Felt Parasol for Sunny Days

Felt Parasol for Sunny Days


Ta-Dah!  I finally finished my parasol.  If you haven’t a clue what I’m talking about, please see this blog post

I made a paper pattern of the segments of the umbrella then I cut out the felt panels.

I stitched the panels together using the wide zigzag stitch that worked so well on my sample.  The thread I used (top and bobbin) was ‘The Bottom Line’ by Libby Lehman – it’s almost ‘invisible’ and the colour of the felt showed through the stitches.

I was worried about how I could ‘pin’ the panels together for stitching, but as the felt is thin and firm thanks to the fabric between the fine layers of wool, it was easy to sew by just butting the edges together just before the pieces went under the needle. The parasol shape became obvious after only stitching 2 panels together.

1. stitching the panels together

I cut a hole in the centre so that the cover would slide over the central pole. To reinforce the hole, I found an old metal key ring that was the exact size.  I glued it in place, then stitched it with perle embroidery thread.

2. reinforced hole for centre 1

3. reinforced hole for centre 2

I trimmed the bottom edge, then using the same red thread that formed the flowers, I secured the cut edge with blanket stitch. It’s a very bright red – I’d describe it as neon because it almost glows!

Compare the zigzag stitching in the photos above and below – one looks blue the other looks yellow, but it’s the same pale grey thread described above.

4. blanket stitch and bows

The ends of the spokes of the umbrella have plastic caps with large holes at the back so I secured the cover to the end of each spoke with thread bows.

5. attaching bows to underside

Ann (Shepherdessann) expressed an interest in what the parasol would look like inside, so here it is on its back (the under layers of wool were plain colours – baby blue and canary yellow.

6. underside

The summer cover is quick to fix in place and just as quick to remove, and fold away, for the winter.

7. easy to fold to pack away


29 thoughts on “Felt Parasol for Sunny Days

  1. Wow, Lyn, that’s absolutely fabulous! Beautifully planned, felted and sewn, it’s very striking. Let’s hope we have lots more sunny weather this summer to make it useful.

    1. Thank you Lindsay.
      It was a bit of a slog making all those panels, but as soon as I started stitching it together it became fun to do and I was pleased (and, to be totally honest, a bit surprised) that it actually turned out so well.

  2. Absolute genius…..you don’t get much more Summery than a beautiful parasol! I had missed the previous post so it was interesting to go back and see how you’ve made this. It was clever to attach it as you have done so you’ve got the choice of protection from the sun or the rain.

    1. Thank you Karen.
      It pays to mull things over before you start. Originally I was going to trash the umbrella for its skeleton but because I gave it thinking time it became obvious that a cover was the best idea so that I still had the umbrella for the winter.

      Also, should I be out in the sun with the parasol and (being in England) it should start to rain, I would stay dry!

  3. I really like this, and the idea of leaving the original umbrella cover in place. I was wondering where I could get a transparent umbrella so I could have a go. Then I thought, why not use an ordinary umbrella and make the cover to tone with or compliment the original. Provided the original was sufficiently lightweight, it should still make a parasol.
    Having also re-visited your initial post, I’ve been reminded that a small bag with pen/pencil pocket is another must – to carry my puzzle book and pencils for when I’m queueing to get into the shops! I’ll be able to pin my shopping list to the bag too so I’ll know where it is when I need it!

    1. Thank you Ann.
      Yes, you need a lightweight umbrella to start with. Mine was a cheap one but it works and being cheap the materials used to make it are minimal.

      The key to success with the cover is making it very lightweight but strong and easy to sew. Having the net layer between the fine layers of wool worked a treat.

      A bag like Annie made could prove useful in so many ways.

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment Viltmaaraan – much appreciated!

  4. It turned our wonderful Lyn. Aren’t you clever to think before doing and doing it right. I probably would have trashed it and then wish I hadn’t. I haven’t seen clear plastic umbrellas since the bubble ones of my childhood. I will have to keep a watch out.

    1. Thank you Ann. I think clear umbrellas could be a bit passe! I remember them from way back too. At the time I thought it was a great idea because you could see where you were going without getting your face wet.

    1. Thank you Frances – I appreciate that coming from you as you come up with good ideas too.

  5. Great job on the parasol Lyn. It’s perfect for sunny days 🌞 and will still protect you from the occasional shower. I like your solution for the top pole. It makes it very neat. The blanket stitching on the edge looks even enough to use as a ruler. Your planning and work really paid off. Such fun!

    1. Thank you Ruth. I don’t know how the blanket stitch worked out so neat because it was done ‘by eye’ and I have old eyes!

      The challenges are worth doing because I felt ‘stretched’ by this project and certainly learnt some new things.

  6. Lyn – fantastic, well thought out (time to think does pay dividends I find) & executed. The colours are definitely your trademark.
    Keeping the original cover also adds support to the felt.
    With our current cold wet weather, I’d have the beautiful parasol open in the house to provide the sunshine….but then I’m not superstitious!
    Great job.

    1. Thank you Antje. The plastic does provide a good base for the felt but I think it would have been ok without because the felt is so firm with the fabric middle.

      I forgot about the superstition. Uh-Oh. I had that umbrella up and down indoors so many times during construction.

      Since the beginning of March we’ve had really warm, dry weather here, but as soon as I finished the parasol the mercury dropped like a stone – it’s going back above 20C in the next few days but it’s bringing rain!

      Shouldn’t complain – the garden’s parched.

    1. Thank you Kim! To be fair, although I did plan it, things happened along the way and I found myself winging one or two bits.

    1. Thank you Marilyn! We’ve had a spectacular spring – 3 months of sunshine with just an odd day of showers. It’s a bit unsettled right now but still plenty of sunshine and very long days – I love this time of year with so many daylight hours.

Leave a Reply to Lindsay Wilkinson ArtworkCancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.