How Raggedy Ann and Slipcovers Can Make Your Home Feel New Again

And now for something completely different. There’s a theme that’s been quietly emerging or, more to the point, reemerging as a go-to home interior design style win. And it’s all the more a win because it simultaneously allows you to refresh and reset your home’s vibe without actually having to fully refresh and reset things.

Today we’re talking patchwork furniture slipcovers, aka Raggedy Ann style slipcovers. This relatively simple style hack brings in many of the best qualities of the beloved children’s stories and dolls. A sofa or chair dressed in a patchwork slipcover is every bit the huggable upholstery embodiment of the tale’s air of love and gentleness.

And who couldn’t use a little more of all that in their life? 

So let’s talk about the power of slipcovers, look at what makes a patchwork slipcover special, and talk about how to make your own slipcovers. Along the way, we’ll offer you ideas of the best furniture upholstery fabrics to use that fit your needs, budget, and unique style. Snuggle up, and let’s dig in.

What’s a Slipcover? Time for a Quick Recap of Fabric’s Rockstar Cousin

Patchwork Upholstery Fabric Couch Slipcovers

First, a bit about slipcovers to ensure we’re on the same page. Getting new furniture is a bit like getting new shoes. They look amazing out of the box but getting them right for your feet requires putting some mileage on them—not always fun. 

It can be the same with new furniture. It arrives looking sharp and splendid in whatever upholstery fabrics you choose. And it requires some mileage (albeit mileage on your backside) to get it right for sitting, lounging, napping, and all the other joyful and relaxing activities it hosts. 

In the meantime, the upholstery can end up looking a little worse for wear. But you don’t have to start over now that you’ve got it right.

Enter slipcovers. Whether DIY or professionally made, crisp and taut or loose and relaxed, and all points in between. They serve more or less like throwing a new sweater over a worn shirt, slipcovers breathe new life into your favorite furniture. Or just breathe new life into your home’s style vibe. 

How the Playful Fun of Patchwork Fabrics Can Work in Your Home’s Style

Patchwork style — or Raggedy Ann style — slipcovers are precisely what the name implies. They’re a patchwork of fabrics. If you think of your sofa or chairs dressed up in a patchwork quilt, you’ve got the idea. (Actually, sometimes that’s literally the idea. More on that later.)

And it all starts with you getting your way. No, really. It starts with letting yourself want what you want. You look around your space. Think about how you wish it looked/felt. And then zero in on a furniture piece or pieces that could help you create that new vibe.

Next, it’s time to play. To be a patchwork slipcover, it must be made of at least two fabrics. However, the colors, patterns, and textures of those fabrics can be whatever your heart desires.

  • Loving earthy tones? You might try a sable brown chenille and/or latte Crypton tweed paired with an abstract geometric or onyx black and white houndstooth pattern fabric.
  • Love a modern farmhouse vibe? Try denim in a flax color paired with two complimentary tones in buffalo plaid like crimson red and pewter grey.
  • Love bright and bold? Try a kaleidoscope of colors and patterns. Like red swirl retro-pattern velvet, black toile print, classic blue faux silk, cotton white linen, nectar orange foliage damask, and alpine green chenille. 
  • Love vibey and vintage? Go deep, warm, and saturated with antique gold damask, rich red wine chenille, a toffee stripe pattern damask, and let’s throw in some dark blue performance velvet, too.

Does it all go together? If you say it does, it does. That’s how this works. You get to decide what looks good. And how much of what should go where. And all those furniture upholstery fabrics really are our passion. So stroll the aisles of the largest furniture upholstery store online and start playing.

A Quick (Curated) Guide To Making Your New Patchwork Slipcovers

Once you’ve got your fabrics, you can do the thing. Here things differ from our usual how-tos. Because you’ll have essentially two fun DIY projects ahead. First, you’ll get to create a unique quilt of the various fabric colors, patterns, and textures you choose. Then you’ll use that quilt either as a slipcover or as essentially a new fabric to fully reupholster your sofa or chair.

There are many ways to approach these projects depending on your skill level, time, and/or budget constraints. Take a pass through some DIY guides we found to help you get a sense of what might be right for you.

First, make your patchwork quilt. Here are a few video how-tos—both tailor-made for beginners—one from The Sewing Channel and one from MADE Everyday. If you’re more of a reader, we love this piece from wikiHow and this one from the folks at Gathered magazine. All of the above help kick overwhelm out the door and walk you through step-by-step.

Next, it’s on to actually using your one-of-a-kind quilted fabric for your slipcovers. Again, we’ve done the how-to research for you. A bunch of times, actually. (It’s kind of our thing. *wink*) Here are pages of articles exploring slipcovers and DIY ideas. And here’s one that’s simply a DIY primer to give you the overview.

Finally, a how-to from Storables and a potpourri of Pinterest ideas offer a lo-fi approach to using a patchwork quilt as a slipcover without fully reupholstering. And there’s lots more out there. So, whatever level your sewing chops are, you can do this.

Time for Ann’s Not-So-Raggedy Power To Elevate Your Home’s Style Vibe

And, yes, as ever, we can help—because we love to. But also, because we have homes and upholstered furniture, too. And we know sometimes you like your home’s vibe, but you’re not loving it. And sometimes you still love your furniture, but your furniture’s upholstery is, well, let’s just say it doesn’t owe you anything.

There’s no need to break the bank or return on a seemingly endless tour of furniture stores. Through the power of fabrics and slipcovers, you can update your home’s style and have your furniture looking new again. And all that can be relatively quick, inexpensive, and look completely all your own style.

Add to that today’s journey specifically through the joy of leaning into a patchwork Raggedy Ann style slipcover, and before you know it, your home will be feeling fresh, new, and just a bit more welcoming, timeless, and — we don’t know how else to say it — loveable. Here’s to all of that and more.

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