Here is the AFTER picture of the Dropcloth Slipcover that I recently made for a very outdated old bench. I began this post with an after pic to draw you in . . . mostly because I was afraid that if I showed you the BEFORE pic first you might be scared away!
Here is the BEFORE. I’m ashamed to admit that this shabby (not in the good sense) little bench has been living in my master bedroom. The trim has been a wreck since Sasha was a puppy (ummm . . . 5-1/2 years ago?), the color is no longer to my liking, nor the floral satin fabric. So why have I kept it? It is the little bench that catches stray articles of clothing and mail that needs recycling. It is the bench that hides the electronics charging underneath. It is the bench where my husband sits to slip on his shoes (when there is room to sit). This bench is also a perfect match to my outdated bedroom which I have great plans for making over. Maybe this transformation will be the first step.
So here is how I made a new dropcloth slipcover for my old bench. After disposing of the trim (no, it wasn’t EVEN fit for a future project) I measured the length and width of the old fabric cover and cut my dropcloth fabric to the same size.
I laid my fabric over the bench, lined it up straight, and pinned the corners, pulling the fabric taut.
I sewed along the line of the pins and trimmed close to the seam.
After turning the slipcover right side out and placing it back onto the bench I measured the bottom edge of the fabric along each side. For the ruffles I tore (for a frayed edge) four – 4″ strips of fabric, each one double the length of the side it would be attached to. I sewed a long basting stitch along the long edge of each strip, and pulled the thread to gather to fit each of the four sides, matching the seams in the ruffle to the seams at the four corners of the slipcover. Next, I sewed the four strips together along their short edges and then sewed the whole ruffle to the bottom edge of the slipcover . Why four strips instead of one long strip? First of all, there were going to be a couple of seams somewhere since the doubled circumference of the bottom edge of the slipcover was much longer than my fabric. Secondly, it is tricky to pull gathers in a very long strip and even trickier if the fabric is thick. I didn’t want to risk breaking my thread and losing my gather.
(Sorry, no pictures were taken for this step because everyone knows how to make a ruffle, right?)
After attaching one ruffle I decided I wanted a second one so I repeated the process except with 7″ strips so the bottom ruffle would peek out from beneath the top ruffle.
Just for fun I added a French graphic from The Graphics Fairy website, which I ironed on with transfer paper.
For a final touch I added some handmade dropcloth rosettes around the top of the ruffles. (Rosette tutorial HERE)
I’ve enjoyed using drop cloth fabric for projects around my home. My first experience with this fabric was my Drop Cloth Draperies which have been one of my top viewed projects. I’ve also made pillows, and hand bags (which you can see on my Pinterest “Stuff I Sell” Board. I have a whole list of other great ideas for dropcloths that I want to try in the future. This fabric is great because it is inexpensive, washable (I always pre-wash my fabric), it has the look of linen but it irons up much easier and crisper looking, and it tears nicely leaving a great frayed edge that doesn’t continue to fray.
Once my bench was finished I decided it was just too cute to be used as a catchall in my bedroom any longer and I took her along with me to the French Flea . . .
. . . where she went off to a very good and very stylish new home.
So, have you tried using dropcloth fabric for any projects around your house? What have you made? I’d love to hear about it.
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