Slip Covers and Feather Pillows

Before Christmas I made slip covers for the couch and chair in our living room, and made some feather pillows for the couch.  The furniture had belonged to my Grandmas and  they were a gold/green that several of my friends thought was an awesome color. It wasn’t terrible and I lived with it for over half a year.  But I really wanted my furniture white, and when I got invited to be part of a Holiday House Walk I knew I had to get my living room looking like I really wanted it to look.

homeschool-14Here is a pic that shows the color of the couch and chair before I slip covered them.

slipcovered sofa and chair-7And after.  I used white duck cloth for the couch.  I bought 10 yards of fabric and it took all of it to cover this couch!  And that didn’t include the ruffle or the pillows.  The ruffle and pillows are made of white Belgian linen that I’ve had on hand for a while just waiting for the right project to use it on.

slipcovered sofa and chair-8

Since there wasn’t enough duck cloth to do the chair too, and I didn’t want to make another trip to the fabric store I decided to use this grey striped linen that I’ve been hoarding for a few years.  I love this linen and I made a couple of things out of it but the bulk of it has been languishing in my fabric stash.  I decided this was the perfect project for it – I would be able to enjoy the fabric I loved every single day.  The ruffle is the same Belgian linen as the ruffle on the couch.

slipcovered sofa and chair-6

Linen is my favorite fabric to work with.  It has enough body to drape nicely, it sews up wonderfully and it looks good a bit rumpled.  Perfect for slipcovers.  It also washes up beautifully too.

living room winter 2014-4I left the edges of the ruffles raw and sewed the ruffle on top of the main slip cover.

living room winter 2014-5For the seat cushion of the chair I cut the outer strip twice as long as needed and ruffled both edges before sewing it to the top and bottom pieces of the cushion cover.  I like the added texture.

living room decor for winter 2014-9The pillows I made for the couch are 24×24 and are filled with feathers.  I didn’t have time to find feather shams to stuff my covers with and I didn’t want to spend the money.

slipcovered sofa and chair-1So I pulled out 2 king size bed pillows I wasn’t using.  I bought them at IKEA to use on our bed just for looks when the bed was made.  But I ended up not liking the look all that well and wasn’t really using them.  I made 3 pillow shams out of drop cloth fabric and stuffed them with the feathers from the big pillows.

slipcovered sofa and chair-5I would totally recommend this option if you can’t find feather inserts the size you want for a reasonable price.  The bed pillows were only $10 each if I remember right.  HOWEVER!  I would NOT recommend making your inserts out of drop cloth.  The drop cloth is not woven tight enough and the feathers are quite rapidly finding their way through the insert and the covers I made and making a mess :(  I would recommend buying a very tight woven cotton or polyester fabric to use to make the inserts, then fill with feathers.

slipcovered sofa and chair-2Prepare to make a mess.  Use a large uncluttered surface if possible and do this during nap time or after the kids are in bed for the night.  Or when they are at Grandma’s.  Or have your husband take them out for supper.  Anything that keeps them out-of-the-way till the project is finished and the mess is cleaned up!

slipcovered sofa and chair-4

Feathers drift and fly EVERYWHERE.

slipcovered sofa and chair-3Don’t even try to keep things neat and no feathers on the floor.  Just get the job done as quickly as possible and then clean up.  You will sweep and sweep and sweep.  And then you will sweep and sweep and sweep some more.  And some more.  But it is worth it in the end if it saves you some money :)

I have discovered since then that IKEA carries a 26×26 feather insert.  For $12.99.  I will be purchasing 3 of them my next trip there.  And I will do something else with these feathers at a later date!  At least my couch looked like I wanted it to for the holidays!  And it isn’t so horrible it isn’t livable for a few more weeks till I get to IKEA again after I have the money saved for the new shams 😀

And for a few other slip cover projects I’ve done in the past I’ve added some pics with links to the posts about them.  I didn’t realize just how many slip cover projects I’ve done over the past few years!
ottoman slipcover

Ottoman Slipcovers – more than one fabric and style so go check out the original post!

small chair slipcoverOne of my first slip covered chairs.  You must go see the before in the original post!
olivias couch_edited-1

First slip cover project for someone else! The ruffled ottoman, the couch and the chair in the next pic!


This chair was a fun one – you need to see the back of it too – go see the original post!

chair makeover 12

This chair and ottoman is still one of my favorites.  I just love how the finished project looked.  I really wanted to keep this one!chairs 7

These chairs are covered in white duck cloth.  It was this project and the next one that I did for a client that made me want my own couch covered in duck cloth.

slipcovered sofa

 This couch goes so cute with the chairs above.

ironstone nest slipcover-23


And this bench – I went to Wisconsin to do this project!  You can read more about that in the original post.  This one was white duck cloth too and it sealed my decision to use duck cloth on my couch.

There have been others that I don’t have pics of now.  I have slip covered 2 other couches and a love seat of my own in the past and a chair and ottoman for a friend.  And several other ottomans along the way that I’ve either sold or done for friends.  And I have a couple of slip cover projects on my calendar for this year 😀

Do you have slip covers?  Did you buy them?  Make them? Have them made?  What do you like/dislike about your slipcovers?


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  1. says

    You are so talented! I love the slipcovers you’ve made. I keep telling myself I’m going to learn to sew with a machine one day and take a class on how to make them myself. I adore slipcovers on everything! Yours are so pretty and have unique designs to them too. Lordy, I couldn’t believe the mess with those feathers! I bet you had a tough time cleaning all that up. Glad you were able to repurpose those pillows though. Wish you lived closer to me so you could teach me or even make me some.

    • says

      Kelly I wish too I were close enough to teach you to sew! It’s really not hard, just start with something simple – a pillow is very easy! I keep thinking I will do a tutorial on how to make a simple pillow cover – need to get that done – maybe I could ‘teach’ you online! We could always skype too!

  2. says

    A M A Z I N G !
    You ROCK at slipcovers, Jill!
    I am so happy that you are making time to slipcover your own furniture! Your home looks fabulous!

    • says

      LOL! Yes, the feather mess was a bit like glitter! But I got it done and got the look I wanted – now I’ll just keep sweeping up feathers now and then till I get inserts that are made out of tighter woven fabric than drop cloth. Sometimes using what you have on hand isn’t the best option!

  3. JaneEllen says

    Love them all Jill but my very favorite was grey striped chair cover. I like just little bit of color that was still very hushed looking, blends in so well with white duck cloth on other pieces. Duck cloth is a very nice fabric for budget with a coupon at Hobby Lobby. The tucking on chair cushion cover is wonderful and the ruffle. Really enjoyed your other covers also, you have a way for knowing what style each piece of furniture needs. Being able to use linen is a prized luxury, wonderful way to use your saved fabric.
    You must have had an abundance of patience dealing with those feathers. Think I’d have wanted to run away, patience is not my best quality at this point in life (if ever, lol). Happy weekend

  4. Pam Ballard says

    You are one talented woman. I don’t sew never learned. I long to learn someday. Guess it better be soon if I am ever to learn. Love your work,home, and blog. Have a great weekend. I also enjoy following on instagram.

  5. brenda says

    wow no too sure whether I am most impressed with how lovely all your projects are or the energy you have to do all these things. I am most curious how the double gathering and the piping turned out so great. getting the gathers to co-ordinate with each other is quite an accomplishment and then piping too.
    I would be in the hospital if I got into all that feather storm/blizzard.

    • says

      Brenda, there isn’t piping on my slip covers. If it looks like it in the photos it is probably the piping on the original covers showing through the new ones! I like piping and my hubby would have like it if I put it on but I just wasn’t in the mood to do all that extra work!

    • says

      You know Debbie – I am sure that most anything done with a sewing machine could be done with a glue gun 😉 Just depends how ‘fine’ the finished product needs to be! I’ve used my glue gun as short cut quite often!

  6. Marie W. says

    Jill—Two summers ago while yard sale-ing I came across a down/feather comforter priced at $5.00. At the time I was selling pillows in a local antiques store on consignment. I knew I could make some custom sized inserts for pillows I planned to make using my stash of vintage fabrics. You are braver than I as I knew I did not want the feather mess in my house. In the backyard, I opened the comforter and dumped the fill into two black garbage bags and immediately closed them tightly! I turned the ticking inside out and shook it and shook it and SHOOK it to eliminate as much mess as I could. I laid it out in the grass and using a yard stick and pencil marked off the inserts in the sizes I wanted. I used up the whole thing. After pinning each insert, I cut them out (doubled fabric) and took each inside and stitched the seams. Turned them back right sides out and started the refilling. I made seven pillow inserts and was able to leave all the mess out in the grass. It took a couple of weeks for the residual feathers to disappear. It was a long afternoon’s work but so worth it for 7 inserts @ 70 cents apiece and I reused all the materials. I was pretty proud of myself and would do it again in a minute (outside, that is! HA!). Happy sewing………….Marie

    • says

      Marie that is awesome! I think that is great that you used the ticking to make the forms and then stuffed the feathers from the comforter into the newly repurposed forms! I would have gone outside with my mess if it hadn’t been winter time. but I wanted it done NOW so I did it 😀 I have a Rainbow sweeper and it did a wonderful job of clean up – it just took awhile to get it all!

  7. says

    Jill….Great job. I’ve slipcovered a few things before…and I have to say, none of which looked this good. Great tips and fabulous job. Thank you for sharing on Twirl and Take a Bow! Join us again any Tuesday! ~Tammy

  8. says

    Lovely slipcovers!! Funny, I just made more feather pillows the exact same way, and what a mess!! I did it several years ago for the first time, but didn’t remember how messy it was. It definitely makes it nice getting the size and shape you want!!

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