Summer is in full swing and we've been taking advantage of the beautiful sunny days by getting out and about. Although I do slather on the sunblock, it's nice to have some portable shade as well. Today we'll make a retro styled parasol using a thrift store kids umbrella. This is a pretty simple project that you can do in an afternoon.
I always see old umbrellas at the thrift stores for a buck or two and as long as they have a functioning frame and decently pretty handle, I pick them up! I used a kids sized umbrella found for 99 cents for this little summer parasol
If your umbrella has a removable cap, pop that puppy off. If, like mine, it doesn't come off, that's okay too!
snip the threads on the umbrella cover, removing it from the frame. Also pop the caps off of the ends of the spokes and set them in a safe spot. Since my cap wouldn't pop off, I snipped it closely to the cap and pulled it off that way.
My umbrella cover had 6 sides so I cut out 6 new sections of fabric. Using two sections, pin wrong sides together at side seam. Sew using a 3/8 inch seam allowance
Press edges flat (do not open the seam) and trim close to seam
fold the fabric along the new seam with wrong sides out, with the raw edge on the inside of the fold
press and sew. I aligned the edge of the fold with the edge of my presser foot.
Repeat this for all sides,being careful to keep right and wrong sides of fabric in mind. I got over-confident in my sewing and ended up with my french seam on the outside! *oops*
hem one raw edge and pin the raw edge to the right side of the first section of your umbrella cover
sew this seam the same as the others, keeping the umbrella closure strap on the outside of the umbrella cover. Phew! Almost done!!
Next, set your machine to a long stitch and sew two parallel rows of stitching around the center hole. This will make gathers around the cap.
Fold the hem of the parasol cover under 1/4 inch and press. Fold over another 1/4 inch, press and sew. As you sew, clip the corners to form a nice, flat corner
If you have any ruffles, piping, pom poms or other trim to add along the edge of your umbrella, go crazy! I used some yellow eyelet lace from my stash. When that's finished, open the frame and slide the cover on. Pull those threads around the center to form gathers tightly around the center cap.
You can stick the spokes into your hem to keep everything in place while you re-attach the caps.
Sew the caps back on and make sure to do a good job getting several tight stitches to keep it all in place.
Also do a few stitches near the middle of each spoke to keep it well secured to the frame.
If your center cap was able to be popped off, re-attach it and use a few strategic stitches to pull in any loose fabric. If your cap couldn't be popped off like mine, Cut a scrap of your trim and gather it up around the cap, pulling in edges of fabric with your stitches as you go.
Finish the parasol by attaching a closure of your choice to the strap. I used velcro and a decorative vintage button from my stash.
You can use snaps, buttons or Velcro. Since my strap was longer than intended, I also sewed a pretty pleat detail into the strap.