transform your space into
your personal haven

a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation


editor's note 

o lounge 
o nourish 
o host


submit your ideas


house talk and more. don't be a wallflower! jump on over to the discussion boards.
other recent LOUNGE articles:
o Post-Posters: Better Ideas for Dressing Bare Walls
o 10 Tips for Furniture Foraging
o the Incredibly True Confessions of a First-time Homeowner
o crafty crafty: Make a Throw Pillow Cover

o On Weeding: School Stuff

copyright ©1999-2000

the Dining CHAIR Slipcover Debacle,  
a cautionary tale |
  1 2 3 4

Most days I consider myself pretty crafty (in the strictly Martha Stewart-y sort-of-way, of course, as opposed to sneaky and diabolical). I can make pillows and futon covers, re-furbish a nasty old secondhand lamp, re-upholster a basic chair – and though admittedly, my techniques may be amateurish, I like to think that the results are generally fairly acceptable, aesthetically-speaking anyway. So when my boyfriend and I recently snagged 6 nicely-shaped and sturdy dining chairs for the bargain price of $80 total, I didn’t hesitate to declare that the fact that they were covered in a weird vinyl(!) upholstery wouldn’t be a problem: I’d just make slipcovers for all of them. So what if my sewing experience thus far had been limited to pillows and futon covers?

Confidence can carry you a long, long way in this world. But there’s a lot to be said for having an awareness of one’s limitations – because in some instances, it can save you a lot of time, a lot of effort, and a lot of wasted anger spent cursing at the damn fabric for bunching up in places that were supposed to lay perfectly flat. Here’s the sad, sad story of what went wrong when one overly-assured girl endeavored to take on more than her meager skills could handle …

Step One: Making a Pattern
Every book I consulted suggested that I should buy cheap muslin fabric and use it to create a pattern for my slipcover. Since I figured that no matter how cheap the muslin might be, it couldn’t possibly beat the bargain price of $1.25 for a queen-size sheet purchased from my local Value Village thrift shop, I used the sheet instead. I began by making a sketch to determine how many pieces of fabric I’d need (8), and where they’d join together. I’d like to say that I then proceeded to take measurements of the seat back, chair bottom, etc., in order to determine the precise sizes for each piece of fabric I’d be using, but, frankly, I’d be lying. Nope, me being the lazy home decorator that I am, I went with my usual eyeballing method, holding up the fabric to the chair and roughly cutting out chunks of fabric that seemed approximately the right size and shape.

the tale continues ...


---------------------------> lounge . nourish . host . laze . home.