Victorian ladies used parasols for shade and protection from the sun. Fair skin was a sign of high class during the Victorian era and great lengths were taken by upper class ladies to preserve the fairness of their skin, lest they face social ridicule for resembling the common working class. Modern parasol replicas are often constructed for historical reenactments and authentic period plays or films. It is less expensive to make a matching parasol for an outfit than having one custom made by a parasol manufacturer.
Things You'll Need
Purchase an umbrella if you are making a last-minute parasol to match an outfit. Otherwise, look for an antique frame or reproduction frame in a complementary color and style with an intact handle and removable end caps to produce a more authentic effect.
Remove all of the end caps from the spokes and set them aside. Slide the fabric off of the spokes on the umbrella frame carefully. Open the antique or reproduced parasol frame if you have purchased one, and measure the space between the spokes.
Use a seam ripper to separate the “rib” sections from the umbrella fabric and set them aside.
Lay the fabric you just removed down in front of you on a table and iron it flat. Position the umbrella fabric on top of the opened yard of chiffon or cotton fabric. Trace the lines of the umbrella fabric 3/4 inch out. Repeat on the lace fabric.
Cut the pattern out from both fabrics and cut a circle 1/2 inch in diameter at the center of each pattern. Lay the wrong side of the lace on top of the right side of the chiffon or cotton.
Fold the outer edges 1/4 inch underneath and iron the fold line. Fold the outer edge under by another 1/2 inch and iron the fold line. Sew along the outer edges of the fabric.
Mark the positions of the spokes along the outer edge of the fabric using the measurement you obtained in Step 2. Sew along the joining seams of the parasol where the spokes are marked.
Slide the parasol fabric onto the spokes of the antique or reproduced frame with the top spire through the hole at the center of the parasol fabric. If you were unable to acquire this sort of frame, slide the fabric back onto the umbrella spokes instead.
Hem the fabric around the spire by hand and glue the hemline to the spire.Glue the ribs at the rib tips under the wrong side the cotton or chiffon fabric. Wait 30 minutes.
Open the parasol and stitch your lace trim around the outer edge of the parasol, so the ruffles are on the outer edge. Lay ribbon on top of the inner edge of the lace trim and sew the ribbon down on top of the lace so the edges overlap.
Replace the end caps and push the fabric into the caps as needed.
References and Resources"Sticks in Petticoats:Parasol Manufacture for the Modern Costumer;" Rachel E. Pollock; 2007
Victoria's Past: Parasols