Designs for loose covers
The shape of the furniture dictates the look of the loose cover, whether it has a tailored look, where the cover starts to resemble formal upholstery, or a more casual, unstructured effect. The furniture is the mannequin, around which the fabric is pinned, tucked, pleated and stitched, and through experiment the cover will take shape.
Like 1950s summer dresses out to tea, these linen chair covers in icecream colours look spruce and elegant. Against the bleached wood floor, their sharp colours stand out and are perfectly contrasted against the white tablecloth. A row of buttons is a witty addition. Here they are self-covered but they could be just as effective in white or coloured glass – or even brass.
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As their name implies, loose covers are not fixed to the furniture they cover. They might have ties or zips, or even button fastenings, but their essential character is removability. First, there is a practical element governing the choice of fabric for such a cover. Second, the fabric can be used to glorious decorative effect with stitching, folding, pleats, knots or by simply throwing it over.
Making a loose cover for a dining chair the centre at the back. By taking this idea further you can disguise the shape of a sofa or chair quite considerably.
1 Pin the two back pieces of fabric together wrong side out. Remove from the chair, tack and stitch.
2 Cut out the valance piece and a piece the same size for the lining. Stitch together with right sides facing.
3 Turn the valance right side out and pin it to the cha seat piece with right sides facing. Stitch.
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