Parasol Project

After wrapping up my morning video, I decided I just wasn’t in the mindframe for straw. I needed to do something different.

It was time to recover the parasol that had patiently been waiting for over a year.

(looking for a pre-photo as I forgot to take one.)

The original cover was a heavy black sill with a fine twill weave. The edge was pinked with deep scallops, done with a pinking die. The lace was attached to the lining. A bow of grosgrain black ribbon finished the top.

I had been planning to recover this parasol in pink plaid silk. But, I wasn’t able to find enough documentation to satisfy myself. Part of me really wanted to cover it in black as it originally was, but I have another parasol that will be covered in black and I currently do not have black silk taffeta in the house. The stash gave this dark brown option.

It took about an hour to take the original cover off. The lining was in shreds. The bow at the top was made of seperate loops and tails, each sewn on. (far right)

The lace was in beautiful shape. In the 138 inches, I found only one tiny hole in a gather.

The panels of the cover were sewn with a chain stitch in brown thread. This made it much easier to remove one panel for making a pattern from.

The removed piece curled right up on itself from years of being folded.

So, I found myself ironing 100+ year old silk. Ack. It flattened fairly well.

This gave a better view of the scallops and the seam allowance.

The seam allowance was 1/4″ wide.

Now that the silk panel was mostly flat, I was able to trace it. The bottom right corner had frayed out a bit. I made tha corner match the other side by folding it in half and copying. I was concerned that it didn’t seem to curve in enough at the bottom. I remembered that line from the parasol covers I drafted years ago. This did turn out to be a factor as I had to go back and take in the bottom four inchs about one-eighth of an inch to get a curve I liked.

Here is a video of my tracing the pattern pieces:

The pieces needed to get ironed again after. This is where my heat oops happened. I didn’t realize it was hot and I hadn’t been drinking enough. So, it was break time. I also broke down and turned on the AC.

After the break, I pinked the curved edge of the panels.

The pieces went together fairly easily. I really wanted to cut the tips off each panel, but didn’t because the orginal kept the excess. I errored on the side of caution, with the quarter inch seam allowance. I kept the edge of the silk just under the edge of my foot, the quarter inch spot. I now think I should have kept the silk just beyond the foot edge. I don’t think the cover is quite tight enough by a hair on each seam. I do think literally a seam width would have made a difference. I do not want to go back in because I think replacing or doubling those seams would do more damage than good.

I was rather pleased with how my center points came together. Then, I had unpick a stitch from each to get the cover on the stick. That space came out well. It was almoat a pitty to add the ruffle. But, there was a gap that needed filling.

Tacking the cover on tool a couple tries before I was happy.I did adjust the bottom 4 inches as mentione above. The taking point is one and a half inches up from each curved edge. The catch is that curved edge varies with the pinking points. I should have measured from the center down. I may have over engineered my tacking. The original was tacked down in 4 places. I tacked along most of the length.

I wanted to reuse the original lace. The pieces belong together. I decided to put it along the edge. This did mean it would cover the pinked edge of the silk. But, it made sense of the deep drop in the silk.

As I am writting this, I am wondering what it would look like with the silk and trim all moved up so it brushed the edge instead. The lace is currently tacked on and the trim pinned. I need to ponder this before proceeding. The draped lace will provide the most shade and privacy under the parasol. Moving the lace and trim could look pleasing. Hmm….

Taking photos while holding the parasol is proving to be a challenge.

Published in: on May 26, 2020 at 12:01 pm  Comments (1)  

One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I have a vintage parasol. To open it, I lightly spray with water and then let it rest for a few minutes before opening. That allows the fabric to give with less chances of damage.


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