I’ll bet you’re curious now, as I get ready to divulge my secret negligee habits. Do I always keep a few lacy numbers stowed away in the v-berth? Or just pack a pretty pair for special occasions? Truth is, I keep one key piece of lingerie on the boat at all times and use it every night we sleep in the v-berth. What piece you might ask? We’ll get there!
First, we have to talk about the sheets. While the Captain and I don’t like to readily admit this, it’s sad but true. Since we bought the boat back in 2013, we had been using the same tired out v-berth sheet the previous owners had used. It was a regular flat cotton sheet, threadbare from years of wash and wear, that was simply cut in a few places to help it “fit” around our oddly-shaped v-berth mattress.
That’s it. Isn’t she a beauty?
This nice ratty slit here was where we tucked it on either side to fit around the indention at the head of our mattress.
Real fancy-like. And, I hate to say, as long as we used that thing on the boat, letting it stare Phillip and I straight in the eye the second we stepped down the companionway stairs and scream to any newcomer aboard–“Hey! Check out our old, ratty sheets!”–I never really captured a good picture of it. I guess if you don’t really like the way something looks, you’re not really inclined to photograph it. This was the best I could find.
Notice how it’s all bunched up in places and how that ratty tear sits right in blaring view? No matter how many times I would pull and tuck and pull and tuck, the sheet would always work itself back into bunches and split at that tear, revealing a big hunk of bright, yellow memory foam and our old grandma’s couch upholstery (which you can see on the settee cushions in the picture above). When we had the upholstery on the boat re-done back in 2013, we only did the saloon settees and the aft-berth, not the v-berth, figuring it’s always covered with the sheet, so why bother?
Well, bother we didn’t. For years. We just kept washing and tucking and pulling and cursing that tired blue sheet until we decided enough was enough. It was time to get some new sheets. And, having gone several years with the low-rent slit-and-tuck routine, we wanted to have a set expertly fitted to our v-berth mattress. I got a few recommendations for boat bed tailors from friends and finally got a drapery gal on the phone who claimed to have some experience tailoring fitted sheets for v-berths. We took some measurements of our mattress and I sketched out a pretty good mockup of our mattress for her.
After review, she said we should buy two king flat sheets (just in case one wasn’t enough) and she would create one fitted sheet out of those that would fit our v-berth mattress to a tee. The drapery gal said she would need the mattresses to do it, though, to be sure the fit was right, and she expected it would cost around $50.00 in labor. Not bad, we thought, other than the somewhat tedious mattress haul-out, but, aside from trying to do the sheet tailoring ourselves, it seemed to be the only option. So, our next mission was to find some sheets.
Now, I would like to say that we did some research, poked around on some other cruising blogs and forums to find out which sheets really perform best in a marine environment. But, we didn’t. We just went to Bed, Bath & Beyond one day and started meandering around. Phillip at least knew he wanted to try to find a high performance, synthetic blend as opposed to 100% cotton, to reduce moisture and odor retention, in other words, the wet and stinky factor. Knowing very little about their reputation in the boating realm, we stumbled upon this Sheex brand that peaked our curiosity. They were synthetic, durable and felt like cool silk. We zipped open a package and couldn’t stop fondling them. The product insert also showed they were engineered to meet all of the Captain’s high performance points.
And, with a marketing pitch like this, they were hitting all of my high performance points, too.
I was really starting to wonder about the power of these sheets …
Most importantly, though, for whatever reason, on the day that we decided to pop into Bed, Bath & Beyond, the Sheex sets were 40% off. How fortuitous! We snagged a complete king set (flat and fitted sheets and two pillow cases) which typically would have been over $200 for around $130. And, I was pleased to find after our purchase that the Sheex brand seems to be a pretty proven bedding product among boaters — Cruising World Sheex article HERE. Score! The stars were really lining up for us on this sheets project. I couldn’t wait to get them to the boat to try them out. My head was filled with visions of Phillip and I drifting away on cool, silky dreams.
“How do you like the new sheets, Annie?”
Why they’re just dreamy, Captain. Positively dreamy.”
I decided I couldn’t wait on drapery gal to see just how heavenly the new sheets would feel on the boat. I had to whip them out for a test run, and I’m glad I did. When I pulled out the fitted sheet on the boat, I noticed the elastic fitted rim went all the way around the entire sheet, not just at the four corners. I started to think it might just fit on its own without any need for an involved and costly tailor job. Even better! I tucked and pulled and stretched the fitted sheet around, hoping for a small miracle, and I have to say, I got real close.
The sheet stretched out smoothly everywhere except for the one oddly-placed indention at the head. This one nagging little setback was ruining my whole dreamy vision. I just needed something to pull the excess flap taut at this point to make it work.
Of all the things we have troubleshooted and repaired on the boat, surely this was going to be an easy fix–just one little cinch point. I went back to my old bag of tricks and started running through various hot-glue and staple options in my mind. I kept thinking if I could just attach an elastic strap to the flappy part that would pull underneath and fasten to a button or hook or something, that would do the trick. I was confident I could do this! I didn’t need drapery gal or her magic sewing contraption. I could do this! I mulled over it, stewed on it, even dreamed about it, and then it came to me — lingerie! The minute the idea struck me, I couldn’t wait to get back to the boat to try it out. I took my one little key “piece” with me and set to it.
Shhhh … don’t tell Captain! I’m going to surprise him with lingerie on the boat!
So, what was the key piece? The stretchy little clip-fasten device that I was sure was going to save our dreamy day?
A garter clip!
Yep, this little guy. I mean, he’s designed on one end to attach to hosiery without damaging it. I figured that he would probably be able to do the same with Sheex. Why not, right? Plus, he’s stretchy and even has a hook already built in on the other end. The grandma’s couch upholstery on the underside of our v-berth mattress has a lot of thick threading that I was sure a little bra hook could latch onto. If not, there was the plastic webbed mold-prevention underlining that I could try to hook to as well. All things that were already there on the boat, just waiting to be utilized. So, I gave it a shot —
Just cinch and pull,
then hook underneath, and
A little bit of expert ruching and bunching and I thought it looked just about intentional. Better than drapery gal could do I was sure of it! I mean, look at that custom Sheex bedding!
And, it all was made possible with a little piece of lingerie! Thank you Monica Midnight for your vixen-like and versatile lingerie line!
How about you all? Any of you out there a fan of the Sheex? Or, have come up with some fancy bedding fixtures of your own? Do tell!
And, thanks as always, to the many patrons who help make these posts just a little more possible through PATREON.