Every time I crochet I think of my dear friend, Carol. We were neighbors over ten years ago and it was as fun as being college roommates. We’d go grocery shopping together and get our Starbucks on the way with our grocery lists in hand. We were like two old ladies making a day of a grocery outing. She is a master at crocheting and I’ve always regretted not learning from her but waiting til I was interested in doing it years later. This project was a baby blanket for my brother’s baby.
But it won’t be the case today in between double runs to the pool for swim team, geometry class, volunteering to finish some artwork.
Yesterday I read about ‘foutas,’ (pronounced fow-tas) which are lightweight, gauzy fabrics used in old Turkish bath houses in place of heavy terrycloth towels for their ease in drying quickly. They are made from lightweight 100% cotton with vibrant colors and a fringed knotted edge with ample sizes around 40+” by 72″. I thought what an ingenious delight to pack something so airy for the beach. In hindsight I wish I had noticed these at the bazaar years ago during my trip to Turkey. Fabric was one venue I didn’t invest enough time in perusing. I searched online through the handwoven designs and varied color patterns but changed my mind when I saw the price tag. These lovely linens are around $65 a piece.
I stopped by my local fabric store and picked up a linen cotton blend that is super soft and it hasn’t even been washed yet. It’s the ideal effect – very thin and light. I spent a whopping nine dollars on the two pieces that I had cut in 2 1/8 yard increments.
My version wouldn’t be handwoven but it would be hand unwoven. I started fraying the edges. If I wasn’t patient before I began this project I certainly will be now. It takes a huge amount if time to pull out the threads and I still haven’t finished. The threads break easily. I got into a rhythm and pulled from the center outward for a few strands, but got off kilter and the threads began splitting again.
I’ve frayed about 2″ and I’m hoping for about 3″. Below is a picture of the frayed edge with realistic light so you see the delicate design and at the bottom how I will knot along an entire edge once I’ve frayed to my heart’s content- photo darkened for contrast visibility. Afterward, it will be washed and packed for fun in the sun- a coverlet while napping at the beach under an umbrella, a shield from whipping sand, wiping blurry eyes free from sunscreen, or the most practical use of all – inspired by the Turkish bathhouse – drying off after a dip in the ocean.
The pillowcase dress – it’s the simplest fashionable design to sew in a matter of minutes when someone needs something new to wear. My sister frequently makes them for my niece who looks like a It’s cute on someone wearing bloomers, a preteen hippie shirt, or a work outfit cinched with a belt. I sampled making a couple that multiplied because there were so many fun combinations and it required basically scraps of fabric to complete.
I found a very good tutorial here that offers size guidelines for different ages – but really it’s a try, check, revise type project depending on your subject. It takes your fabric, some ribbon, a coordinating trim fabric, and if you use an embroidery machine that’s a fun way to personalize or embellish your design.
Here are some more completed projects: