Sunday, June 24, 2012

Edwardian Parasol Workshop

What a fun day! Yesterday I taught a class for the Greater Bay Area Costumer's Guild, "Edwardian Parasol Recovering Workshop." I had eleven enthusiastic, talented, and creative students. No one finished, but just about everyone just had to do the final attaching-to-the-frame.

This was the first class I've ever taught for the GBACG (I've taught privately and at Costume College). I do wish everyone had been able to finish, and have some ideas for next time. Yes, there will be a next time, I had a ton of fun and would do it again!

Here's a photo recap of the day (scroll to the end to see some of the results!)

Umbrellas packed, student packets packed.
Parasols packed!
A handful of antiques from my collection. I brought them to
give a lecture on history and mechanics of parasols.
Some more antiques and two modern, recovered parasols.
AJ de-nuding her umbrella, with Tara and Leah.
Chris and Lynn stitching away.
Noelle, cutting deliciously striped silk.
Tara and Judith, who is deeply
contemplating her trims.
Lynn made her two smocking pleaters available for the
class (this one has been at my house for a few
weeks...I've had MUCH FUN with it).
We used them to gather up the rosettes.

And here are some of the results!!!

Judy's stripes.
Judy made her outside rosette extra long. Love it!
Anne's plaid.
Plaids just do GREAT on parasols.
Lynn's, with pinned on gimp
(there will also be FRINGE!)
Great deep dome.
Leah's cotton stripes. You can
run your stripes around, or up and down!
Manon's sea foam blue silk.
Tara's printed silk.
When we stepped outside, it positively
I'll have follow-up posts for the two frames I prepared as demo's for this workshop, and then maybe I'll, like, stop talking about parasols for a little while. Maybe. ;)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Parasol Workshop, Part 3

This is a follow-on post to my earlier posts documenting steps in recovering a parasol:

Parasol Workshop, Part 1: canopy seams.
Parasol Workshop, Part 2: attaching to the frame.

In this post I describe another odd and unique step in recovering a parasol, which, well, really goes in between parts 1 and 2 above, but anyway, here it is now.

This step describes setting and reinforcing the hole at the center of the canopy. I have found this reinforcement on several extant canopy remnants, and on the modern umbrella that I'm converting into a parasol. My antique frames generally have little to nothing left of the canopy, so I can't tell you that the reinforcement is universal.

In some cases, the reinforcement isn't necessary. In the couple of cases where I've seen it, the seam of the canopy was shorter than the length of the rib. This difference is length is one way to manipulate the shape of the canopy. What happens, though, is that as you pull the canopy to attach it to the rib tip, the hole at the center of the parasol stretches and pulls out of shape. Now every time you close the frame, it'll slip down over the ribs.

So, here is what you do:

1. Put the canopy onto the frame tip. Keep the frame closed. With a double-length of thread, secure the thread about 1/4" from the opening.

I like to place my stitches through the seams, since it's
a sturdy point.
Pass the needle between the threads and under the knot.
2. Back stitch around the opening. Pull the stitches snug against the tip of the frame.

Don't ask why I'm going left to right instead of right to left.
It made sense at the time, and ultimately it doesn't matter
which direction you go.
3. When you're done you have gathered the fabric a little. The stitches should be snug against the frame tip.

Now you're basically ready to finish attaching the canopy to the frame.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Powder Blue Parasol, Part 1

I've been embroidering again. This design is for the parasol I mocked up in this earlier post. One of two, actually, since I'm going to do two versions of this parasol.

Oh right: that's what the umbrellas are all about. The frames are pretty darn good for converting into Edwardian-era parasols.

This design actually has a cutwork component, but I've enlarged it so much that I don't trust the cutwork area (the wedge shapes) to be stable.

Here are all the panels, stacked up and ready to sew...but that'll have to wait for later.

I'm following the philosophy of: if you can find  half hour to do a little sewing (or blogging!) DO.