Thursday, August 28, 2014

Swimming rashie for the boys

Well this boy above will model it and the other boy will wear it. How fantastic that I don't have to beg ask for Alex to put it on and let me take a photo.

I got out my "Singer Sewing with an Overlocker" book that I got with my 4 thread Singer overlocker about 25 years ago (I also got a great travel carry bag for it too but I couldn't afford the differential feed which was a brand new feature then). (I also note that the book is "Sewing with an Overlocker" and not serger). I was going to scan the book about how to flat lock but basically you start with a three thread (one needle and the two loopers) overlock stitch that is balanced. Then you loosen needle thread tension 'generously' (mine was under 1 - the lowest or most loose setting), then tighten generously the lower looper thread and loosen the upper looper thread slightly. Then overlock with the knife and when you are done, just pull at the seams just sewn. I have used the 'inside' threads to show on the outside because I thought it was a bit more interesting, but the inside  looks kind of like an ordinary overlock stitch. I also used woolly thread (bought at the 2nd hand shop by chance) which goes on the lower looper. (I also used this making some togs and hemming a t-shirt the other day by threading the bobbin by hand and it made all the difference).

This photo above is a bit blurry (sorry). The sleeves have a band as does the neckline. The fabric is 50 spf (sun protection factor) lycra from Glitter and Dance in Mansfield here in Brisbane. They specialise in dance stuff and have loads of lycra and dance fabrics and also Jalie patterns and trims etc. They are very friendly and are quite a successful business that I recently read about in the Brisbane paper (I think it was?? - anyone remember?).  Anyway it was a remnant for $5 so this rashie at spf50 is a great bargain. All in all, this took me about 30 minutes to sew up and probably the same to trace and cut out the pattern. Easy!

Front on view. See how my other boy is so compliant! So many angles! So little resistance.. so pleasant!

This is the pattern. On the inside it's dated 1994. It has the adult suits as pictured above but also the children's raglan sleeve sizes as well so this was a great buy at $1 (albeit years ago). J & L Patterns are in Osborne Park, Perth, Western Australia but I'm not sure if they are still going. I couldn't find a website but did find telephone listings so maybe they are still operating. Anyone in the west in the know?

Now that this pattern and technique is proven, I will make me a rashie for summer. I hate buying them and may even try to make a zip up front one (a friend makes these for sale in beautiful fabrics and all spf rated so I may try to enlist some help. Incidentally she has an industrial coverstitch machine that sews beautifully but she'll still getting her head around it.)


  1. Gotta love a quick sew. That fabric was definitely a bargain and I can't wait to see how you go with a zip up rashie - swimwear sewing is on my radar at the moment :)

  2. Nice! I love that flatlock. I've never used it but now I'm thinking 'what can I try it out on???' :-D
    And that pattern's giving me a laugh, I've got two of that company, from around that time too. One of mine was a swimsuit that I successfully made up one year to wear in our spa. It was a good pattern.


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