The Great Cover-Up of 2011

I've been having so much fun with this little lady over the past three weeks....

That was last week and she was studying the pattern of the fabric on her burp cloth so intently that I'm sure she's going to be ready to start decorating before she can walk.

In the meantime, I've been doing some decorating of my own.  Our living room furniture consists of a slipcovered sofa, chair-and-a-half and ottoman.  Originally those slipcovers were a soft lime green denim and I loved them, but they shrunk a bit more each time they were washed.  With furry cats who think that the arm of the sofa or chair is THE place to wipe feet after coming in out of the rain and a not-so-furry husband with a penchant for salsa and other drippy foods, they needed washing quite often. And besides shrinking, they that they were eventually several different shades of green.  One day they were so dirty and spotted that I decided I would bleach them.  The result was brand new slipcovers in a lovely shade of butter yellow, only a bit deeper than the paint on the walls (which is called Popcorn White, by the way).

Apparently the reason for the uneven fading was some unstable blue dye in the green, which was completely removed by the bleach.  Of course, they still didn't fit.  The velcro which was supposed to close the back corners didn't even meet, so the artful use of a throw was necessary to cover the large gaps exposing their backsides. 

Of course, new slipcovers would be the appropriate solution, but custom-fitted slipcovers simply were not in the budget.  For a long time I'd looked at the drop cloth slipcovers available from Pottery Barn.  Right before my birthday in November, they went on sale and for once they actually came in a color and fabric that I liked...ivory twill.  So Fred agreed to let me order them as my birthday present.  Of course, they were on back-order...saying they wouldn't ship until mid-February.  Surprise!  The chair slipcover arrived the week before Christmas, but I couldn't recover just the chair!  The sofa slipcover arrived the week after Christmas, but by then Kaylee had arrived and we were much too excited and busy to worry about slipcovers.  Besides, it took me until February to get the Christmas tree out of the living room!

My next dilemma was what to do about the pillows.  Fred hated the fish-print pillows (outdoor pillows from PB purchased on clearance) and they weren't really what I wanted to go with the new slipcovers.  I had a Pottery Barn gift card that I'd already used to buy two new pillow covers for the family room sofa & love seat, but I still had some funds remaining on it.  The pillow covers I saw and liked online were a fern print (no longer available but shown in the background of this link) and this chair print and this calligraphy print.  When I got to the store, the fern print was only available in a 24" square and the others just didn't appeal to me.  What did were some block prints in shades of blue and green, but only one of them came in an 18" square which was the size of the three pillow inserts and four chenille pillows I already had.  I looked around and found that they had bundles of six 20"-square napkins, each with a different block print pattern.  If I bought two sets, I could sew them together and have covers for six pillows.  The original price per set had been $39, but they were marked down to $19.99 and when I got to the register, they rang up at $9.99 per set!  I still have money left on my gift card!

So, here we slipcovers and new pillow covers, too!  The picture still includes the awkwardly placed rug, which I've since rolled up and need to send out for cleaning.  I don't think it will make it back into the room, since all that fabric draped on the floor is a bit much.  I still need to add a closure method to the pillow covers, which I simply stitched around three sides along the already top-stitched hems, and about two inches in from the corners on the open side.  I bought nylon snaps...cheaper and easier than zippers.  I also need to make a slipcover for the ottoman, since PB doesn't have one that will work, but I've scouted out a print that will tie in with the pillow covers.  In the meantime, the chenille throw that hid the gaps in the back of the chair is draped over the ottoman.  The slipcovers are a bit short on the ends, but that's easily disguised by placing the furniture on an angle as I favorite arrangement in the room, actually.  And they're ready for their first wash this week, since they've already been "christened".  Hopefully I'll get the chair slipcover on more neatly after I've washed them.


  1. You did a grand job on the furniture, but I have to say that none of those pictures captures my fancy the way the first one of that adorable baby does! ;)

  2. Eileen, the yawn picture I posted on FB the other day was taken on the sofa with the slipcover and pillows. Perhaps that's the one I should have used today, but it's so blurry when it's enlarged! :)

  3. p.s.- Within two hours of publishing this post, Gracie (the cat) threw up on the sofa slipcover. It's in the washer now.

  4. Beautiful home and jewellery! Thanks for following my blog I am now following yours too :) Have a great day!

  5. Thanks Emily and Sophia...and welcome!


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