A while back, we were fortunate to inherit a sofa from my Father-In-Law’s Mother’s estate (say that three times fast) when she passed. Yep, it’s a dead Grandma’s couch! However, it is a custom made Norwalk sofa, practically new in every way, and nicer than anything I could ever afford. As we loaded it up to take home, Sam’s little brother Nick said “Jenny, just remember, my Grandma had to die so you could have this couch!” We all had a good laugh over that one!
I would personally like to thank Marianne for the couch (sorry about the dying part).
I love the design. The couch has good bones. But Good Lord, that is some garish Grandma fabric covering that thing!! All I think when I see it is “Florida Retirement Community” along with red hats, purple scarves, and knick-knacks. No folks, it’s not just covered in extra large floral print, it’s extra large floral on jacquard. That’s like Grandma x2! That’s Grandma squared!! It’s got color, it’s got texture…
…it’s a whole lot more than I can handle.
Whoa Nelly!! Clear the baby out of the room! Call a priest!
I took on the project with ferocity. This was officially my third slipcovering project. First, I covered a 70’s wing chair that was a cast-off from my Aunt Farel in an off-white chenille. A success, but man, it was a nightmare to complete. If I stare at it too long I start to get mad. I purchased a bare minimum amount of yardage so the cover ended up really tight where the arms meet the back. You will see I have a pattern of making things too tight.
See it? Right there behind the guitar-wielding man of my dreams?
Next, I tried my luck at a $30 thrift store couch. I found a paisley fabric (yes paisley, but it was pretty neutral) and actually did a full reupholster job on it. I absolutely loved it for about a week till the couch frame broke in the middle and it was beyond fixable.
My husband is going to love that I posted this:
that’ll be our secret.
My brother-in-law used that old broken couch as a bed for about 8 months till he bought his own house down the street.
A lot of work went out the window pretty quick. We threw that one on the curb, and a neighbor had it picked up within the hour ( I hope whoever is sitting on it now can appreciate all the sweat and tears that went into that one; as they sink to the center, that is).
My advice: Make sure the sofa is structurally sound before you go all crazy buying fabric and sewing yards and yards of welting.
Enter the white couch:
(Country Living Magazine)
I’ve always wanted a white couch.
So clean looking, so fresh; a perfect canvas for fun throw pillows. There’s something about a white couch that just makes me feel good inside. Maybe it’s just me or maybe it’s just Pottery Barn, but a white couch says so much. Sometimes it says “Come, sit, I’ve got Kenny G coming over for lunch” or sometimes it says “Don’t even think about putting your feet on me!”
After years of flipping through magazines, I came across an article in Country Living with Rachel Ashwell on decorating with white couches. She said how great they were, how easy to maintain…no fuss, no hassle. Simply slipcovered, and when they get dirty, “You just throw them in the wash!”
I can do that. I will sacrifice a few more loads of laundry a year if it means I can live with my children and my dream couch.
This is doable.
So, off to the fabric store I went. I think that Jesus really willed this to happen because I happened to find an entire bolt of white cotton duck marked down to $2/yard because it had a grease mark that ran every couple of feet or so down the bolt. See? There is no coincidence with God.
I figured I could work around it or maybe if I was lucky it would wash out. I purchased the fabric and left quickly before they could say the price was a mistake and went home to get started. The only compromise I made was a patterned piece on the seat cushions. I chose a stripe with my favorite shade of green (pea soup=love) and a little brown. Something is inevitably going to spill and I wanted to give myself a fighting chance.
I opted to remove the arm pillows, as I felt they bulked up the couch and I preferred the clean lines of the sofa frame. I wanted a nice, clean skirt with corner pleats and just one pleat in the center. Only issue, like all things fabric, I tend to go too small. Whether it’s the fit of my pants, the bust in my cardigan, or the cover on my couch; it’s just a smidge too tight!
I am in denial of my true size, I think. Actually, I know. But that’s another story for another post. Look under the tag “gym” or “weight loss.” Oh that’s right, they don’t exist.
…But I digress.
I would have liked a more relaxed, looser fit than I got. But overall, I am pleased. Since I am fairly experienced at slipcovering furniture, I’d say the project went pretty well. The end result was sofa heaven. Just what I had envisioned, and all for under $60 bucks! Now that doesn’t happen every day.
Goodbye flowers. Goodbye Jacquard.
She’s been through the water, and she’s come out clean!
(pictured here with her sister, wing chair, on the left)
We’ve had a white sofa for almost two years now, and I’m happy to report that it has fared well. I think that I would have chosen a heavier fabric if I had to do it again. I’ve read several articles about using inexpensive painter’s dropcloths, but when I checked them out they just seemed a little too rough for lounging on. I wash it once in a while, less than I should I suppose, but I’m lazy about laundry and I knew that before I made the commitment.
I remember when I first finished the slipcover, I put it on the couch, and stood back in awe.
*glistening tear*so beautiful.
Then I let the dogs in.
It was raining outside and they both ran in and rubbed themselves all the way around the sofa!
AAAAAAAHHH!! FREAKING DOGS!!At that moment, I thought FOR SURE the couch was ruined, but it just turned out that it needed another wash. I am quite surprised just what has come out of this thing:
…and that’s why I say Jesus willed this couch into existence. Thank You Lord. Amen.
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