Remove the canopy fabric from an old parasol, ripping or trimming off one of the gores (triangular panels). You’ll be using this gore later as a template for cutting out new canopy panels.
Set aside the parasol skeleton for now. Next, remove all the pockets holding the parasol ribs (metal spokes) and unscrew the finial cap at the centre of the parasol. You’ll be re-using these parts.
Pick out your new canopy fabrics. Work out how many gores you need for your new canopy and coordinate your fabrics accordingly. Cut out new gores using your template, adding a 1 cm seam allowance to all three sides.
Run zigzag stitches around all the gores.
How to make the wavy scalloped edging: Measure the length of the outer edge of a gore (base of triangle), subtract 2 cm for the seam allowance and then divide by 4. Use the resulting measurement to make a semi-circular scallop template using a small plate, for example. Fold the fabric double, wrong sides facing, and cut 4 doubled semi-circles for each gore. Take care to add a 1 cm seam allowance.
Zigzag the raw edges and then sew your scallop semi-circles together. Turn them out so the right sides are facing you, and press them with an iron to flatten and neaten the seamed edges.
Sew four scallop semi-circles to the base of each gore, right sides facing, and then open out the seams.
Next, with right sides facing, sew the gores together, leaving an opening (approx 2 cm) at the centre of the canopy. Sew back the little pockets for the ribs by hand.
Now place the new canopy on the parasol skeleton, inserting the ribs into the pockets. Screw the finial cap back onto the centre of the canopy and secure the fabric by making some firm but neat stitches at the middle of each rib. Your canopy fabric should now be firmly secured.
If you like, you can conceal the visible seams on the underside of your parasol canopy by sewing on bias binding. If so, you’ll have to do this before you stitch the canopy in place.
Dreaming of a trendy beach parasol with a cool retro look? Salvage a shabby, faded parasol to customise with your own design. You’ll be sure to have the most desirable sunshade this summer!