1. Buy Enough Fabric (for pity’s sake).
2. Use UupholsteryThread.
You don’t want to go to all the trouble of covering a chouch to have the stressed seams rip when your two-year-old uses the couch as a trampoline. I bought 2 spools to be safe, and I used just over one spool. You may have to adjust your thread tension when using thicker thread.
3. Use the Old Cover for a Pattern
This is the coolest part of recovering a couch – you don’t have to make up the pattern – it’s right there at your finger tips. Just unpick the seams and lay the pieces out on your new fabric!
4. Zipper seams unravel!
All the couch cushion zippers I have met (I have given new life to at least three couches) are sewn with the same sort of seam they use to close feed bags. If you can find the right thread to pull, the whole thing unravels in seconds. Save the zippers! They will work perfect for your new cushions!
note on the last two points: these techniques work for cushions – but for the back and arms of this couch, I had to drape the fabric and pin and estimate. Which leads me to my next note–
5. Don’t be a Perfectionist.
I’m preaching to the choir here – It annoys me when I can’t achieve a perfect result. The fact is, it’s a couch cover. It doesn’t really matter. If you can’t handle a puckered corner or a less-than perfect fit, you should just buy a new couch.
which ties in nicely to my most important tip–
6. Count the Cost
Do you really want to spend hours sewing with heavy duty fabric to make clothes for something that can’t even say thank you? If you don’t get a good deal on fabric, recovering a couch can be a time consuming and expensive venture. You have to decide if it’s really worth it, or if you need to figure out a way you can afford a new couch.
For me, I really like this couch – it’s comfy, and it’s a sleeper – and the sleeper is comfy too! But we were the 4th family to love this couch, and the cushions were in awful shape. But we can’t afford a new couch. So, I buckled down and covered it (for the second time – first was a thrifted slipcover I found that sorta fit). But this is the last time. The very last time.