Monday, August 13, 2012

Recovering the Parasol, Part II: Patterning, Fitting and Finishing

And we forge ahead in parasol-recovering! Now for the pattern.

Phase 3: Rescue lone surviving canopy piece
Snip. Snip snip snip. Snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip. That was me removing every single stitch from both sides of the panel. The silk is very fragile. No tugging allowed. Some extremely cautious ironing left me with a flat panel. Despite my caution, it was hanging by a few less threads by the time it was flattened!

Phase 4: Mockup!
I took my pattern piece and cut 8 panels out of muslin to make a mock-up.

It fit the parasol pretty well:

The top. The lace is still chilling on the side.

The underside. Looking good so far!

So I decided to go ahead and cut out the silk!

Old panel, and new panels!

Phase 5: Putting it together
I stuck all of the silk pieces together. They fit the outside of the parasol frame well, but the inside was a little bunchy, so I had to take them in a little. I then hemmed the seams, as was the case in the original piece. I forgot to take a picture during this stage :( I then tacked it on to the frame. Still bunchy. I took it off and took in the seams. Still bunchy. About 62 years and a hundred seams later, it fit tolerably well. Ms. Parasol, meet Mr. Good-Enough... you two are about to become very good friends. I can always fix it more later, I figure. I can't stand the thought of adjusting it anymore!

Phase 6: Attach the canopy to the frame! (Again.)
This is the moment of truth. Here, the silk cover is stitched to not only the ends of the spokes, but also to two more points along the middle. (For the fourteenth time.)

Handy little hole in the tip!

Phase 7: Tack the lace to the silk
Almost there! But the Chantilly lace needs to be stuck down, because
a) it bunches in the middle when it isn't stretched, and
b) it flies up at the slightest breeze.
Neither of those are good! Tacking down it is.

Phase 8: Recline in shaded style
... to be executed at the Jackson reenactment in a couple weeks! Aww yeah!

Final verdict: Re-covering a parasol was... okay. I'd heard everything from "Oh, you can do it in an afternoon," to "Don't even think about it, it's more trouble than it's worth!" It took a few days of casually working on it, but I probably could have cranked it out in one or two intense sessions, or over a weekend had the situation demanded it. I'm pretty happy with it, considering it was my first shot and I did not have any assistance beyond some verbal instruction beforehand.

Final pictures to come in another post--check back in the next few days!

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