Sunday, 29 December 2013

Tutorial: Tea towel chair arm covers

I have finally ticked Christmas covers for the arms of the sofa and chair off my to do list and I thought I would share them with you in a tutorial.

Step 1: template and materials
The easiest way to make a template is to get a piece of paper and a pencil. Hold the paper against the end of the chair arm, making sure it is horizontal at the bottom, and draw round the shape of the arm end. Cut it out. This is your template and will be reversed for the opposite arm.  For this project I used some Festive tea towels I had picked up in the sales a couple of years ago. There are two red and two pink.

Step 2: cut your tea towel
I decided I wanted the Santa strip to be on the outside of the chair arm so this meant cutting the other end of the towel for the end pieces. My pattern meant I could get two ends from one towel, and they had a nice little snowflake pattern. So I folded the strip right sides together to make sure I got the reverse shape.

Step 3: Piecing and sewing
I wanted to use the existing seams if I could and this worked for the bottom of the shaped piece and for the seam nearest the back of the chair. For the two side seams I needed to unpick the seams and remove a little of the fabric (not much).

After that it was important to make sure I got the pieces the right way round so I didn't stitch Santa on the wrong side!  Always a good idea to try it out.

As you can see from the photo, I would need to unpick the seam on the main piece so as not to have too much bulk around the end piece. Once that's done, pin or tack/baste the pieces in place. I found it better to seam the side away from Santa, then start from that end when pinning in place.  This meant that Santa wasn't on the corner and I could trim the seam below him if needed (minimal for this).  Stitch together and, if you have a fraying fabric like me, overlock or zigzag the seam.

Step 4: press
All done!  Just a quick press and you are now the proud owner of new chair arm covers.  All that is left is to put them on the sofa and armchair. I decided to put the red on the chair and the pink on the sofa.

I hope you like them and the tutorial.  Please leave a comment, I will respond to them all.

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