Keeping it loose

In my recent Living Room Make-over post, I showed you my “new” ottoman after I made a simple loose cover for it. I’ve decided that life is just too short for ugly, worn-out furniture but of course re-upholstering is quite the expensive endeavor. 20140218_094824 (600x450)My deep-buttoned leather ottoman has a lovely shape and a great size – perfect for extra seating – but the leather was starting to look horrible.

IMG_7744 (700x467)This cover took me about 4 hours to make and the results are amazing – it looks like it’s brand spanking new! At first I was going to try my hand at full re-upholstery, but after I unscrewed the legs I realized that I am completely mad: this is a white fabric in the most-used room in the house and I have two little boys who are going to want to climb on it! So I promptly screwed the legs back on and proceeded to figure out how to make a loose cover. IMG_7403To be honest, I haven’t done this before, but I always trust in my practical mind when it comes to things like this. I first carefully measured the top and 4 sides, keeping in mind that it is bulging slightly at the sides so I need to allow an extra 20mm or so on the width and height.

IMG_7405 (467x700)Then I cut the fabric according to the measurements, making sure that the pattern is positioned evenly (with one flower in the middle) of the ottoman.

IMG_7415 (700x467)Placing the fabric back on the piece of furniture I folded the excess fabric over on the line of the existing seam and cut my fabric 20mm away from that line.

IMG_7413 (467x700)I started pinning the sides on (fabric inside out) and then proceeded to sew it together. It’s easier keeping it on the ottoman when pinning to get a good fit!

IMG_7418 (700x467)After pinning, I used a clear acrylic straight edge to draw a pencil line along the pins for sewing.

IMG_7421 (700x467)Once all the seams are sewn, you can still tweak it if it doesn’t fit properly. Only after being absolutely happy with the fit, I cut away any excess fabric along the seams.

IMG_7425 (700x467)I didn’t trim any fabric along the bottom so that I could fold it over underneath. Next, I put on the cover (fabric right side out) and turned the ottoman over for working underneath.

IMG_7430 (700x467)IMG_7431 (700x467)I cut away any excess fabric around the legs and then pinched the corners so that it creates a nice snug fit around the base.

IMG_7435 (700x467) (2)A simple roll-seam along the entire hem works very well, at the same securing the pinched corners – it will be underneath so it doesn’t have to be perfect!

IMG_7668 (700x467)  I used the off-cuts to put together enough fabric so that I could pull the cover tight underneath and fix with Velcro.  Pin it in place, cut Velcro strips and sew them on.

IMG_7437 (700x467)Since I really like the buttoned effect of my ottoman, I wanted to keep it even with a loose cover. I made little fabric covered buttons, making sure that they more-or-less match the print where they will be placed (plain on plain and print on print). I marked their positions with a black marker and then sewed them into place on top of the fabric with industrial thread.

IMG_7439 (700x467) I used pants-hooks to keep them in place, with the hook-part sewn into the ottoman using a curved needle and the bar to the underside of the fabric underneath the button. I have to say that it felt a little bit like performing surgery, curved needle and all! I used pliers to close the hooks tightly so that the buttons won’t pop out accidentally.

IMG_7449 (700x467)Make sure that everything is hooked into place before you secure the cover underneath with the Velcro. before

After I absolutely love it and considering I paid R80 (USD8) for the 2 meters of fabric, it was the most cost-effective face-lift I could’ve dreamed of!