Here in Bakirkoy, not only are there dozens of tiny shops with back-corner staircases leading up and down to hidden treasure troves ... but there are underground markets to explore as well. Wandering through a little arcade - joining one street to another - I peered through a floor grate as I stepped lightly over it, and caught sight of more shops under my feet. There are several staircases - some obvious, and some tucked away in corners, leading down to the below ground shops. Surprisingly, they don't all join up with one another. From this one street arcade there seem to be at least three separate sets of basement shops, as well as a staircase leading further down again to a whole below-ground street lined with shops - a great place to shop when the weather is inclement.
So, anyway, I went down and up and down and up, exploring - one area contains several shops full of wonderful wools and yarns, and a second one has a number of fabrics shops.
Needing a tablecloth
I've never been much of a tablecloth person - I'd rather wipe a table than wash a tablecloth, especially with the tribe that used to live in our house. But our balcony here is not such a super place to eat now that the weather is cooler, and so we've moved or little table into the kitchen. And it really looked like it could do with a nice bright cloth. I had looked in the shops and markets, but only found lacey ones (not me) and plastic ones (ick!). Not what I wanted. I have a sewing machine, let's make one.
I headed down to the fabric basement. After walking up and down a couple of times I hadn't seen anything in the displays that I wanted, time to actually dive right into one of these tiny stores and find out what is stacked on the floor-to-ceiling shelves. An eager salesman stood in his doorway beckoning - ah, why not? I gave him one word - "Cotton?" - although I was pretty sure the Turkish word was something beginning with 'P'. He seemed to understand, and pointed to a range of materials. Wow! I instantly saw the one I wanted, and decided to buy 3 metres - that's "ooch!" metres. He explained that it was extra wide, that was okay. It was such nice material and I was sure I would find something else to use it for. It was only after I bought it that I realised it was also a stretch-cotton. Way too good for a tablecloth, but whatever.
So I whipped up a talecloth. And the kitchen was soon looking bright and civilised.
Needing a shirt
I kept looking at the rest of that material, and feeling it - such nice material. I had to make a shirt.
I just had to make sure I didn't wear it when I was sitting at the table!