How to Make Recliner Sofa Slipcovers

Jennifer Loucks

Sofa slipcovers allow you to revitalize worn furnishings and redecorate a room at the same time. A slipcover is a simple, cost-effective method of extending the sofa's life and requires only basic sewing skills to complete.

Make a slipcover for an old or worn sofa.

Slight modifications to a basic slipcover pattern make the cover useful for sofas with a built-in recliner option. A medium weight fabric that is machine washable provides durability to the slipcover while lowering the maintenance requirements.

  1. Measure the sofa length from the front at floor level and over the sofa back to the back at floor level. Increase this measurement by 6 inches to account for the hems and tucked fabric.

  2. Measure the sofa width from the far side of one seat cushion to the far side of the opposite seat cushion. Increase this measurement by 2 inches to account for the hem.

  3. Measure the sofa side length from one floor level side and over the arm to the point where the seat cushion begins. Increase this measurement by 12 inches to account for the hems and tucked fabric.

  4. Measure the sofa side width from the front of the side to the rear of the side. Increase this measurement by 2 inches to account for the hem.

  5. Use the measurements to draw a rough draft of the slipcover measurements. This will help you keep the numbers and sections straight when cutting the fabric pieces.

  6. Cut three fabric pieces using the measurements taken. The pieces include one piece for the main body of the sofa from the floor front to the floor back and two pieces for the arms from the side floor to the point where the arm meets the cushion.

  7. Lay the piece over the couch and pin the arm pieces to the sofa body piece with the right sides are together. Make sure to pin the arm in the correct location so the slipcover fits properly.

  8. Mark the seat cushion location on both front-edge seams. This is where your knees bend while sitting. Do not sew the seam from the cushion location to the floor to create a flap for opening and closing the recliner lift.

  9. Sew all seams, except the marked front edge, with a 1/2-inch seam. Finish the seam edges with a serger or zigzag stitch to prevent fraying.

  10. Hem the slipcover by folding under 1/4-inch of fabric toward the wrong side of the slipcover. Complete the hem by folding an additional 1/4-inch and pin to hold in place. Secure the hem by sewing close to the interior edge.

  11. Place the slipcover on the sofa by pulling it over the back and smoothing the fabric over the seat cushions. Make sure the open seams line up on the front edge to open and close the recliner lift. Tuck excess fabric into the side and back edges of the seat cushions.