Hello Sewists

Here’s another of my (belated) #Refashioners2020 projects for the #usewhatyouhave theme. I posted a little while ago about a wine bag that I made into slippers, well, you can’t have thought that’s all I had planned! This time it’s sofa covers out of curtains. Let me tell you the story…

Once, a long, long time ago, MrA & I moved (briefly) from our Covent Garden flat to an apartment far-far-away… (Well, the Barbican, so not actually geographically very far away, but it might as well have been the other side of the world!). The apartment had huge windows, totally overlooked by everyone so we hastily bought some giant curtains from Dunelm Mill (for a bargain price).

As it turned out, it wasn’t meant to be and within a month we were (happily) back in our bijou Covent Garden flat. With it’s small Victorian windows, we had no need for the giant curtains so they got folded away and slowly sank to the furthest depths of under-bed storage… Until now!

Old cushion covers – new curtain.

We’ve had this sofa for a very long time, in fact, it was already exhausted in 2014 when (as a new sewist) I undertook the task of re-covering it for the first time. We could just get a new one, no one would blame us for that, but other than being ugly, there’s nothing really wrong with it. Rather, it’s the perfect shape/ size etc for our needs: It’s a corner unit which helps to maximise seating space in our compact living room, it is also a sofa bed and the short section lifts up providing storage (spare bedding and tools!). We’ve thought many times about replacing it, but it would only be like-for-like, so it never seemed worth it.

In the photo below you can see some of the original blue cover, quite faded and worn. Also on the left, a panel of the first cover, hanging off it’s velcro. Then, you can see the issues I have when trying to cut out large pattern pieces!

Cutting out in a small space!

I made the pattern up as I went along, working out the best way to cover each section. The base and arms are fixed, stapled where possible and the seats and cushions are removable. For the lift-up section, I made the cover like a fitted sheet, I threaded some elastic through a casing underneath to keep it in place.

Removable lift-up section and fixed base (also, temporary ‘traction-mat’ for Freddy the dog to leap up from!)
Underside of lift-up section

As the arms were stapled into position, I made pretty light work of those. The main cushion covers went well too – I salvaged the piping and zips from the last set and it was all coming together very well…

Almost finished, one cushion and a seat to go…

… And, friends, that is how it sat for about five months! I’d love to say that I finished it during this second lockdown, but I actually finished it just before: I had one day off before the ‘Three-days-of-back-to-back-clients’ prior to the lockdown and rather than rest and gather my strength for the task, MrA kept on saying ‘You should finish that sofa before the lockdown’… so finally, I did!

The last piece was already cut out and ready to go, I only had to sew some corners and a little velcro to finish it up. It was done in no time and I wondered why I had put it off for so long. With it finally finished I felt a weight lift off me, a nagging-something had definitely been released!

Sofa covers finally finished!

To celebrate, I made a final cushion out of the leftovers, added the last of the piping and a little fringing I had knocking about (from goodness knows where!).

Glamour cushion, taking the best seat on the sofa!

Now the sofa is finished, we’re ready to kick back on it and watch some movies… Although there’s still plenty of sewing to do!

Happy sewing!

Notes to self:

  • Break the big tasks into small tasks and approach them individually… just don’t forget to finish!
  • Never underestimate the great relief of finishing a big project.
  • There’s a chair and a stool that need re covering too….