RhymesWithStitch's Blog

Couture Costuming

Spider Web Parasol

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The idea for the parasols with our costumes originally came last year when Gothphyle baked in the sun while waiting in line for a panel at DragonCon. Gothphyle is a delicate southern flower and seriously, you can watch her skin burn.  We talked back then of getting her a parasol for this year.

When Meg and Jamie started talking about making parasols I thought I could create something for each bug to carry.

But when I looked at ‘web’ fabric I wasn’t moved. Too cutesy, too tiny, too meh. Finally I realized that I thought Vic needed a Vic size web. 

Close-up of Vic with her Spider Web parasol

Part of the idea came from  Summerset’s blog where she describes creating appliques with a wood burning tool. The heat seals the edges of synthetics. Don’t try silks or cottons, they just burn.

The original IKEA umbrella had a nylon cover, I could zigzag stitch and burn out the holes. hmm…

 Giving her the choice between an innie or outie web, both real spider options, Vic chose an innie style.


I first drew it out and traced it onto the nylon cover I had already cut down to fit a trimmed parasol. web parasol uncut

Unfortunately, my first sample fell apart. It seems that the nylon didn’t have the strength at only a few centimeters wide to withstand the umbrella ribs.

Next step was to reinforce the web with string. I found a silver crochet yarn that had a lovely sparkle and just fed it under my sewing machine foot as I traced the design with a wide zigzag.

Then I trimmed the ‘holes’ out and using a soldering iron (because I don’t have a wood burning tool) I carefully cleaned up the edges, sealing them.

I don’t recommend a soldering iron, I think they are much hotter than a wood burning tool and I ended up with some black edges. No problem for us, as it added a creepy edge.

Just as Summerset mentions, do this in a well-ventilated area. Burning plastic smells like burning plastic, yuck, and can’t be good for any part of you.

Once I finished, I re-attached the tips to the previously spray-painted black skeleton and in the end we attached some spiders to web.

 Good – I love the design and it ended up being pretty easy to make.

 Bad – It is tricky to open up. The web strings get tangled when it is all folded up. It took some practice to master. We also needed to do a better job with the spiders, some escaped during D*Con. Hopefully going on to scare some drunks. A girl can dream.

And yes, we know that parasol isn’t going to protect anyone from the sun, but Vic is the sun worshiper of the crew so it was perfect.

I love sewing!


Written by rhymeswithstitch

September 13, 2010 at 3:42 pm

Posted in Crafting

Tagged with ,

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