When I first made the Ottobre Seamus trunks for P and they were too baggy, I put the pattern aside for a bit while I sewed A's swimmers. Then one morning he was riding to school in the Nature Walk shorts I'd made him 2 years ago. They're made of an athletic knit and are now kinda tight and resemble cycle shorts.
It occurred to me I had my perfect boy's swim trunks pattern right there in front of me all along.
And so, I'm over at Oliver + S showing how I've used their patterns to create beachwear. Until Liesl gives us the long wished for swimwear pattern this is as close to Oliver + S swimmers as I can get.
I decided to make the swim trunks a bit more interesting by splitting the pattern pieces to allow for some colour blocking and the faked flatlocked seams.
The rashie wasn't really necessary since he had a couple of shop bought ones that still fit, but the temptation to make something that matched was too strong. The little remnant of the orange lycra, which I'd already used a bit of here, was just wide enough for a sleeve of the Field Trip Raglan T
I toyed with the idea of inserting a short, exposed zip at the back neck, but decided it wasn't necessary so why bother. Instead I just added about 1/2" width to the neckband pattern piece to give it a slightly higher neckband and left it at that. With the neckband sewn on with the overlocker and then twin needle stitched down it has plenty of stretch to get over his head without needing a zipper.
The charcoal grey fabric is a mystery textile that was purchased out at Eliza fabrics. It's definitely synthetic, has four way stretch and one shinier side, so I'm calling it lycra, but who knows. It's thinner than the orange dancewear lycra/spandex that came from GJ's fabrics and I expect it will wear out first. But the way this kid grows I don't expect more than season from his swimwear anyway.
Both the shorts and the T-shirt are made two sizes down from where his measurements would put him. Of course I had to add some length to the t-shirt and considerable sleeve length. I think it may have been as much as 4 extra inches of sleeve length - the kid has long arms! The good thing about a raglan sleeve is that you can measure from collar to wrist and that's the sleeve length you need. Easy to get right.
He loved the beach and enjoyed riding his boogie board and catching waves. It amazed me that even though this is probably the most well known and commercialised bit of coast the whole way around Australia, and even thought the high rise apartments come right down to the sand, the beach still felt almost empty. Not empty by Aus standards, but certainly empty compared to any well known beach in any other part of the world.
After we got back from the Gold Coast I realised it was A who needed a rashie as hers had been very faded, worn and saggy. Of course that meant she needed a pair of swim trunks to match it, so I set about "girlifying" the Nature Walk pants to suit her.
This is at a much less glamorous, colder and generally less photogenic bay beach in Melbourne and I hadn't expected the kids to go in, but once they see water there's no stopping them.
I made the neckband on her top a bit wider again, adding a full inch to the pattern. Thus the folded neckband is 1/2" wider than intended. It works for a rashie, but is right on the limit to my taste. I think it would be visually far too thick and chunky for a regular t-shirt.
Her shorts were drafted to have an extended side section which is then drawn up and ruched by virtue of a casing and drawstrings. The casing is done in much the same was as this skirt which I adapted and photographed for another Oliver + S tutorial here.
Making this set exactly used up the remnants of the floral lycra from The Fabric Store (used here) and another of the small remnants I'd picked up at GJ's.
These are now her favourite swimmers which is kinda funny since I simply cannot convince her to wear shorts or pants in any other situation.
I love the idea of the new Lisette B6358 one piece swimsuit for me, so next summer, that's on the cards. Meanwhile I want to track down some of this VITA swimsuit fabric - it's made of 100% recycled waste nylon. I love the idea of swimming at the beach wearing a swimsuit made of recycled fishing nets that had been cleaned up off another beach somewhere in the world. But that's a long way off, it's starting to get cold around these parts...