Sunday, January 22, 2017


Instructions with kind permission from Viola Williams,

Times and fashions do change, don't they? Sometimes they go in circles. Once upon a time, privileged ladies of the upper classes valued a pallid face, which indicated they had the money to achieve this result. Elaborate parasols protected them from the sun, while ingesting arsenic, or applying lead based creams supplemented the effect. 

Heaven forbid you had freckles! Remember the portraits of Queen Elizabeth 1 of England? A real paleface! She was a redhead......just  saying.....  It was only working class women who worked in the sun who were tanned.

Times changed again in the 1920's, popularized by Coco Chanel, and the privileged could spend time in the sun, with a tan being associated with health, wealth and leisure, while the pale working class were confined to factories and offices.

Now again, with more knowledge about the harmful effects of too much sun,  umbrellas are seen more on sunny days, as well as in the rain.

Probably the most popular periods for the parasol were Regency, Edwardian and Victorian. Some parasols to were quite tiny, just large enough to shade one tiny lady, while others were larger. 
The photo below shows the smaller size on the left, larger on the right.

To make a parasol, you will need
  • Pull tab from a beverage container
  • Lace (straight edged works better on smaller parasol, and stiff lace is best) 
  • Tacky glue
  • I Dowel or wire for handle
  • 1 small and 1 larger spools

Remove the circle from the pull tab and punch a small hole in the centre. 
Gather the side-edge of a strip of lace. Then pull gathers, join ends together and tie off, forming a circle to create the top of the parasol.
Tacky glue the lace to the top of the plastic circle, using clips to hold in place.

Gather a narrower strip of lace, join the two ends and slip over the handle to cover the plastic circle. Glue in place.

Push a dowel or wire from the insides through the centre of the plastic circle so that approximately 1/16 to 1/18 inch protrudes through the top. Glue the handle securely.
Stack two spools together to support the parasol. Drape the lace into a parasol shape. Give the parasol several coats of clear drying glue, hairspray or other stiffener.

Cover the top of the handle with flowers or a bead. Please note the larger parasol has lace glued to both inside and outside of the parasol.

How elegant, swelligant!