Thursday, September 20, 2012

Parasol woes...

There is always something, I suppose, the one thing that makes me want to throw something across the room and let loose a curse word.  Or twenty.

For my first Victorian project, it was the bag.  More so because it was something simple.  You wouldn't think a drawstring bag would give me so my grief.  But really it was my overuse of fabric that made it so difficult, since I had to take it apart and trim away part of the top section's interlining to fix it.  Turned a simple probject into a hassle, especially since it was a day or two away from when I needed it.

This project?  The parasol.

Now, I realized after I painstakingly stitched on twelve strips that you aren't supposed to sew on trim before the cover is sewn on the frame.  Surprise, that wasn't the issue at all.  Haven't had one stitch pop.  No, the problem is the cover itself, which is too small for the frame.  As in, I can't sew the middle section of the spokes (or whatever techical term it is) without snapping the threads that are holding the end.  This was all after I broke a needle and got sliced up by a pin so well that it would have made a knife proud.  So I'm really at a lost as to what I can do.  I may not even have enough fabric left to trim the parasol at all.  I don't hate parasols.  They're a tad bit of a pain because of the now sewing trim on first thing, but other than that, they're fine.  But this one...This one makes me dislike it more than hats and corsets.  And that's bad.

Conversely, my little bag/reticule went together fairly smoothly.  Because of my skirt trim fiasco, I ended up having two leftover triangles from that, so I used that as the base for the bag.  It took about an hour, and all it needs are ties.  Picture later because I don't know where my camera is and if it's in my sewing room, I'm not going back down there until my parasol apologizes for being MEAN.  Or maybe I should blame the fabric.  It's probably the fabric's fault that it can't stretch enough.  Well, either way, that's what's going to have to change.

Whine, whine, whine, I'm putting that aside and working on my bodice tomorrow.


  1. That totally bites. Bleeding for one's art is supposed to be a metaphor (I think).

    If you want suggestions, holler, but for now I'm facing south and sending huggy thoughts your way.

  2. It's like once every big project I get sliced up by my pins somehow. At least the fabric is red, so on the off chance I did bleed on it, it'll be fine!

    I'm trying to stay calm (by not messing with it) but I think what I'll do is just add a strip to the bottom edge. That will at least determine if the cover is too small length wise. Plus, this may be a boon because adding a strip of black around the edge mirrors the skirt trim, so I totally did that on purpose! If it's too small width wise...let's just hope not. I don't want to redo it...

  3. Adding a strip was going to be my first suggestion. When you open it as far as you can, are the ribs all at or near their corresponding seam? If they aren't, you need the panels to be wider, in which case I'd bail and start anew.

    1. Eh...they can if I want them to be...the weird thing is is that the ribs (that's the term! I couldn't think of it. Thanks) are a tad loose, so they move more than my other parasol's, and I'm not quite sure how to tighten them. I'll have to check to see if they easily shift where they need to be. If not...*sigh*. Is there a magical formula to determine the parasol cover's correct size? Or do you know where I can find something to help me with that? I know I've seen people ask how to cover antique parasol frames without covers or damaged covers.

  4. I've yet to do a parasol that didn't have a cover from which to make a pattern, but if I did have to make a pattern from scratch I'd use the Magic Power of Math™ technique. It is a circle after all, each of the six panel has a 60 degree angle at the top, and two legs the length of the ribs. Add seam allowance and hem allowance.

    I must add a disclaimer since as I've mentioned, I've always used the current cover as pattern for the new cover. I have noticed when taking apart the covers that the triangles bow out a little at the sides. Have also noticed that when I've hemmed the cover a little long the parasol top is rather flat with only a little bow to the ribs and the cover sometimes is a little slack.

    Covers hemmed a bit more cause the ribs to bow up and make a more domed shape that I find rather attractive. The outside circumference is smaller and it pulls the rib tips in, and the cover tightens so you could bounce a quarter off of it. I think a little bow in the sides of the triangle would help with the dome shape.

  5. Yeah, that was the problem I had with my first parasol, it didn't have any curve to it. I had the opposite problem with this parasol that I had to massively stretch the cover just to get it to the ends of the ribs.

    But I won't have to worry about it because one of the ribs snapped beyond repair when I was trying to take the cover off of it.


    Is it okay if I take it outside and destroy it? I so want to destroy it...

    So it looks like in the meantime I'll be taking apart my other parasol and using the frame. Once I'm done being angry at this one...

  6. Heck yes destroy that thing. Time to call it quits. Save the handle tho. Right after I finished my first ever parasol I brought it upstairs to show the family. Set the brown parasol on the brown sofa in the dimly lit room, turned my back and it was promptly sat on.

  7. Yay destruction!

    I'm apparently collecting parasol bits. The first parasol I ordered for this project came with one of the ribs broken (It's a CURSE!) so now I have two of everything except for the wire frame. So weird.

    Well, the good news is I think I can still use my cover to recover my original parasol. May even have to be trimmed down a little. So we'll see how that goes...

  8. Where are you getting your parasol blanks?

  9. It was off of ebay, I know. I don't remember the seller, I'd have to look that up, most likely a costume seller (like Halloween and whatnot, not our costuming). But I'm not ordering from them again. My first parasol I used for last year I got from Old Mill Merchant, so I may stick with them from now on. Whatever brand they use is of great quality.

  10. I ask because the ones I get from Costumes of Nashua sometimes have issues with the springy thing that the slider passes that holds the parasol open. (Talk about not knowing what something's called!) Overall I'm pretty pleased with the CoN parasols but if I ever look around I wanted to know where not to look.