Sensible Sun-wearWhen my two daughters Alex and Emma were young we lived for a short while in Australia and spent countless hours on the beach, where most children are fully clad in front zip sun suits to protect them from the relentless sunshine.
In contrast to Canada where, when the sun does shine, and the weather is warm enough to sport swimwear, we all stripe down and expose as much skin to the sun as possible, with the exception of those who do not possess tan worthy completions. Myself and my youngest daughter Emma were gifted with skin that goes from white to red within minutes of sun exposure, for that reason the Australian sun attire was not abandon when we came back to Canada. The economics of supply and demand in the Canadian swimwear market does not lend itself to full coverage sun attire. The availability of full sun protection beach wear, known on the market as rash-guards, is limited to items plastered with brand names and more appropriate for an 18 year old surfer dude. Nothing really available for the middle aged women with lily white skin, therefore the need to sew ones own sun protection.
Inspiration:When digging for ideas, Alexandra directed me to an American swimwear company Seea that has a few modest designs and some fun colour combinations.
Exhibit 1:For my first attempt I used the Nettie Top pattern from Closet Case pattern and added a strip under the arm and down the side. I also sectioned the top into 2 pieces to add interest. I have previously used the pattern to make several tops but found it a bit tight around the arm holes, hence the addition of the strip under the arm and down the side, which also added a design element. The bottoms are a separate piece and I used the Watson Bar and Bikini Pattern from Clothes Habit and modified the bottoms into a more modest boy style short.
Exhibit 2:My second attempt was a bit more colourful, I used the GreenStyle Centerfield Raglan T-Shirt Pattern which was a dream to work with and a perfect fit! I sliced up the left arm with a few colours to add interest and I had no choice because I ran out of fabric.
I have a few more ideas, so will create another post when I get some more sewing time.