Oops! Your Slip is Showing

Last weekend Steve had to work in Atlanta and we also had some dear friends’ open house party to go to.   Usually when he’s up there for work I take the opportunity to tag along and get some shopping done “in the big city”.  This time while Steve was working I decided to hang out at my Dad’s house and getting a long overdue project checked off the list.  I made my very first slip-cover.  :)

I’ve been sewing since I was about 11.  I’ve made clothes, crafty things, bags & purses, accessories, pillows, box cushions, drapes and other window treatments, but never a slip-cover.

Yep, that’s really me at age 12 sewing! I think I was making a drawstring skirt.

The slip-cover thing totally freaked me out.  I think it’s because I hate to waste things…especially things like fabric.  It’s expensive and I’ve been afraid I’d mess it up.

My goal is to eventually make slip-covers for two armchairs we have in our living room.  But, I thought I’d start small…with an ottoman.

Our master bathroom is pretty large, and since we made the X leg wooden bench a few months ago I’ve had a footstool just sitting in a closet.  I thought if I could make a slip-cover for it out of white terry cloth, it might be kind of neat to have in the bathroom.  Just a little place to sit while you’re getting dressed or putting lotion on your legs. :)   Since the slip-cover would be made of terry cloth I could just toss it into the laundry whenever I needed to.

I shopped all over for white terry cloth.  Not only is it difficult to come by, it’s expensive.  When I was finally able to find terry cloth in a thickness I liked it was about $18 per yard.  Really?  That’s a bit excessive, don’t you think.  I really wanted to keep this project under $20.  I finally decided to just use white towels.  Not only was a it a little bit of a cheat, because I didn’t have to hem them, they had some nice detail along the edges too.  I found some fairly plush white towels at WalMart for less than $4 each.  I used three towels for this slip-cover.  So the grand total for this project came in at around $12.  Niiice!

I washed the towels in hot water and dried them in the dryer before I started this project.  THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT STEP.  DO NOT BE TEMPTED TO SKIP IT.

I started by measuring the top rectangle of the stool, added 1/2″ to the measurement all around, then cut out my first piece.

Since the ottoman is made up of only rectangles, I just repeated my measuring and cutting until I had all of the pieces I needed.    I had to finish-hem the sides of the the little inner flaps of the skirt piece, so I went ahead and did that before I pieced it together.

From there it was just a matter of pinning, and pinning, and pinning some more.  If you are doing this project…remember, at this point, you are working with it all inside out.  So all of the “raw” edges will be on the outside.

Next up, I just stitched this little lady together.  Since it was terry cloth and I needed to seal up those ravelly edges I first did a loose zig-zag stitch.  Then I did a tighter straight stitch over it to hold all of the seams well.

Tadahhh!  Here she is all finished and in place.

I had such glamorous visions for this little stool when I was working on her.  I just imagined her with a nice tray of rolled towels on top, or covered with a little vignette of pretty soaps and bottles of lotions.  Maybe some perfumes or a vase of flowers would adorn her.

Nope.  In reality she has been claimed by our cat, Seamus, as his new spot.

He’s a fairly old fella and this stool gets him high enough off of the floor to be safe from puppy nibbles and rough housing, but it’s not too high for his old bones to jump up on – like our beds.

So the reality is…even though this stool is slip-covered in towels I still keep another towel laid over the top to catch all of the cat hair from the master shedder.  He has yet to vacate his princely perch for me to sit on it.  :)

Real life.

I am so pleased with my first attempt at making a slip-cover.  It took about three and half hours from set up to clean up.  The price was right at $12.  And it does look nice in our master bath, even if it is only topped with an old stripedy cat.

I’m still a little wary of doing those arm chair slip-covers.  I think I can. I think I can.  But I just might wait for back-up.  Projects like that are more fun with friends anyway.