Months ago, I was desperately looking for a solution for my outdoor furniture. We have this beautiful wooden table and seat set that caters for 8 people (four 2-seaters). We also love spending time outdoors and it is just a perfect start to a nice breezy spring day or a sunny summer morning for us to have some breakfast at the backyard. However, we were hardly able to use the set up until I made some cover for the seats a few months ago!
The reason we couldn't use them was because there is not much on top of the table and the seats to protect them from all those bird droppings that make you 'lucky' (Has it worked? Is this a nice-enough way of saying 'bird shit'?). I have tried using a huge piece of fabric (linen) to cover them all up when unused, tried using newspaper to sit on, used smaller pieces of fabric for each seat while using it and so on but none was a convenient, practical and pain-free enough solution for us. It was either too much work, took a lot of time and effort, caused a huge pile of washing or simply did not work.
I started thinking of making covers for the seats but was not quite sure how to go about it at first. I asked for an opinion from my husband, my sister, from the very helpful ladies at The Sewing Library but nothing came through that I was totally happy to go with. Therefore, I had to come up with something that would work for me.
I was lucky that a few days after I had decided to make some covers and came up with a design on paper, a local fabric store had a sale on. That was definitely very handy. I picked up a large upholstery fabric that is easy to wash and dry, does not run colour, does not crease too easily and had a good thickness level for durability. Can you imagine how happy I was when I came back home with a lot of that fabric?
I first measured my seats both vertically and horizontally. When deciding on the length, I started from the back of the chair, measuring up to the top of the chair, then down to the seat along the backrest, measured the width of the seat, and then measured from the seat to about 15cm above the floor level. The width of the fabric was 1.5m and was just perfect for my project as I needed my seat covers to be almost 1m wide and wanted it to be 1.5m long. All I needed to do was to cut a meter of the fabric for each seat. The original fabric's width became the length of my seat-covers. Nice and simple. I cut four of those 1m pieces and then hemmed the sides of the fabric. To hem, I simple folded it once, then folded again and ran a zigzag stitch.
After that, I folded one side in about 45cm over lengthwise, making the rectangle fabric piece almost a square, as seen in the picture below. This was to make a pocket to help it stay on the seat. It is to slide over the back-rest.
I sewed only a bit more than halfway through to give it some flexibility rather than sewing it all the way down (Approximatey 25cm of it from top is sewn) and voila! The seat cover was ready.