Saturday, 7 May 2011

Footstool Slipcover and a Wee Tutorial

Firstly, let me share a special wee pressie my lovely son made for me -

Can you see the resemblance?  Yep, it's a Hama bead sewing machine.  It's now proudly displayed in my sewing room - wasn't that thoughtful?

 Here's what I've been up to in the sewing room today.  Transforming this...

IKEA footstool £12.99 -
 bought because I couldn't afford the £200 one I really liked.  

It was always my intention to recover the footstool
but my plans got delayed a little (like a year)!
to this ...

And, just in case you're interested, here's how I did it.  Not a very polished tutorial - it's a bit more rough and ready, but hopefully you'll get the idea if you fancy having a go yourself.

This footstool is 15" x15" square on the top and all four sides.
I bought 1m of the floral fabric to use for the top and 2 sides, and 0.5m of the stripe to use for the remaining two sides.

Cut 5 x 15.5" squares (3 floral, 2 striped).
Cut 5 squares of wadding just a little bit bigger than the fabric.
Pin 1 fabric square to each wadding square and quilt as desired.  (I quilted a cross on the floral fabrics and 3 straight lines on each of the striped fabrics.)
Then trim the excess wadding around the squares.

(Sorry I forgot some photos of these first steps above.)

Sew the side squares to the top square taking care to make sure that you position your fabrics correctly so they won't end up upside down once assembled.  You will now have a big plus shaped piece like this:

Now fold your plus shape in half diagonally across the centre right sides together.  Pin and sew quarter inch seams along each of the two outer straight edges (the ones that meet the diagonal fold, NOT the ones that meet at right angles).

Once this is done, fold your piece across the other diagonal of the top piece (it won't lie flat this time), match the remaining open seams and stitch closed with a quarter inch seam.

When all four of the side seams have been stitched turn the slipcover the right way out and check all the seams to ensure you've caught in the fabric on all seams (I advise this because I missed a little bit and had to re-do a seam at this point).

The next step is to make the lining for your slip cover.  If I was doing this the proper way, I would have cut another 5 x 15.5" squares from lining fabric and made them up into the cube shape in the same way as with the top pieces. This was my plan but I was then smitten by resourceful inspiration (you may call it cheating if you like), and used the original IKEA cover as my pre-made liner.

Slip the lining cube over the slipcover making sure you have them right sides together.  Pin the side seams and edges level. 

 Now stitch all the way around with a quarter inch seam.

Open one of the lining side seams about 3 inches long ...

...  to allow you to pull the whole thing right way out through the gap.

Slip stitch the gap in the lining closed.

Now push lining into the slipcover cube and then press the slipcover. Stitch a finishing seam all the way around the bottom.  My seam was a little bit wider than a quarter of an inch just because of the thickness at the fold caused by my having used the pre-made liner which had its own folded seams already and therefore slightly more fabric layers than you might if you make it from fresh lining fabric.

Pull the slipcover over your footstool and admire.

And finally, put it to good use!

Hope this all makes sense!


  1. Foot stool looks great with it's makeover. And the little ham a bees sewing machine is sweet.

  2. Reading above and the typos proves I should not write comments on the iPad in bed!

  3. Fab footstool and brill tute! There's a teacher in there waiting to get out! I'm sure your footstool looks lovely alongside your other purples & greens! Jxo


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