You will need:
- 1 - 2 yards of swim suit fabric or spandex lycra mix fabric, depending on your size
-A tighter fitting shirt you can draft from OR a basic shirt pattern to adapt
-your sewing machine & supplies, serger (optional)
Since most of us have a basic shirt pattern we love, I'm not going to walk through the actually drafting process with you today. I altered my Megan Nielson Briar pattern pieces, since they are simple basic blocks, to create my rash guard. You need 2 sleeves, a front, a back, and a neckline band. The rule of thumb, is to size DOWN one size. Even after I sized down, I tried my shirt on and took more off the waist. I didn't want anything floating up and around in the water, so you want a snug fit hugging your body. Everything gets loose in water, so make sure it fits you well!
Ready to sew?!
Adjust your machine to have a longer stitch length on a regular sewing machine, around 4.5 in length OR use a zig zag stitch OR triple stretch stitch, if your machine has that option! Anything to allow some give to your knit. If using a serger, set according to your manual for a 4 thread overlock for stretch fabrics. Test your fabric to ensure you have no waves and adjust your differential feed to make it smooth, if necessary!
Now, we are ready to do a little twin needles sewing! I recommend this for hemming any knits, because it looks so professional on the outside and still allows the give you need for stretching over your head, waist, and wrists!
I remember being so intimidated by this technique when I first started sewing, and then when I finally sat down and realized it was simply just changing my needle, hitting the double needle button on my machine, and using an extra bobbin? I was SOLD!
This may be a preference, so if you want a neck collar that stands up, you can leave it! To make it look like bias binding, just pin it over and use that double needle to sew it down, making sure to catch the back layer, so it lays flat.
Next up for me, will HAVE to be sewing rash guards for the kids! Making one for myself first was fun, and seeing how easy it is, I will definitely be making some for my son and nieces and nephews! Thanks for joining me today!