It's summer, and while we're all sweltering in the 98° heat, our thoughts turn naturally to cooling, natural, beautiful, necessary water. The seaside. The local pool. The river. The nearest lake. And when you've had your swim and you get out and towel off, reveling in that unfamiliar feeling of our body parts not sticking to each other with sweat, you wanna throw on something that suits your weightless, relaxed, newly cool mood.
You need a caftan, or a muumuu, or a cover-up, or a wrap of some kind. One that'll protect you from the elements without adhering to your body, or swaddling you in unnecessary fabric. Here's how to make one for about $20 in an afternoon. If you can sew a straight line, you can sew this cover-up.
Here's everything you'll need: a pattern, sewing scissors, matching thread, straight pins, and a measuring tape. I also bought a yard and a half of matching knit binding tape, extra-wide (pictured), intending to use it as a belt, but I ended up preferring how the cover-up looked without it. You could, of course, also make a self belt. You will also need 1.5 yards of 60" wide fabric. If you want something that'll be absorbent, you could get a really nice effect by using terrycloth — or towels, for that matter — but because I do a lot more lounging than swimming, I figured something lighter and breezier than terry would be better. You could use any kind of cotton or poly-cotton, or even a silk blend if you wanted to be fancy. You want breathability (and something that'll look good freshly washed and un-ironed). Piqué would be cool; I strongly considered a bolt of delicate white eyelet. In the end, I went with a railroad striped blue cotton shirting I found at Mood (what? I'm a Project Runway die-hard). Astonishingly, it was relatively inexpensive, at $10/yard. Not pictured, but also necessary, are the sewing machine, the ironing board, and the iron.
I held an informal straw poll to determine next week's DIY project, and white shorts — think Audrey Hepburn on that yacht — won handily. Watch this space.