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A Rashguard

Weirdly, although I rarely swim, I love making swimming suits, and always have. A long, long time ago, in more innocent and probably kinder times — and times before everyone carried a camera in a phone — the people I knew, some of them family, some friends — swam without suits. No inappropriate comments, no lustful looks, no discomfort. It’s just what we did; it was part of the culture. (Perhaps we all should have been Scandinavians?)

Admittedly, we were at private pools and little-known beaches — and no one drank or otherwise indulged in behavioral excesses, all of which certainly helped to keep the atmosphere relaxed and happy. It was wonderful; there is nothing like moving through water with nothing between you and that marvelous liquid. 

Those days are gone for good, though, at least in my world, so now I rarely swim. For some reason, this hasn’t prevented me from making swimming togs. Though I don’t like to wear them, I think I never got over the original thrill of being able to make something so utterly finished-, or maybe commercial-, looking as a swim suit.

I haven’t made the briefs, but why on earth
do the inserts not match in size?
What’s the point of breaking up the look like that?

This isn’t strictly a swimming suit, of course. It’s a rashguard, because times have changed in other ways, too, and we now know that sun isn’t the best thing ever for human skin. Covering up has become essential for more reasons that simply not wanting to appear unwittingly, online, in the buff.

The pattern is McCalls 7417. My top went together perfectly, and was easy and quick to make. It’s made of scrap spandex with a left-over patterned athletic knit for the contrast. I like the way they look together, but someone more imaginative than I could do a bang-up job with color-blocking using this pattern!

There’s an insert in the back as well as the front, but I cut it out in the solid color. Spandex looks awful just lying there, but I’m not going to model this, and let’s face it, ironing it would be lethal.

For some reason I can no longer remember I partially lined the top, front and back, with a swimwear lining.

I completely cheated when doing this, by simply zigzagging the lining onto the seam allowances. This worked just fine for this kind of garment, and may even be less bulky than incorporating it into the overlock seam?

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