Phew! Vintage wingback chair slipcover finally complete

It's been a loooong time on this one.

I started this black slipcover for my vintage wingback chair more than a year ago. For a long time it sat with pins in it in a corner of the living room (sorry, husband!) but it was intimidating, and I never sat down and spent the time to finish. It was probably hard to start, too, but i hardly remember that because it was so long ago!!

I bought this vintage wingback chair for $5 at Goodwill Outlet in 2010. It had a cover on it, which was part of the selling point, because I figured I could cut it apart and use it as a pattern when I wanted to make a new one. The fabric wasn't great but was neutral, so I did wash it and put it back on for several years and used it as-is.

The fabric was a very cool 1940's pebble cloth tan floral print that someone had spray-painted blue on top of. Seriously, you can see blue paint at the tops of the legs and where someone stopped painting on the side of the chair. Obviously it was in pretty bad shape!, but we kept the slipcover on it.


Eventually, a year or so ago, I got up the energy to take apart the tan slipcover and use it as a pattern for a new one. It seemed custom made by a very skilled home sewer, really nicely done, and was relatively easy to copy. I had to pinch and pull the fabric here and there, but it was a good base.

It also took me a while to buy the fabric - home dec fabric is expensive and hard to pick out! I got this black nubby poly stuff on clearance at JoAnn. (See it draped in my first post about this chair here.) It's a great weight for this kind of sewing. I also got some thick piping cord, and a zipper for one side and for the cushion.

Here's an in-progress shot! It seriously sat like (with the cushion on it) this for months while I worked on other things. It really bummed me out. So glad I got to the next phase! Look...

I'm finally, finally done.



With the slipcover, that is. I think I'll probably want to refinish the legs at some point! And get that blue paint off. Probably just sand them and stain them, right? Yeah, that hadn't occurred to me until now since the cover was such a big project. Sanding is no biggie in comparison! ;)

I was nervous about choosing black in the beginning since I didn't want it to look like a big shadow or black hole in the living room, but I really like it now, in contrast to the white woodwork and shelving. And it's perfect with my bright wool blanket and DIY crux pillow!


I think it also helps to put it on the other side of the room/couch and fireplace. You can kind of see it in the slideshow photos of our Apartment Therapy home tour, but that's it in its pin stage. Ha!! The pins are out of focus. (Sshhhh...)

I'm so, so glad it's done. This is a serious victory, people.

13 comments

  1. This looks incredible! Glad you were able to finish it.:)

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  2. You did an amazing job on this, it looks fantastic!

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  3. Nice! It must be so nice to check that off of your list! :)

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  4. Gorgeous! Love the colour now too - it looks fantastic :)

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  5. Yes, Gorgeous. And nice score from the bins.

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  6. Great job. I love the shape of the wings in that they're a gradual curve into the back, rather than separate pieces. The fit of that slipcover is phenomenal.

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  7. Hi Suzannah, I've been following the blog for a year or so now, and I love your tutorials. I'm a beginner sewer and blogger from the UK. I've just booked to attend a sewing day with Chinelo, a runner up on the latest series of "The Great British Sewing Bee". I'd like to use patterned fabric for the garment I'll be making on the day (a peplum top), but I have never worked with anything but plain fabric before and I'm scared! I'd love to hear your advice on selecting patterned fabric. thanks in advance, Vicki.

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  8. Looks great! I vote for painting the legs silver :)

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  9. Hi Vicki! Sorry for the delay, just saw this. Using patterned fabric isn't hard, but you may need extra yardage (more than the bare minimum to fit the pieces on) so you can match the patterns. Also make sure you keep the front and back pieces going the same direction so you don't have the pattern upside down on one side!

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  10. Thanks so much! Wish me luck - I might need it! :-)

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