Home Sewing Tutorials How to Patch Up a Slipcover

How to Patch Up a Slipcover

by Sarah

It’s amazing how quickly a room full of kids can destroy anything. My friend runs an in-home daycare and after 6 years of loyal service, her jean couch cover was toast.  We attached a few temporary patches months ago, but nothing can last around a dozen 2-3 year olds.


However, she and I both hate to throw anything away. This jean couch cover has memories in every rip and tear. Each stain is a subtle reminder of little boys and girls playing and learning. For her, the stains and rips are nostalgic. In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how easy it is to reinforce and patch up a  frayed, ripped, kid-induced slip cover tragedy. Here we go!


Darning Foot or Walking Foot

Matching Thread

Fabric  large enough to fully cover frayed area

Large Jean or Upholstery fabric patches

Machine Needle matching your slipcover fabric (in my case, Jean Needles)



measuring tape

Step 1

Turn your slip cover inside out and spread out on a floor or table to evaluate all the holes and thinning areas. First, we are going to reinforce the area that’s falling apart – which is pretty much the entire cushion section.


Gather up scraps of jeans or other strong, durable fabric. I used jean pant legs I cut up years ago to use as patches.


Step 2

Layer  the patches over the trouble areas. It’s best to have the patch extend a few inches past the rips and holes. Pin in place and head over to the sewing machine.


Step 3

I recommend using a darning foot for this part. We need to tack the jean patches to the slip cover. Because the cover is so heavy and bulky, it’s rather difficult to maneuver under a sewing machine.  Drop your feed dogs and use a free motion stitch to shift the fabric as best as you can.


Step 4

Making a large single patch is easiest, but you can get as patch-happy as you’d like. You could make fun patterns or appliqués.  Measure the area needed to cover and cut a patch that is slightly larger. Turn the couch cover right sides out and pin the patch to the slipcover.


Step 5

If you have a walking foot, it makes the next part easier. We want to “quilt” 5 lines down the length of the patch. I like the start in the center and work my way out with the outer lines sewn along the patch edge. Then, sew another 2 lines along the edges of the two open patch ends.




Step 6

Slip your couch cover back on the sofa and enjoy another decade of tiny toes or whatever it is that caused the initial holes, rips, and stains. Thanks for reading and I hope this tutorial was helpful. If you have any comments or questions, be sure to message us comment section below. Happy Sewing!

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Ann Bidwell December 31, 2018 - 7:50 am

Hi! Thanks for the video. I’d like to replace the thinning/frayed arm of a slipcover for a club chair. I have extra fabric. I will remove the damaged section with a seam ripper and use it as a pattern. How do I mark the existing/remaining section so I can match up the new section?

CustomerService January 17, 2019 - 10:34 am

Hello Ann! I would suggest using our Dritz Marking Pen. You can purchase that pen via the link below:


lembaga psikologi di yogyakarta August 13, 2016 - 4:08 am

An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who has been doing a little research on this.
And he actually ordered me breakfast simply because I stumbled upon it for
him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!!
But yeah, thanx for spending the time to talk about this issue here on your website.

Tina Wemyss March 20, 2015 - 1:13 am

Thank you so much for this hint, the arms of my couch in the play room has been wrecked by my autistic grandson and I wondered how to repair it, so now I know how to go about it I am looking through my stash for nice patches he will enjoy looking at!

Sarah March 27, 2015 - 10:12 am

I’m sure he would love it! The kids really enjoyed the new patches, especially since they were made from some of their old clothes.


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