One afternoon, about to hit the beach, I put on my trusty one-piece, and found it was itchy. It must have had sand in it! Alternative? My mismatched bikini, hot pink florals on top and wild orange florals on bottom :). BUT I have a mummy tummy, and I didn't want to flaunt it. Easy solution, I thought - add a t-shirt! So I did. But that afternoon, as I got wetter I got heavier. My t-shirt dragged and flopped uncomfortably in the waves, and out of the sea stayed sodden. Enviously I stared at another woman's cute rashie top - loud florals with contrasting black panels - it looked comfortable and cute.
I went to my nearest department store for inspiration, and was not inspired: the rash tops were conservative and expensive. And then I searched for rash tops on the sewing blogosphere. I didn't find much, but what I found convinced me a rash top would be an easy make.
Enter Rashie 1:)
Rashie 1 nearly succeeds - it meets the comfort criterion, but I'm unconvinced about the cute criterion. Rashie 1 is a wearable muslin:
I wore it to the pool recently to test its performance; here it is after a swim:
Sorry about the photos - not very crisp or interesting, I know, but the kids weren't in the mood for photo-taking and I wasn't in the mood for posing in front of lots of strangers. I do love the backdrop though - filed away ages ago without much thought about the multiplicative embarrassment of swimwear in public, no war paint, wet hair, and thighs!
Although the top looked and felt like a snug fit when dry, in the water it stretched a bit - you can see some looseness all over in the photo above, but the looseness at hip level is what I really noticed in the water. In fact, I think it needs to be taken down a size all over to achieve the snug fit I wanted. I probably should have realised it was too big as compared against the bikini bottoms (which are snug) - see how much wider the top is in the photo below? Mind you, this is another wet photo, and since the bottoms are fully lined and their waist stabilised with a frill :) they didn't stretch as much in the water:
The fabric is a pretty amazing match for my RTW wild orange floral bikini bottoms, isn't it! Just a cheapo from Lincraft, so perhaps it's a knockoff:
And just one more - yes, I really do need to take it in:
Now for the Sewing Info
I couldn't find a rashie pattern per se, but I found a pattern I could work with: BurdaStyle pattern 120 06/2011. It's a pattern for a fitted t-shirt with a high neckline and short sleeves, as well as centre back seam with an invisible zip.
I cut out the pattern in a size 38, with about 3cm extra length and with both back and front cut on the fold - I ignored the pattern's centre back seam. On sewing front and back together at shoulder seams and trying it on, I found that the armscyes were too low for the fit you want with a rashie, so I took in the shoulder seam by about 1.5 cm to raise the armscye. This also lifted the neckline - fine because a rashie is supposed to cover you all the way up to your neck. The sleeves then had too much fabric to fit well so I just did a quick and dirty removal of (3+cm) excess fabric from the sleeve cap before serging the edges:
The sleeves look fine in the end... instead of using a twin needle straight stitch for hems (as I'd usually do with swimwear or knits), I finished the hems with a three-step zig-zag. I think I recall Katherine using this finish on some of her swimwear ages ago:
And although rashie tops usually have a short funnel neck to protect the lowest part of your neck, I decided to try something different. Using the sewn top as a guide I cut out 7cm wide facings, top sewn again with a three-step zig-zag:
If you need a rashie for yourself, it's a really easy make - go on!
See you soon
- Gabrielle x