How to Make Your Slipcovers Fit - dummies

By Mark Montano, Carly Sommerstein

If you find that your slipcover doesn’t fit as perfectly as you’d hoped for, or if it’s doing a slip and slide when certain members of your family hop or jump on it, consider using a few of these tips:

  • Ties: Adding ties to the underside of a slipcover can help secure it. Attach two adjacent ties to the underside of your slipcover so that you can tie them underneath the furniture’s legs. Place your slipcover on your furniture, get down on the floor, and mark the area where you need to sew with a pin or chalk.

    You can sew your tie from fabric or use strong cord or twill tape. Each side of the tie needs to be about 6 inches long and about an inch wide.

  • Lycra: Adding a fabric made with Lycra, a wonderful synthetic stretch material, is like putting a giant rubber band around your slipcover. It helps your slipcover slide on and off and conform to your sofa or chair beneath. Consider adding some Lycra in the center back of your slipcover, or in other unseen areas, to gain a better fit. If you can find one that matches your slipcover’s color, you’re really in luck! You can replace one panel in the back area with Lycra, sewn to your other panels as you would any fabric.

  • Closures: You can add zippers and other closing devices to cushions, or to the back corners of sofas or chairs to allow for a better fit, especially if your sofa, loveseat, or armchair is wider on top than at the bottom. Adding a bit more seam allowance along seams that will be treated with closing devices is helpful, so add a minimum 1/2-inch more when you’re planning your pieces.

    • Zippers: When adding a zipper, extend it from just below the top of the slipcover down to a 1/2-inch above the bottom edge. Put your slipcover back on the sofa or chair inside out. Measure your zipper by pulling the open seams together and pinning the end of the measuring tape to the top of the open area. Then measure down the length of the seam to a 1/2-inch from the slipcover’s bottom.

    • Snaps or Velcro: If zippers aren’t your thing, you can add a few snaps, or even pick up some snap tape, which is just snaps sewn onto a strip of fabric. You can even use Velcro to secure your slipcover. If you plan to treat this area with snaps or Velcro, plan your fabric allowance, so that one side overlaps the other. Take this overlap into consideration when you’re creating your patterns.

    • Ribbons and grommets: Another creative way to close up the flaps at the sides or back of a sofa slipcover is to lace them together with a pretty decorative ribbon that runs through grommets.

    • Frogs (but no toads): Another way to secure your slipcover is adding frogs, which are two-piece decorative cord closing devices that you sew on the slipcover’s face. Place your slipcover back on the furniture and close the frog so the two pieces are joined as one. Pin the frog on so that it closes the fabric, and then attach the frog to the fabric by hand or with a zigzag stitch on your sewing machine. If this unique closing device fits your decor, be sure to mirror them on each side.