Tuesday, April 22, 2014


The finished sheet. Keep reading and you will see why I named it that.
I consider myself to be a pretty good seamstress, I make almost all of my own clothes, including bras and blue jeans. I make my own sailing clothes and recently made sailing pants and shorts for my husband. I also made a pair of jeans for my husband.
I recently got it into my head that I wanted to custom fit the sheets to the mattresses on Breeze On. I figured making a few adjustments to some sheets would be a piece of cake.


Mattresses on boats are odd-shaped.

The v-berth mattress

I started by taking measurements of the mattresses the last time we visited Breeze On two weeks ago. I thought it would be easiest to use a king-sized flat sheet to make the fitted sheet but I couldn't find king-sized sheets that were sold seperately. No problem, I just ordered a sheet set with the plan to modify the fitted sheet.

I transferred the measurements I had made and marked them on the sheet. Then I cut 90 degree angles for the new corners.

The 90 degree corner

At some point I became confused and made some cuts I shouldn't have made. No problem, I would just patch my mistakes.

Look at all of the pieced sections. This is why I call it. Frankensheet.
Look at all of the pieced sections. THIS is why I named it Frankensheet.

I was pretty proud of myself for sewing French seams. I then sewed a new casing for the elastic all the way around the sheet. Before I added the elastic to the casing I laid the sheet on the floor to check the shape. It looked as if it would be so tight that I wouldn't be able to get it over the mattress. Then it occurred to me that the corners should be 90 degrees only if the corners on the mattress are 90 degrees. Clearly, the corners on the v-berth mattress are not 90 degrees. This project was going to require geometry and that was not my best subject in school. My husband helped me to determine that the angles on the mattress were each 120 degrees. If I cut out a wedges of fabric that were 30 degrees and added them to all 6 corners it should then fit.

The corner with the added wedge

A protractor would help but we had discarded ours when we downsized. We found one online and printed it. It took me a little while to remember how to use it. So, I cut out the wedges, ripped out my 6 French seams, added the wedges and sewed 12 new French seams. I repaired the casing that had been ripped out and put the elastic in the casing. This was a much bigger project than I first imagined. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the sheet will fit. In the meantime, I am not going to make the fitted sheet for the quarter berth until the boat gets here.

Does this look like it will fit?


Thursday, April 3, 2014

When to Bring the Boat Down?

We bought our boat in Mamaroneck, NY when we still lived in CT. Six weeks later we moved to Maryland. This wasn't the way we planned to do it. Our original grand plan called for us to put our house on the market in February, move in May or June, then buy a boat in Maryland after we arrived. It didn't quite work out that way. We sold our house before we even listed it and moved about 5 months before we had planned. We also found THE boat earlier than planned in a state far from where we currently live. (I know, it is all relative. Some people buy boats in foreign countries.) Although I am very grateful that the house sold so easily and we found a boat that we love, I sometimes wish it had worked out the way we had planned.

The boat is now on the hard in Mamaroneck waiting for us to sail her down to the Chesapeake. Our friends and family often ask, "when are you bringing the boat down?" We ask ourselves the same question as the weather finally warms up here. For a while we thought we would deliver the boat sometime around the end of April. We have hired a captain to help us make the journey. Then I began to get really nervous thinking of making that trip without knowing much of anything about the boat and without even trying to cook anything in the galley. If we make the delivery at the end of April it will be too cold in New York for us to stay on the unheated boat overnight prior to starting the trip. It is true that we could ask the captain to deliver the boat without us. Then, we could take our time getting to know her after she is here. But, we don't want to miss the opportunity to ride along on the delivery and learn from the captain. It seems too good an opportunity to waste.

Since we are the boat owners it seems as if we should know a little about the boat when we make the trip. We will also be in charge of provisioning and cooking (a huge source of anxiety for me). So, our current plan is to wait until the weather warms up in New York. We think it will be warm enough by mid-May to stay on the boat for several nights, begin learning the various systems and practice provisioning and cooking. Then we can make the delivery trip at the end of May. After that we look forward to many happy days of cruising on the Chesapeake.