Monday, September 6, 2010

Slip Covers for Camping Chairs

We are hoping to go camping soon. As I started going through all our camping things, I realized my two daughters' camping chairs were terribly stained and icky looking. The frames were still in perfect condition, so I wondered what I could do...EUREKA-make slip covers!!!

I am not a wonderful seamstress, so these will not be perfect, but they work well to make the chairs look much nicer and my girls do not have to worry about being older and still having a huge Dora on their chair-lol! This does not take place of the canvas fabric already on your chair-it is just a slip cover to go over it.

First, I found some good sturdy fabric. I was given a ton of some strawberry quilted material years ago and had quite a bit left, so I decided to use it.

I really looked over my chair's seat part and decided it might be best to sew this in two parts-one part being the back and the other being the actual seat...these would connect about where your 'bottom' would hit the chair. I used that as a guide-making certain to allow for the seam to connect those two pieces.

This is the back of the chair-you will not need to worry about the grommet part of the back since you are going to just slide your new seat cover over this existing piece of canvas. Lay your existing seat over your fabric and cut out the 'bottom' part of your new seat. Allow for seam allowances and the small pocket at the front of the seat for slipping over the front of the chair-more on that later. Then, flip your existing seat around and do the same for the top part. When you are cutting the top part, allow quite a bit extra for making the pocket that slips over the seat.  I cannot tell you how much, because you will really want to try the fabric on your chair, see how much is needed to fold over but still not interfere with any bars (this is mostly important on the front of the seat part :) Basically, be ready to use your chair as a sewing dummy :)
You can see in the above picture how much I allowed for the pocket. I was also not concerned with the curves of the existing seat. I didn't allow for those and it makes no difference on how the slipcover fits or feels in seating.

I sewed the seat part and the back part together. With this sturdy material, I just made a really sturdy seam by sewing it twice-once on a close zigzag and another on a close straight stitch. Now, for my other daughter, I used a material that was not quite as sturdy, so I sewed hers differently. After connecting the top and bottom pieces, I folded over the seam at the 'tushie' area and sewed it down to the seat part. I actually have no picture of this, so if this is confusing, ask me and I will try to 'create' a picture :)

Then, I sewed a seam down each side. Then, I put a small seam on each end. You can see the seams in the picture below.

After that, I started on the top pocket. This seemed easiest so I could adjust the seat pocket accordingly. Just make sure your fabric is facing right sides together. Put your cover over the back of your chair (with the original seat on it-see above) and pin your pocket accordingly. You do not want to make it too tight or when you flip it over to the right side out and try to slide it on your chair, it will be too tight.

Next, put your slip cover back on your chair-right side in or wrong side out-whichever-lol. You are working on the pocket for the front seat part. Fold it over and see how well it fits... It needs to miss the bars. Essentially, the slip cover will have spaces open that the bars in the front will slide right be planning for that. When you seem to have a good fit that doesn't interfere with any bars, pin and slide it off (remember, it should be fitting around the bars in such a way as it slides off. You will need to plan enough of a space when sewing to allow for this). Sew this pocket with right sides facing each other (they should already be pinned that way).
This pic shows the seat with material right side out and the 'holes' that slide over the poles. After pinning your front pocket, you might want to turn your material, carefully due to the pins, right-side out and slide it on your chair. This way, if you need to do any adjusting, you can. Saves you time from having to rip any seams for something that doesn't fit right after you have sewn :) This will also allow you to see where you need to make your slots and how long they need to be for the poles.

Sew your bottom pocket, remembering to allow for the slots or holes where you slide over the poles. Don't forget to hem those as well. I suggest hemming those first, then sewing up the rest of the pocket on either side.

Ignore the band aid please-lol!! No, that wasn't from a sewing mishap ;) You can see here how I left space for the bars in which the seat slides over the bars.

And, of course, you can see here how it slides over the bars.

And, above two pictures, show the finished slipcover for the chair. Top picture is of the front and bottom picture is of the back pocket.

And above is one of my kids enjoying the second slipcover I made for one of the Dora chairs.
I will post directions for how I did the covers for the arm rests later this week :)


Kristi~The Slipcover Girl said...

omygosh! your are so amazingly talented! how resourceful of you! i'm going to link you today on friday's featured slipcovers!

Debbie said...

Thanks Kristi!! I cannot wait to see your tutorial on the easy peasy quilt!! I would love to make one myself!

Steph said...

This is a great tutorial! Thanks for the idea. Love it.