Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Resurrecting Dead Umbrellas

I had the most beautiful umbrella which made standing in the rain waiting for a bus into a real pleasure. Hard to believe I know, but it was like standing under a shower of giant chocolates, each nearly as big as your head... what's not to love?

One day, while waiting with my son at the bus stop, he decided to try and jump over the closed umbrella and, as well as causing himself a few moments unexpected discomfort, he broke the handle! I went into mini-mourning for a beautiful object made completely useless, even with a splint to try and hold the central stick together (useless cos the central mechanism can't slide up and down as it has to to open the spokes).

 Then I saw a tutorial online for making a dead umbrella into a shopping bag . I remembered the 6 steps, which is just as well as I've never found it since. They were...

1. Remove the fabric from the frame carefully

2. Take each triangle of fabric apart (I thought this was going to be hard and take a long time but in fact once cut at the top, which you have to do to get it off the frame, the seams just come apart easily, so I can see why you have to do it or they'd fall apart when they were a bag).

3. Sew three of the triangles together alternate ways up... so 1 and 3 and upside down and the centre one is the right way up (keeping the pattern of the fabric face to face). This makes a large area of fabric almost square.

4. Cut the outside triangles up the middle till the whole fabric piece is now a square/ rectangle. Repeat all the above till you have 2 identical pieces of fabric.

5. Keeping the pattern of the fabric pieces face to face, sew down, across the bottom and up the other side to make the bag shape and fold and sew the top over to make it stronger and neater.

6 Use the leftover triangles to cut long rectangle shapes to sew into tube shaped handles and sew these to the top of the bag.

If these don't really make sense, type a mixture of the words broken, umbrella, make, bag etc into a search engine and tutorials will appear like magic, probably different to this but similar.

And here is the result...

You can see from the pattern where the triangles and half triangles go and that may help the instructions make more sense. I should have taken pictures as I went along but I get so carried away with doing it that I forget to stop! 

Instead of sheltering from the rain under delicious giant chocolates, I can now go shopping with them and the fabric gets to live another day!!

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