The Super Simple Camp Chair Cover
Excuse me, but I think you've got my chair!
Lady Femke de Roas

Among the most ubiquitous items at SCA events - indoor or out - in the nylon canvas camp chair. It's light, comfy, easy to carry and set up. It's also glaringly, obtrusively modern. But while you're waiting for your local woodwright to finish your carved wooden chairs, try a cover for your camp!

I suggest building this cover directly on your chair, as opposed to trying to use measurements. Remember not to pin tightly - leave lots of ease. Other wise you'll end up being supported by the cover, not the chair. Which is much less comfy, and liable to shorten the life of your cover.

This cover lends itself well to marking with a heraldic device. You'll never be in doubt as to whether Lady Jane Grey, who has the same green chairs you do, is using hers... or yours. Cotton twill is my fabric of choice for this cover. I especially like Field's Fabric's Cottonstretch SofTwill. It has just enough spandex to make life much nicer.

The Instructions

Set up your chair in an open work area. Take your length of fabric (you prewashed it, right?) and begin with one end on the floor (let a few inches drag for hem and ease). Run the fabric up over the back of the chair and place pins down the sides to the arms. I suggest you use the selvedge along one edge, the cut off the excess on the other side. I'm Dutch, and you never know when those scraps might be useful.

cut fabric

If you ARE going to add your device (that's why you're here, right?), this is the time. Get out an air-erasable marker, and mark the side of the fabric now facing you with a "W" to remind you that this is the Wrong side of the fabric. Draw a line along the upper edge of the chair back, and mark the seams that you have pinned. Remove the pins, transfer your markings to the right side, and apply your device below the line to the bottom of the fabric. When you're done, fold along the line you drew, right sides together. Repin the edges and sew up the seams.

If you're not going to mark your chair cover (bad herald! No biscuit!), just sew the side seams you have pinned.

Place your cover back on the chair, with the wrong side still out. Run the fabric down the back of the chair (on the inside) to the seat, then allow a little extra. Pin the fabric to the chair where the back and seat meet. This will keep it from sliding around on you.

pin front to back

Standing in front of the chair, take your remaining fabric, and lay it over the arm. Pin one edge to the edge of the cover-in-progress along the edge of the seat. Pin the selvedge edge to the cover along the back up to the top of the arm. Then let the fabric drape over the arm, and pin it to the back of the cover. Finish by pinning the front edge of the fabric together, from the front of the arm to the ground. Repeat on the other side.

fit arms

Remove the cover, sew up the seams, and finish/trim them as desired. Turn the cover right-side out, and place it back over the chair. Check fit, then hem.

finished cover


Last updated: 1/13/2005