[I forgot to label the "arm front," but you can probably figure out where that is!]
After measuring all these areas, I ended up with a bunch of rectangular shapes that all needed to be fitted onto a length of yardage. I decided to assume that my fabric would be 54 inches wide, since that is the width of most home decor fabrics. Now here is where things got tricky for me. I'm pretty visual and I really needed something to look at to figure out the most efficient way to utilize the fabric. Sooo, I used some graph paper to simulate my shapes. Each box represented 10 inches, so I drew a rectangle for my fabric that was just under five-and-a-half squares across. Then I cut out corresponding shapes for each of my measurements, remembering that certain ones (like the arms, wings, and seat cushion) would need two of each piece. This made things so much more easy and I was quickly able to push the shapes around to find a space-efficient layout. I found that if I choose a solid or very small print, I could make each slipcover out of 3-2/3 yards of fabric.
The reason the print of the fabric will affect yardage is that larger-scale prints will need to be centered and matched, which obviously reduces the efficiency with which you can lay out your pieces. At least I now have an idea of how much fabric I'll need (I'd say 4-7 yards, depending on the scale of the print) and can search accordingly.
You'd think that the next part, fabric shopping, would be quite fun, but I can be so indecisive. It doesn't help that my tastes far outrun my budget. ;-) In the past I have been drawn to muted, classic, antique-looking fabrics (especially gorgeous florals). Since my marriage, my husband has helped me be less afraid of color and trends. I still like the same things, but am willing to consider brighter colors and different prints. I want to choose something that is not overly feminine (probably no pale pink florals) and that will stand up to a household with children (no whites or creams, and I would prefer something with a print so as to more readily hide dirt and crumbs). It also has to look good with Douglas' (black) grand piano. Lately I have been more drawn to ethnic prints but I'm nervous about going for anything too trendy. I might prefer to save such things for throw pillows, which are less of a commitment.
It's good for me to write this down and get a clearer idea of where I'm going. How do you go about making home decorating decisions? Do you choose a color scheme first, or find a fabric you love, or just start thinking about a general 'look'?