20th Century

A nautical playsuit

Remember the darling little halter-neck playsuit from last week?

Well, when I sent the toile for it to S. she noticed how much it looked like a sailor suit in white, and liked it so much that she asked me to make her a second playsuit, this one with a nautical theme.

I suggested mixing things up a bit, and using a different bodice for the top half of the playsuit, specifically this little cutie from my pattern collection:

1930s nautical sailor dress

We settled on blue fabric with a detachable white collar with red trim, and cute blue buttons with ‘X’es on them that remind me of compasses.

Buttons (and my lovely blind-hem-stitched seam)

The bodice top married to the shorts from the original playsuit well, all I had to do was adjust for a back fastening rather than a side fasteningso that she could get in and out of it.

To play-up the nautical inspiration I added little white piping at the front pleats.

Like the floral playsuit, this one has a skirt to button over it.  I made this skirt a little wider, to give it more flow and a point of difference from the yellow skirt.

 And, like the yellow playsuit, it’s almost as pretty on the inside as on the outside, with French seams and hand-sewn bias-bound neck and sleeve edges

And, as a final touch, as I was getting fabric for another commission I walked past the Army Surplus store and noticed cute little sailor caps in the window, and of course I had to get one for S., as she was just such a lovely client to work with.  I put a button and  a bit of the trim from the collar on it.

And I’m sure you think this is all very lovely and cute, but you really wish you could actually see it on S..  Am I right?

Well, yes you can!

Doesn’t she look fabulous?  And don’t you want those shoes?

And, as a special bonus, here are photos of S. in the yellow playsuit!  (I’ve also added these to the original playsuit post, just to make them easy to find and covet later 😉 )


  1. The removable sail0r collar is GENIUS!! Just added this to my Nautical Board on Pinterest for future use. 😉

  2. I am in love with that removable collar! Perfect for when you don’t want to hit people over the head with your nauticalness. Love the whole look, especially with the white piping!

    • Thank you! The piping is all me, but the restraint was really what S. wanted (not that I didn’t hugely approve – I just can’t completely claim credit for it).

  3. Cornelia Moore says

    I love that you’re not afraid to play with patterns, and mix them up! there are some happy suprizes to that.

    • Well… It’s a wearable garment on a real person, not a historical costume. I should think the collar shouldn’t really be stitched down… The collar is a “frill” of sorts and if it were my playsuit I’d want it easily detachable and would probably wear the suit without it most of the time. 🙂 That’s what I figure.

  4. Both are super cute! I especially love the yellow suit. I could see myself in it…of course about 16 sizes up!

  5. OH! OH! I love what you did! It’s perfectly lovely and pretty and wearable and tasteful. I like sailor playsuits but sometimes they can look a bit Kitsch… This is really cute. Well done.

  6. too cute, she looks great in them both. now i want one. all these cute tempting garments you keep posting are making me want to learn to sew.

    • Or you could just support your local seamstress by commissioning stuff from her 😉 If only I could trade with my hairdresser for sewing!

  7. This is fantastic, do you make these for people? Or can I buy the pattern? it would be impossible to buy this in a shop, its just so charming. –
    Gaby 🙂

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