So I got cracking. 8 ‘triangles’ for the panels, 8 small circles which wrap the joints on the ribs, to prevent wear on the main fabric, 1 larger pinked circle to go round the ferrule inside, same purpose. 1 small strip for closing the parasol, using the original tiny button and metal ring closure. I did that bit first, nice and straightforward. I’ve also made an appropriately sized copy for the bronze parasol.
I then attached all the little circles, with one false start to re-cut them a bit larger- this dupion frays like buggery of course!
I then sewed the panels together, keeping carefully to the chalked lines [and you know I don’t stick to lines very well!]
I sewed these normally, right sides together, then trimmed one seam allowance down, as for a felled seam, but then folded the longer piece over, covering the raw edge and the seam, and basted it in place. I then flipped it over and re-stitched on the existing seam, through all edges. Somewhere between Hong Kong finish and a felled seam. The original did this in one pass, but that’s beyond me. Here and there it squirmed away from me, but a bit of hand stitching hid the problem!
I trimmed the hem allowance [originally rough cut by eye] to 3/8″, folded and basted it, then stitched and pressed. Any wobbly or fraying bit will be hidden, as I’ve decided to use this rather gorgeous green fringe which I bought on impulse at the market some months back. It need a comb! Not a perfect colour match, but the three tones work well together I think. I may use some of the fringe to put a tassel back on the tassel if you see what I mean…see how it has a sort of bud-shaped tasselly thing, but no fringey bit? there is a bit of a hole there, so I will see how adding a bit of fringe works.
I slipped it onto the frame, and stitched it to the spoke tips. Now here was the first real problem- two of the eight tips had already broken off. I have no idea what era this parasol is, I tried and failed to identify it some time ago if you remember, but the tips appear to be very early bakelite. They are coloured all through, and have become very brittle. I don’t think this would be the case with horn or bone, which would be the other alternative as far as I know.
You can see the broken ones here
Anyway, all was going well- then another tip snapped off in my hand. Bum!
I have found instructions online for making replacement using glue-gun glue sticks, carved, pierced and heated slightly to smooth them out. More on that in due course. I SAID I’d cursed this by saying it would be an easy job!
The whole cover is also a TINY bit too tight- the original has been perished for so long, I think the ribs have gone back to being straight after the spring that a cover puts into them. I’m a bit wary of pulling them back too much, and ruining the whole thing if one snaps, so I need to try to unpick one or two seams, and add a tiny bit in. This may cause problems because of the way I trimmed one edge but there’s only one way to find out. I need to be very careful here as I don’t have enough fabric for any further panels, without introducing more seams- not a good plan!