How to make a skirt cover for a footstool

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  • Love country craft ideas? Follow Country Homes & Interiors' step-by-step guide to making a footstool cover

    Thinking of ideas for your New Year’s resolution? Why not embrace the craft trend in 2011. Follow Country Homes & Interiors‘ step-by-step guide to making a cover for a stool.

    You will need

    Main fabric (we used Greta, ref F3604/03, col Aqua/Beige, £82 a metre, Colefax and Fowler)

    Tacking thread

    Matching thread

    1) This cover is made in two pieces: the top and the skirt. For the top, cut a piece of main fabric to the dimensions of the top of the footstool, allowing extra for a 10cm overhang and a 2.5cm seam all round.

    To work out the length of the skirt, measure from where the top overhang
    will fall to where you want the skirt hem, then add 2.5cm for a seam and
    5cm for a hem. To work out the width of the skirt, measure all around
    the footstool, then to this measurement add 5cm for seams and 2cm for
    every pleat (our has a total of 20 pleats: seven each along the front
    and back, and 3 along each side). Depending on the size of your
    footstool you may need to join pieces of main fabric to make up the
    width of the skirt: if this is the case remember to allow for pattern

    3) Take the top piece of fabric and place it,
    wrong side up centrally on top of the stool. So that the fabric shapes
    nicely around the stool, smooth it out towards each corner and bring the
    excess together to form a dart. Pin then tack a dart at each corner.
    Remove the fabric,
    take out the pins, and place the top back on the stool, this time right
    side up. Check the fit, make any necessary adjustments then machine
    stitch the darts in place. Remove tacking, trim back the excess fabric
    around the darts and press to one side.

    4) Right sides
    facing and matching raw edges, fold the skirt piece in half by bringing
    the two short ends together to form a ring. Stitch taking a 2.5cm seam.
    Trim, press open seam and turn through.

    5) Pin 1cm pleats
    at regular intervals all around the top of the skirt, making sure that
    the seam falls midway between two pleats. Check the fit around the edge
    of the top piece and adjust pleats if necessary. Press all the pleats in
    one direction and then tack in place 1cm from the top raw edge all
    round. Remove pins (see illustration).

    For the skirt section press all the pleats in one direction and tack them in place.  Michael A Hill

    6) Right sides
    facing, matching raw edges and centring the skirt seam along the back
    edge, pin then tack the skirt piece to the top piece all round 1cm from
    the edge. Remove pins then machine stitch taking a 2.5cm seam. Remove
    all tacking and trim and press seam allowance away from the top piece.

    7) Place
    the cover, inside out, on the stool. Turn under 2cm then 3cm along the
    bottom edge and pin. Check the hem is even and adjust if necessary. Slip
    stitch, remove pins and press entire cover to finish.

    Illustration, Michael A. Hill.

    Looking for more craft ideas? Learn how to make a headboard slip cover, an envelope cushion and a pretty napkin ring.

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