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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Custom Dining Room Slip Covers

-Personalizing Your Style-

Nothing is more exciting than decorating your home and adding your own personal style to that design process. Throughout  the last few years I have made a variety of dining room slip covers and I wanted to share a few of those images with you, as well as show the various styles available for you to choose from in the event that you are interested in having slip covers made for yourself.

This morning as I meandered the internet for slip covers for chairs I found quite a variety. This is also consistent with the variety of requests I receive from customers, each one a bit more different than the last. In short, I can pretty much make any type of chair cover. Knowing what my customers are looking for when it comes to style helps a great deal but despite that, I am always happy to help guide those that need it through the design and ordering process because I know it can be rather overwhelming. 

The time I invest in putting together the project details behind the scenes once your measurements have been received including the yardage that will be calculated, fabric picked, and creating a pattern to fit your style requests take a decent amount of time on my part and so it is my hope that this particular post will serve to lead you through some of the basics so that by the time you are ready to contact me for an order, you already have an idea of what you would like in the way of style.

The chair style for your dining room chair covers is either going to be the general Parsons styled chair, or other. If it is different, then I require an image, and you are free to send that along via etsy or via email (Craftzies@gmail.com). I just ask that you message me via etsy-my favorite mode of communication when it comes to orders on Craftzies-and let me know you have emailed me an image. 

Knowing the quantity of slip covers you are looking for is necessary when determining the fabric you would like for two important reasons. First, I need to make sure there is enough fabric available for the project you are interested in and I cannot do that until I know how many slip covers you need. This mainly comes into play with upholstery fabrics at local shops such as Mill End where they purchase a limited supply of a particular fabric and they either have enough of the print you are interested from their availability at their one store, or between their two stores.

If the shop does not have enough of the fabric you have selected in order to fulfill your request, you can either decide to mix that fabric up with another fabric, or go with another fabric print altogether in which the yardage needed is available for your entire order. The second reason why the quantity is needed in order to determine the yardage is because multiples of slip covers in conjunction with upholstery fabrics picked, ends up leading to less yardage needed for the project. That means that if you want one upholstery slip cover you may find it requires two and a half to three yards of fabric in order to complete the project but the request for a set of six may in the end require only 14-15 yards of fabric.

Measurements are essential for determining the specific yardage needed though many customers ask what the general yardage is for one slip cover, and also for multiples up to sets of 8 and I would say you are looking at about 3 yards of medium weight cotton fabric needed for a parsons styled slip cover that is full length with a draw string, hidden elastic or side ties to cinch up the back. That does not include the fabric needed for a set of 4 rosettes in back which is about  an additional half yard and usually an alternate fabric option. Slip covers that have arms also require around half to ¾ yards of fabric to cover the arms per slip cover.

Fabrics that are on the bolt usually have a width of around 44/45” and require more yardage than the wider fabrics that are of upholstery quality. The general yardage needed, based on my project notes, is about 15-16 yards of fabric for a set of 8 full length upholstery slip covers. If you were interested in a set of 6 to 8 slip covers in medium weight cotton fabric with a print, you can expect a minimum of 2.75-3 yards of fabric per slip to compensate for the narrower width and the pattern being matched up throughout.

If the chair style you are looking to cover differs from that of a standard parsons styled chair then I really like to have an image of your chair, whether it is an image you pulled off line from the manufacturer or one you took yourself. Many customers like to save themselves some time and send over the measurements from the manufacturer. Images are fine but I usually ask for additional measurements as what they provide is usually just so you know if the chairs will fit under a table or in the space you have, and are not enough to get a solid fit on my part when making your new slip covers.

The fabric you pick will determine not only the yardage needed, but if more than one bolt of fabric is needed for the project as you can expect about 12-15 yards of fabric on bolts in the fabric stores. In some cases they may have less though places like Joann’s usually carries about 14-15 on full bolts when they arrive in the stores (that’s what they say at least). Again, upholstery fabric in quantities yields less yardage needed, fabrics on the bolt as opposed to the rolls usually has a narrower width and that-along with fabric patterns in which the pattern needs to be matched up-alters the yardage needed. In many cases customers like to send me fabrics they have picked and I have no problems with that. You will see details on ordering and sending fabrics and such in my other blog posts, and I have listed those below for quick reference.

Upholstery Fabrics- http://www.craftzies.blogspot.com/2012/07/upholstery-fabrics.html

Fabric Bolts! Fabric Bolts!- http://www.craftzies.blogspot.com/2012/07/fabric-bolts-fabric-bolts.html


The real question is what style you are interested in? Here are some options to ponder:

Full Length Slip Cover-This style offers a straight, simply skirt with a cinch in the center back that is by way of a drawstring, hidden elastic or side ties.

Short and Simple Slip Cover-This style is similar to that of the Full Length Slip Cover described above however the skirt on this is much shorter, falling anywhere from about 6”-12” in length. The skirt can be gathered, pleated or with all sorts of frills and other such details as well.

Chair Back Slip Cover-This is a style in which only the back of the chair is covered. This requires much less fabric and prices are lower than the full length versions.

Seat Slip Covers-This style is where only the chair seat is covered, attached via ties or snaps.

 These slip covers are usually machine washable and can be made in solid colored medium weight cotton, medium weight cotton print, or even an upholstery fabric. Prices for solid cotton is the lowest price, cotton prints slightly higher, and then upholstery is priced higher. Upholstery fabrics picked are priced slightly differently than the cotton fabrics chosen in which I charge you for the fabric needed and then a flat rate for the work. You can also expect to pay the shipping fees that the postal service charges me and in some cases I am able to offer you an estimate of what shipping costs will be. My price is around $15-$20 per slip cover for the work, not including materials or shipping for upholstery fabrics, and I have on Craftzies an estimate of around $55+ for slip covers in upholstery weight fabric as fabric priced around $17/ yard + ends up being around that $55 for a finished, full length slip cover similar to what you see in teh images below.

Whether you would like a shorter chair skirt, a simple no-frill styled skirt, tiered layers, zippers to cinch up the slip cover backs, draw string to cinch, hidden elastic, side ties, or something entirely different, together we can design something perfect for your slip covers.

For example, the customer who ordered this set of slip covers had a set of twins and opted for the hidden elastic in order to cinch the back up because she didn’t want her boys to go around pulling out the ties in back whenever she wasn’t looking. Hidden elastic in back solved any potential problems there.

This customer only wanted the back of her chairs covered, and she needed them to be tight because her cat was on a personal mission to destroy the chair backs. A tight weave from an espresso suede cloth and wide wraps around side ties with a big button solved continued cat destruction.

Here are a few more from previous orders to give you an idea of fabric choices and styles.

The budget you are working with is also important to keep in mind when planning your project. Upholstery fabrics tend to run about $17+ per yard, and you are looking at about 2.5-2.75 yards on average for one full length slip cover and around 12.5-13.5 for sets of 6, and about 15-16 yards for sets of 8, give or take a bit based on additional details. Medium weight fabrics in solids are usually the most economical based on price per yard, especially when comparing those prices to the yardage for upholstery weight fabrics, and prints that are more referred to as quilters cottons have a tendency to require around 3 solid yards per slip cover and that does not decrease all that much when you increase the quantities because of the narrower width and in the case of prints, the extra materials needed in order to compensate in that regard.


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