Happy 2024! We spent the evening at the Marrickville Bowlo with our friends Jody, Alayne, and Meredith watching Smooth Sailing ring in the new year with yacht rock classics of the 70s and 80s…

Smooth Sailing band

Of course, I had to make us special outfits for the occasion. I’ve been wanting to make Rodd a matching short set for some time (inspired by Taika Waititi’s pineapples), and I happened to have the perfect fabric in my stash (courtesy of my mother): Robert Kaufman’s Seersucker Coastal Print with tiny pink flamingoes. For the shirt, I used my tried and tested Seamwork Negroni pattern, just straightening the side seams and grading out a size at the waistline for some extra roominess. For the shorts, I used the Trigg Shorts pattern and modified them to have a full lining (because the seersucker was a bit see-through). I used some plain white cotton to sew a version without any pockets, and then inserted that into the seersucker before joining on the waistband. Worked great!

Rodd in his flaming short set

For my outfit, I decided to go literal with the Charm Mariner Top. This was my first time sewing princess seams, so I wisely opted to make a muslin first with an old bedsheet. I’m glad I did, because the fit was Not Great. Turns out that Charm revised their sizing a few years back, and they have two separate ranges now: the old one from 2-20, and the new one from 18-34. I happen to fall in the overlap. My first muslin was using the new range, so I decided to try the old one for comparison. That second one was better, but still needed some tweaks. I ended up removing half an inch at the top of each shoulder, and half an inch in width at the underarm as well. Not gonna lie – it was a fiddly pattern and I felt clueless as I tried to figure out how to improve it. Happily, the end result more than justified all my efforts:

Sailor Suit Kris

The fabric for the top is a navy cotton piqué I got at the Fabric Store, and I LOVE it. It’s woven but had a lovely thickness and drape to it. For the collar, I used white cotton lawn (sandwiched with some interfacing). You’re meant to use ribbon for the decoration, but I realised I had some navy bias binding that would work perfectly. I simply folded it in half and then edge stitched two rows around the edge. Here’s a photo halfway through, when I realised it was going to look awesome…

Decorating the collar

The red knot tie is a piece of actual silk that we found in the remnant box for $10. It was quite sheer so I used a double layer of it. Once I knotted it, I sewed a safety pin onto the back so I could pin it to the shirt. That way I can take it off for laundering. I paired the top with a pair of navy shorts from Uniqlo.

Aren’t we cute?!

Selfie of me and Rodd