Monday, 11 August 2014

Any Umbrellas?

The garden umbrella is very old and really faded- and has one section which has a rip, and a couple of very worn areas – and the next section has a small hole. What to do? I offered to patch it. We discussed what sort of fabric would be appropriate.

“I’ve got a spare gazebo cover” said Bob and produced a huge heap of green fabric from the garage [the umbrella is blue – but never mind] We took the umbrella off the frame, and I washed it – I draped it over the whirligig dryer and it soon dried in the warm sun.

I measured the split [12cm], and all the worn areas and decided that patches the size of my green bowls would cover them. Using Bondaweb, I applied 3 large Mary-Quant-daisies and one small one. I stitched round with zigzag stitch.

umbrella repair

The picture top left shows the inside [still darkish blue] and the outside [faded to very pale blue] – and the split. Bottom left shows the flowers appliqued to the outside, as we decided that would give most protection to the weak areas. Inside, you just get a silhouette.

I made my daisy pattern by drawing a small circle inside a larger one, folding the circle into 6, and drawing round a small beaker to get the petal shape.


I didn’t need much of the gazebo fabric- just part of one ‘leg’ – so I cut off the other three and sewed them into a storage bag. The remaining fabric can be stored much more tidily now.

Toodle - luma luma, Toodle - luma luma, Toodle - olay
Any umbrellas, any umbrellas to mend today?
Bring your parasol, it may be small. It may be big
He will fix them all on what you call a thing-a-ma-jig
Pitter patter patter! Pitter patter patter!
It looks like rain.
Let it pitter patter. Let it pitter patter.
Who cares for rain?
He'll mend your umbrellas, then go on his way
Singing toodle luma luma. Toodle luma luma. Toodle- olay

They certainly don’t write lyrics like this any more! Bud and Chesney first sang this in 1938 – I remember my Grandad singing it in the 1960s, when he was out in his shed, mending things.


  1. Waste not want not eh? Looks great.

  2. There is always a solution to a problem especially if one has a spare gazebo cover!
    Hope you received a parcel from Cornwall.

    1. Halfway down the A47 last night, I remembered with shame that I hadn't emailed you before I left. The Cornerstones kitchen now has an added burst of sunshine - thankyou!!

  3. I LOVE these posts where you share your inventiveness! I always feel that I lack the imagination to do things like this, but you inspire me to try harder!!

  4. Ahhhh, my school choir sang that song in our school concert this summer. I made them do a routine with umbrellas during it!!!
    Great inventiveness! I actually used a hand umbrella case to patch a ripped soft suitcase bag once. I'd lost the umbrella but had the case still so I cute it into a big patch shape and glued and sewed it on. That suitcase then lasted another two years!! X

  5. Waste not want not! Brilliant re-cycling again!
    Have a great time at Cornerstones! xx

  6. I had a little giggle to myself, I thought you were going to recover the whole umbrella not patch it. Oops silly me. However the flowers do look lovely.

  7. My mother used to sing that song and she taught it to me when I was a little girl. I had never heard the original song before this, though. Thank you for posting the link to the song. Brought back a lot of memories.


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