If you've been paying attention for the past few years, you'll have noticed that I'm more than a little fond of the nautical look. My favourite colour combination (blue and white) is often used, sometimes with a bit of red thrown in and a liberal use of large white buttons. As far as shapes and styles are concerned I have a huge soft spot for sailor trousers and large-collared sailor tops…
Deanna Durbin and friends in Three Smart Girls
Adorable sailor collared halter neck blouse (I think)
Sailor sweater, oh I WISH I could knit sometimes!
But for a real taste of nautical chic, there's nothing quite like the winning combo of striped Breton top and high wasted sailor shorts. And brown legs of course, if you're lucky!
Just in case I get an invitation to mess around in a boat this summer, I've decided to make myself this very same winning combo. For the shorts, I'm going down the denim route, inspired by these beauties.
I'll be using Kwik Sew 3854, kindly lent to me by Zoe. In fact, we did a sailor swap - I loaned her my copy of Simplicity 2654 to make a pair of awesome sailor trousers! I'll be making view B, from a lovely dark, stretch denim. Now I just need to work on applying fake tan for an entire year to get my legs the requisite bronzed hue (ha!)
For the Breton style top there was only ever one contender - the Coco pattern. I used an unusual green and cream striped stable knit from the Goldhawk Road, which is a lovely quality knit. I went for the ¾ sleeve option and also shortened the body length quite a bit. I do like the original length of the Coco top with the split, but wanted something that wouldn't be too bulky tucked in. The shorter length also means it can showcase any awesome sailor buttons I manage to scavenge for my shorts. I tapered the waist and hips in by about ½" for a more fitted look and also reduced the width of the sleeves.
The neck is a bit baggier than I'd like, but I think that's more to do with me using a zigzag stitch. For some reason, all my zigzagged hems came out wavy as hell on this make. The arms and main hems looked ridiculous and the only reason the neck is wearable is because I applied knit stay tape beforehand. In the end I had no choice but to cut the hems off and start again, this time using a twin needle, which seemed to do the trick. Definitely something to keep in mind for next time. Here it is tucked in...
Despite this, the top sewed up very quickly on my overlocker and I'm pleased with how well it seems to pair with my existing wardrobe. A good nautical start I'd say! I can't wait to pair it with the sailor shorts in a few week's time. Right, must go and practise a furious dance routine a la Gene Kelly…. x