Blast to the past

Last week I experienced a blast to the past of my former life. Years ago, I was a drapery and slipcover maker, and when my friend Rochelle heard that, she asked me to “help her” make slipcovers for her hide-a-bed. These things are really heavy but we moved it out from the wall all by ourselves!

She didn’t have a clue where to start but was just going to start cutting and somehow, magically make the fabric fit. That’s where I came in. We have to make piping – a slipcover isn’t worth making unless you put piping in the seams!  I showed her how to make continuous bias piping. We made 25 yards of piping from 27″ of fabric. (One of these days I will show you how to make continuous bias piping!)

Next we cut the fabrics for all the sections of the sofa – the inside back, the inside arms, outside arms, outside back, the front deck, and the skirt. And we started sewing…you can see Rochelle’s sewing room in the back. It used to be a living room but the light here was much better than it was in the rest of the house, so she got rid of the living room… (sounds reasonable)

I cut out the front curls separately so I could position the birds where I wanted them. The front curls of slipcovers have piping on them

Here’s what they look like pressed and ready to sew to the sofa

We did the same with the back piece, piping on the edge all around, then sew it onto the back

The tired looking cushions will have new Dacron wrapped around them to give them their ooomph back.

Here is the slipcovers finished! Just in time for Rochelle’s big party – a 70th wedding anniversary for her in-laws.

I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed this little blast to the past, and helping with these slipcovers. I guess it is true that once you really learn a skill, you never really forget how to do it!

8 replies
  1. Camille from California
    Camille from California says:

    This is gorgeous! Rachelle is lucky to have you as a friend. 🙂 Where did you learn how to sew draperies and upholstry? That seems like a hard thing to do.

  2. Beverly Johnson
    Beverly Johnson says:

    Soon Karen soon! I'll be back to blogging about bras very soon. lately i have been working on bikini patterns and those have eaten up my spare time. Power bars you say? Yes, I think I could manage that!

  3. Karen from Baltimore
    Karen from Baltimore says:

    yes it's beautiful! Can we have a new bra-related blog post???? I'm going through withdrawal. Can you speak about the "power bar?" What is it, how it works, etc?? Many thanks O Bra Mistress On High!

  4. Beverly Johnson
    Beverly Johnson says:

    Oh yes, I did slipcovers and draperies for 24 years! As for the piping, it isn't worth doing unless you add piping! I hope you try sewing one on your own one of these days!

  5. Lyndle
    Lyndle says:

    This came up looking great! I learnt several things fron this: that you used to make slipcovers, that slipcovers can be piped, and even more important, that they're not intended to be shapeless beige things that you buy cheapand throw over your decrepit dorm sofa. Revelations abound!


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