BIG news,  domesticity

Operation Couch Cover: Completed!

I’m so proud of my new couch cover I think I’m going to go fall off a waterfall. I know that doesn’t make sense but ever since I was a little kid and I learned that verse about pride going before a fall, that’s the visual I always get. I think I saw a comic strip about a pride of lions walking in front of a waterfall and it’s stuck ever since. Strange how my brain works.

sitting on our new couch

Anyway, I’m DONE!!!! It was totally hard and I had no idea what I was doing the whole time but it’s done! I knew I could do it and I did. It’s not the best job. The corners don’t match up and some parts are not sewn all the way. There isn’t any piping (way too hard for me) and it is still wrinkly but I love it! Every inch. It really is true that you learn to love what you’ve suffered for.

wrinkly but sooooo much better than a draped sheet

It looks like crap if you look too closely but it’s better than the old sheet we had draped on it. I love this couch because of its long lines. I think we’ll keep it forever. Someday when we are long past the days of leaking sippy cups and sticky fingers, we’ll probably have it professionally reupholstered.

we like the new couch!

Did you know I bought it at a garage sale for $25? I think I wrote about that somewhere in my old archives. My old roommate and I were walking along, saw it and bought it on the spot. Then we wheeled it down the sidewalk all the way to my house.

It has really pretty white flowery silk fabric underneath but it’s beyond repair. It was threadbare when I bought it and the cats have finished up anything that wasn’t. But I don’t care. It’s the lines that matter to me. You can’t find a couch that long and low anywhere. You can sleep two people foot to foot on it!

poor seam ripper got a work-out

My seam ripper got quite a workout. Not because I ripped out a lot of seams (which I should have but didn’t because I am NOT a perfectionist) but because I decided to make ties on the back to hold the cover closed. I don’t know how most people turn their little tie-pieces inside-out but I used my seam ripper and it took forever! It took me the duration of an entire Ellen show to do all twelve pieces. It also broke my seam ripper.

ties are such a pain in the neck

work horse

see, ties

As I was sewing the very very last piece (a piece of velcro that I used to hold the two pieces of the cover together), my sewing machine went THUNK and broke. It’s something internal. The needle went sideways (probably hit a pin) and then stuck. It wouldn’t go up or down. Just stuck. That poor machine, I think I killed it.

I’ve been needing to take it in to the shop anyway. The spool holder has been broken for years and I’ve been rigging it by sticking a shish kebab skewer in the bobbin threader hole. If you aren’t familiar with how sewing machines work, this blog post has got be as boring as reading a car manual but you get the picture. I rigged it with a skewer. That’s all you really need to know.

testing it out

After this project I can afford for my sewing machine to be in the shop for a while. I don’t care if it stays there for a month! I am just happy to be done done DONE!!!


  • Lauren

    That looks really nice! You did a great job ..

    My spool holder is broken too .. it’s a total pain.

  • CC

    A knitting needle works great for turning things right-side out. Just don’t use the pointy end. And it really does look great!

  • Gingermog

    Wow I am impressed! I admire your tenacity of sticking to a hard job. I like the story behind how you found your couch too, you find the greatest stuff at garage sales. When I was staying in Canada a few summers back I saw two wonderful old radiogram’s dating from the 20’s and 30’s. I fell in love, but the cost of shipping and the reality I lived in a glorifed studio sleeping in a platform bed meant I had to let them go. I hope they went to appreciative new owner.

  • Kuky

    Good job!

    Next time you need to turn something inside out you can do it as you’re sewing. Here is a link to a tutorial by Miss Twiss. It really works!

  • OMSH

    Well I think I might have commented on nearly every photo you’ve got up on this at Flickr, but have to say here I am SO IMPRESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSED!

  • alli

    I am very impressed with this project. I have sewn smaller things and felt a major amount of accomplishment. But I think it is a drop in the bucket compared to how you feel right now. Good for you for going and going! It looks great.

  • Carrie

    Great job! I wouldn’t have a clue how to even start it.

    And I love the shish kebob idea! My thread can be loaded vertically or horizontally. I broke the vertical spool holder and HATE the horizontal way b/c it always gets stuck. I’m going to try your solution.

  • DeeJay

    My scrapbooking tweezer thingies are what I usually use. Sometimes there is a safety pin involved as well. Just all depends.

    I’m loving the new cover! Clean and lean! Yippee!

  • sizzle

    It looks awesome! And those pillows- I was thinking of getting those for my bedroom (Ikea, right?).

    You’re a superstar seamstress!

  • Mrs. Wilson

    That is quite a sweet couch. I know how it is not wanting to get rid of furniture – our couch is about 25 years old and I do’nt want to part with it!

  • Gramma

    My friend gave me a custom made elegant sofa her dying husband’s first wife had done. It took up too much space for him to maneuver around. with his walker. And to think…nobody wanted my 9′ mouse colored, Lawson style sofa…The Salvation Army came and took it away. I had slip covered it several times, once in burgundy/purple crushed velvet. I think you recognize those cushions. Our kitties had made short work of the under linen Jacobean print in ivory, blues and greens. They did have th sharpest claws in town then.

  • K

    Nice cover. I still plan on doing this for our chairs, the fabric on them is not at all to my taste, but they were free and we were without furniture at the time. Bodkins and saftey pins are what I use for turning things right side out (and for running elastic and ribbons through casings).

    I took one of my sewing machines in to be repaired and I found it they charge more for a basic maintance on the machine than I orginally paid for it when it was new. Granted it was a cheap machine, but still. So I stuck it back in it’s case and put it back in storage… and then I bought a new machine.

  • BeachMama

    You did a fantastic job! I wondered if it was an extra long sofa. All the more reason to keep it and maybe recover it one day. I had my Grandma’s old sofa, which weighed a tonne, and hoped to recover it one day. Sadly the mice got to it when it was in storage in Winnipeg. I have never found one as good.

    Enjoy the new look!

  • Beth B.

    wow – congrats on a job well done – that’s awesome and it looks great. i don’t blame you for wanting to hold onto that sofa; wow its long! its bones are good; you can’t find that style anymore these days. good job on your project and thanks for keeping us posted!

  • Jamie W.

    I’m so very impressed with what you have accomplished. I’ve been wanting to make some little dolls for my girls and I’ve been too nervous to start them…and they would only take a few hours…I can’t even imagine what you went through…

    Totally off topic, where is your shirt from? The stripey one…I love it!

    SAJ says: JCrew! :)

  • ~moe~

    Congratulations! This is great! You should feel a great sense of accomplishment. I took a major shortcut (primarily because I can’t sew) and bought a couch cover for my avocado colored couch, but it doesn’t fit at all so it’s just a mess. I can tuck it in but as soon as I sit down it’s all screwed up.

    I had to smile at your $25 couch purchase. That’s what I was supposed to pay for mine that I’ve had since ’95 but when my brother and I went to pick it up and move it we both busted out sneezing and wheezing because there was cat hair all over it. We still took it home but the lady felt bad and didn’t charge us for it. The benefits of making a deal with someone who just wanted to get rid of the thing. I still love it, without cat hair, and it sucks me in every time I lie down to nap.

  • web obsessed

    I am so impressed I had to stop lurking around here. That is a sweet couch and I am in awe of the the slipcover…. I can’t even successfully put a pre-made slipcover on my couch!

  • cagey

    You are so right about not finding a couch that low! I went furniture shopping in 2005 and my short, stubby legs were Very Frustrated with all the Tall, Fluffy Couches.

    I love your couch and am v. v. impressed with your couch cover. Go you!

  • kedge

    I’m so proud of you! What a challenge. It’s beautiful because it has so much love (sweat) sewn in every seam. I remember how frustrated we both were when you were in Jr. High and you sewed better than the home-ec teacher and she had such a low threshold for quality.

  • Michelle

    Yay for you! I was quite impressed that you dared such an undertaking, but congrats!! I do like the couch, and what a bargain!! Get that machine fixed so you can try something else.

  • Kaili

    Yay! It looks Mar.Ve.Lous!!! You did such a good job!
    And I didn’t read any of the comments before me, but a safety pin that locks works great for threading back through tyes. They even make a little thingy-ma-dooy that they sell at the sewing stores that are JUST for that.
    I love the shape of the couch too. We had one like that when I was young. I was like 6 when my ‘rent got rid of it and I still to this day wish I had it, cause it was an awesome couch, I would have covered it too….FOREVER.

  • monique

    that looks great! i wish i had half the – no – a quarter of the talent you have! someday i’m going to get myself a sewing machine and i swear, i’ll name it after you in hopes that some of your skill will rub off!

  • rachel

    I love the way Baby Bug is sitting on the back of the couch with you. She is so clearly tickled to be on the back of the couch and so proud of the cover too. Sweetness.

  • Janna

    I am totally impressed. REALLY.
    I love the pic of you and BB on the back. So cute. You both look very happy for the project to be completed. :)