I washed the drop cloths in hot water with about four cups of bleach twice, leaving them to soak each time for about two hours. I then dried them on a permanent press cycle in order to preshrink them. I anticipate these covers will get stains and when this happens I will simply wash them with bleach.
As I have mentioned in previous posts, we acquired a couch and love seat from moving neighbors. Being young and on a tight budget means being resourceful. We sucked it up and spent $110 having them professionally cleaned (twice, because I was not satisfied with the first job and insisted they come back). After having them cleaned, we moved them into our awkwardly laid out family room. And so began my slipcovering adventure...
I read a few tutorials and had a mental picture of how this should go, but execution was a whole other story. I was not going to do any fancy ruffling, just simple lines. I did not do any piping, however this would dress up the slipcovers a bit.
My next dilemma was trying to decide if I wanted to do individual seat cushions or keep it simple and slipcover right over top. Because of the style of couch, covering the back cushions individually was not an option due to them being attached, however this would have been my preference. I would like the final product to look more reupholstered than slipcovered, but without entirely unupholstering the couch, this isn't possible.
So far I have completed the sofa and used one whole drop cloth for the main body of the couch and about half of the other drop cloth for the sides and cushion cover. I decided to do a single cushion cover verses individual.
I purchased two 8 oz drop cloths in 9' x 12' from Home Depot for about $19 a piece. 10 oz drop cloths would be really hard to sew on a standard sewing machine. I purchased heavy duty nylon upholstery thread and new upholstery machine needles.
If you are looking for a "perfect" look, crafting your own drop cloth slipcover should not be your first choice. Seams are not going to be exactly symmetrical. I did manage to utilize the existing heamed edges for along the bottoms of my slipcovers. I added a cute, little pinch pleat detail to the fronts of the covers. For most couches this would be much easier to construct, but mine have funky, attached back pillows that made it challenging to plan out my seams. Another issue I ran into when I initially opened my drop cloths, the larger sizes have seams in the middle, which meant I had to either incorporate it into my look or find a way to cut and piece the drop cloth with the seam in a less visible place. I chose the easier route and incorporated it. Overall, this project is moderately difficult and time consuming, but worth it if you're looking for a shabby chic, casual look.