Advanced slipcover styles and techniques from Pat Reese

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Boring but Useful: How I charge for cushion inserts

1. From the supplier's price list,find the cost of foam.
2. If  using more than one sheet, figure cost of total number of sheets.  Sheets are 24" x 80"
3. Multiply the above cost by two.
4. Add $10 per cushion for wrap, if the cushion is polyester wrapped.  Some suppliers will do this.. If so, get their price for wrap.Multiply by two for total labor cost.
6. Add total from #4 and total from #6. This will be the customer's cost for an insert. 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Help from the Slipcover Network for all of us

Slipcover Network does wonderful things.  here's a shot of their newest design contest winner:


Slipcover Network's pricing information  
(only $10 per chart)
is just what custom slipcover makers need to find out what others in their region are charging for their work.

Keep up the good work, folks!!!  everybody loves ya.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Slipcover Design Contest and slipcover summit is the site for info on this week's slipcover summit.  An annual event for professional and would-be professional slipcover makers, it is happening in Nashville this year. Hosts are Anna Davis and Linda Willken.
Slipcover Summit and Slipcover Network organizer and chairman is Karen Erickson.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

New fabric sources A new fabric source is offering fabrics and also custom made items, like slipcovers, bedding ensembles, pillows, and window coverings.  They offer do-it-yourself items, designer info, and full service help. 
The front page is in "shockwave" format and I couldn't get the "sign up" buttons to work so I was not able to go any further on their site.  If anybody figures this out, please let me know.

At you can see denims, canvas, embossed cottons and twills, all good for making slipcovers in any style. Prices are from $8.95 to $10.95 a yard. They offer hundreds of styles from companies like P. Kaufman, Robert Allen, Waverly, Kravet and Duralee.  Also outdoor fabrics.

It's not a new site, but offers articles on fabrics of all kinds, from vintage quilting to covering barstools. This is an information site, the kind we like.

That's all for now.  Share your favorite fabric site info?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

estimating yardage for slipcovers

There is a particularly complete and easy-to-understand method for estimating how much fabric you will need for a slipcover.from Claudia Buchanan

A classic upholstery yardage chart  is another good way to go. Since slips take more than upholstery you will want to add a couple of yards, or maybe three if you are matching a pattern.  But this chart is a good one to copy or download for future reference.

I have always used the yardage estimates that I learned years ago from Mr. Bazer.  That yardage chart, along with my labor prices is available on my primary website.

One-way stripes and prints are always going to require more fabric than solid color fabrics do.  If I have a central pattern for each cushion and for inside and outside back, I add about 50% to any estimate for yardage.  That is, if my cushions are wider than half a fabric width, (27") or if the pattern is a dropped pattern.  To put it another way, I need more fabric if I have to cut each side of a cushion out of the middle of a pattern or stripe.

Another reason to add 50% to your yardage estimate is if the fabric is less than 48 inches wide.  Some expensive prints have very wide margins on the side and so the fabric width doesn't matter.  For instance, if there is a border printed on one or both sides of the print.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

French dining chairs

This chair is all curves.  In order to fit the chair smoothly the cover has to have a flat piece at the sides of the back and also for the apron around the seat.  The apron is cut to match the curves on the bottom of the chair with an extra one inch of length to make sure that it covers the wood.

here is a close-up of the seat.  The apron has to extend around to the back to attach with hook & loop fasteners.  Since the fabric is patterned there will not be any extra buttons or trims except for a flat welt in all of the seams.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

what's wrong with these cushions?

These are nice cushions, and the quilted fabric is luxurious and comfortable, even though the cord is worn through in places.

BUT .......

The cord on these cushions has a jute core, such as upholsterers use.  It has worn out the cording from the inside, since the cord was covered with a lightweight chintz fabric.

If you cover your welt cord with fabric cut in the direction of  the grain of your fabric it will always be "wavy" like this.  Use bias strips (preferably cut at true bias, or 45 degrees) and join them with seams that are diagonal instead of straight across the cord. Free instructions for cutting continuous welt cord can be found here