Live in the sunshine.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
This is a standard 'sutler' parasol which can be purchased at most costuming websites. They come in many colors and have wooden handles. They are a small, personal, size so that even in a crowd you can give yourself shade without taking up too much space.
This is a pattern for one panel of the sutler parasol. Since we don't need perfection for this cover like you would for an actual parasol, you can make this pattern by laying clear plastic wrap over your parasol, outlining with a Sharpie, and then adding a seam allowance. This pattern is cut from pattern saver so I can see exactly how I want to place the fabric design on my parasol.
And the first panel is cut.
To keep the same pattern on all remaining panels I use the first cut panel as my new pattern aligning the pattern on the fabric.
See how the pattern aligns closely? Not perfect, but close. Remember, this is supposed to be fun!
Now I have two panels. Using the first fabric panel you cut, repeat until you have six panels.
When sewing the panels for a parasol you can use a 'parasol seam' which is very strong. Pin your fabric about 3/4" from the edge. Fold over about 1/4" (I usually press this fold), and sew close to the raw edge through all four layers. Press each seam flat to integrate the thread into the fabric, then press open. Repeat for 5 seams. Note: The sewing ends about 1" from the top to leave room for the parasol ferrule. On my next pattern I will cut off the pointed tip.
Now you have a parasol cover and you can see the circular pattern created when you matched your panels.
Sew the seam with wrong sides together. (here is the loop for your closure tie)
Turn the fabric right sides together and sew the seam again. This is a nice finished seam if you are creating a cover with a single side.
Six panels sewn together with a closure loop in one seam.
On one parasol cover side I pinned my 6 tie ribbons and then the lace. I stitched the lace to this cover side...
and then when I stitch both sides together I can just follow the first stitching from sewing on the lace.
After stitching the entire outer edge and then pressing the seam to integrate the thread into the fabric, I turned the cover right side out and pressed again. I turned the edges in at the ferrule opening and added a loop for a ribbon tie around the ferrule and blind stitched the two halves together.
Thread one of the cover ties through the loop...
and make a knot and bow. Repeat for the other 5 rib tips. Cut a 12" piece of 3/8" grosgrain, thread through the loop in the center of the cover, and tie around the ferrule. (Note: I tied the cover onto the parasol loosley before opening the parasol. This cover is not meant to be tight.)
And....tada! A custom cover for my parasol!
This is the parasol closed and tied with a 24" piece of 3/8" grosgrain threaded through the loop you placed near the outer edge. This closure tie can be tied in a bow when the parasol is open.
And when the cover is removed and reversed, an entirely different parasol!
Two, two, two parasols in one! (That's taken from an old advertising line.)
The purple and blue colors are the colors of the March of Dimes. I made this parasol as a fund raiser for The Perfect Touch website. This baby's toy has wings that light and it plays Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star when you press its tummy. The toy will be included with the parasol in the fund raiser.
I hope you have enjoyed my idea and will be inspired to make some beautiful parasol covers of your own!
May 6, 2011 A month has passed since I posted this tutorial and placed The New Beginnings Parasol on The Perfect Touch website. My husband and I were thrilled that his daughter was expecting her first baby - the first grandbaby. Science has given us such amazing tools to look into the future of our unborn and, sadly, at times that future is less than we would want for our children and grandchildren. Today the little one my husband and I had already come to love had to leave this life because of serious complications. The mission of The March of Dimes is to continue research into complications such as these and I am thankful for their work.