|A New Years (Etrenne) Gift|
When I began sewing for her last year, I acquired an antique parasol to re-cover for her trousseau. Its is just now, in between sewing projects, that I decided to give it a go. I have re-covered parasols before, but never an antique. This one's cover was in such a state of disgrace, that I wasn't tempted to keep it "antique".
At the beginning of the story The Other Alice, she and Dodgson take a row boat out for a picnic with her sisters Edith and Ina. "It was perfectly quiet that hot summer day on the river. There wasn't even the sound of an oar, or the chirp of a bird, or the buzz of a fly. The boat moved slowly forward." After much ado about telling a story, Dodgson began, "It was just as warm and sunny as today. Alice sat on the riverbank with her sister."
|A long story to be told. Alice in the middle with her parasol.|
|Paper towel pattern and mock up.|
If you've never made a French seam, its not too difficult, but takes a little thought. You begin by making the seam on the right side of the fabric. Then you turn the piece over and encase the edges in a folded seam. The results are tidy and perfect for a parasol whose underside can be seen when open.
I then cut a length of silk on the bias and stitched this to the edge, to fold up over the top. This encased and neatened the edge. Since I added two rows of ruched "ribbon", the bias strip would be concealed.
|The original cover and new.|
|The bias edge pinned to the underside.|
|The bias edge when folded up over the top.|
I decided to leave the stem as it was. There's a bent nail wire that functions as the piece that collapses into the stem when closed, holding the mechanism up when open. You'll notice that the wood was split to accommodate this wire. Again, not all parasols were made this way, but I wanted to retain the antique feel of this one for Alice.
Now, since the top peg was missing, I used a technique for making one that I've used in the past for other projects. I took a metal head straight pin and cut it short with wire cutters. The pin head act as a stop on one end. For the other end, to secure the pin, I used a seed bead and a touch of Super Glue to secure it. That pin isn't going anywhere until I say so. Should I ever wish to recover the parasol frame again, I would snip the pin off and begin again. No glue will ever touch the silk cover.
|How it looks on the underside with French seams.|
Should I not have been attempting to make this parasol as close to the illustration as possible, and retaining the integrity of the antique stem, I would have hand carved a new stem...but, that's another story. For this one though, I might have drilled a little hole about an inch and a half up from the bottom and added a tassel.
This is fussy, fiddly work. Its one of the things I love best to do because I have to think, and ponder long, on how to create it. I hope the photos help if you've a mind to try it yourself. This is but one way to re-cover an antique parasol. Good thing the days are sunny here. Alice Liddell is bound to get a lot of use out of her new Etrenne.
Miss E. Mouse
|The nasty job of ruching.|
|Two edge rows.|
|The third and final row.|
|A very tidy underside.|
|Alice Liddell's Morning Glory Parasol|