcloth that measured 5 foot x 20 foot. I used the edges of the dropcloth to make the pleated ruffle because they were already hemmed! So much less work!
All seam allowances were 1/2 inch.
The slipcover cost under $20.00 and I have lots of dropcloth material left over to make pillows!
Let’s make a…
DROPCLOTH BENCH SLIPCOVER!
- 1 large painter’s dropcloth
1. Measure the length and width of bench you are slipcovering. Make sure you measure how long you want the dropcloth slipcover to hand over each side. The body of my finished slipcover measurements were 29 x 68 inches (without ruffle). Next, determine how long the ruffle should be. I wanted the ruffle on my slipcover to be 4 inches long.
Now let’s work on the dropcloth!
The edges of my dropcloth were hemmed so I used them to make the ruffle. I measured a 4 1/2 inch border (4 inch ruffle plus 1/2 inch seam allowance) around the dropcloth and marked the measurements on the dropcloth with a pencil.
I cut along the marked pencil lines. I ended up with 4 – 4 1/2 inch strips of hemmed dropcloth. Two long lengths and two shorter lengths. Set them aside.They will become the ruffle.
2 and 3. Now, let’s get a straight edge so we can cut out the body of the dropcloth slipcover. Near one long edge of the slipcover, cut a 1 inch slit. Holding the fabric with both hands, with the slit in between, rip the fabric into two pieces. The raw edge is now straight. This is the edge you will begin measuring for the body of slipcover.
Measure out the slipcover body and mark it on the dropcloth with a pencil.
Cut out the body of the slipcover adding 1/2 inch to each side of the dropcloth for seam allowances. I cut the body of my slipcover 30 x 69 inches.
4. Measure a 1/2 inch seam allowance around the edges of the slipcover. Mark the seam allowances with a pencil on the WRONG SIDE of the fabric. (I did this on my work table but forgot to take a picture of it until I had the body of the slipcover on the bench).
5. Put the body of the dropcloth slipcover on the bench WRONG SIDE UP and position it so that all sides are even.
My slipcover ended at the bottom of the wooden detail on the bench. The 1/2 inch seam allowance hung beyond that.
Start at one long side and pin the top of the slipcover to the upholstery as you position it properly. If you look carefully, you can see the little yellow heads of the pins. I did this to hold the slipcover to the bench once it was in the proper place.
6. Make the corners of the slipcover by pulling the corner fabric out and making a triangle. See image above. Make sure the edges at the bottom of the fabric match. Pin the fabric so it is taut. Do this on all four corners.
Make sure you can gently lift up the corners. If they are too tight or too loose adjust them so they easily glide off the corners, but still fit tightly.
7. Draw a straight line using the pins as a guide with dress chalk or a pencil.
8. Sew along the line making a neat corner. Do this to all four corners. Turn the body of the slipcover to the right side and put it on the bench making sure it fits. Adjust as needed.
Cut the excess material away from the corner leaving about a 1/2 inch raw edge to the seam.
9. Make the ruffle. Take the dropcloth slipcover off the bench and turn inside out. Use the cut lengths with the finished edges to make the ruffles.
With right sides and raw edges together, gather the ruffle onto the body of the slipcover. Make small pleats and pin each one.
I did not measure the width of the pleats, I just eyeballed it. Pin the ruffle around the edge of the entire slipcover body.
Sew the ruffle onto the slipcover using a 1/2 inch seam allowance.
Turn the dropcloth slipcover to the right side.
At this point, you can decide if you want to leave it naturally rumpled or ironed. And if you want a traditional ruffle or a pleated one. If you want a pleated ruffle iron each pleat with a hot iron.
Put the dropcloth slipcover on the bench and enjoy!!!!
I Scotchguarded my slipcover so spills will wipe off!
I think the two dining room chair are next! This project could be a little addictive!!!!
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