Continuing on with our journey through all the different ways you can wear my latest Surf to Summit Top patterns, we’ve already seen it ready for snowboarding and cycling, but today’s version is for the swimmers and surfers! Aussies, you’re particularly going to love this one as it’s perfect for summer swimming without getting burnt to a crisp.
If you’re making a rashguard (aka “rashie”), you’ve got quite a few options to choose from. At first I was a bit confused by all the different variations of rashguards available online, but Katherine really helped me to better understand the cultural context of them in Australia. If you’re sewing for a hardcore surfer, then you’ll probably want to go for the long sleeves and not use the half-zip, as it would press against the board while you’re lying on your chest paddling.
But rashies have become so ubiquitous in Australia over the last few decades that the younger generation wear them when swimming as a fashion statement, so you often see versions with long or short sleeves, half zips, and lots of colourblocking in funky swimsuit lycra prints. You can also choose to use either the standard straight hem, or use the dipped hem to protect that little bit of skin above your bikini bottoms! Many teens and twenty-somethings have been wearing rashguards their whole lives, as parents dress their children in them to protect from sunburn, and it’s now caught on with the population at large. All of this may be common sense to Aussies now, but I’ve had loads of Americans and Europeans ask me what a rashguard is, so you’re ahead of the trend here!
My athlete-model, Emily, is a keen surfer, but also a runner, snowboarder, cyclist, and skateboarder(!), so she requested that hers be made in some zebra-print nylon lycra from UK Fabrics, and feature a half zip and sleeve mitts, so she can cleverly use it for winter running and surfing. All of the same options are available on the men’s version of the Surf to Summit Top pattern, too!
I sewed up this version while my patterns testers were hard at work, so I should probably point out that I made a few changes to the finished pattern that aren’t shown here, namely, that the neckline is raised by 2cm (1in), and the body has been taken in by so the hips are now at zero ease. Depending on how you like your rashies to fit, you may want to take yours in a little further in the body, but this was a happy medium in fit between the various sport uses.
If you’re not from the UK, you may be surprised to learn that Cornwall (in Southwest England) has some of the best surfing beaches in Europe, and possibly the world – I certainly wasn’t aware before I moved here. Even in the coldest months of the year, surfers will be out in wetsuits, and both the north and south coasts are jam-packed with surf schools and board rental shops. Emily has family in Cornwall, and spends as much time as possible surfing there in the summers.
Now, I hope you’re not too sick of all these Surf to Summit versions just yet, because I’ve got three running versions yet to show you, and they all feature some more creative uses for piping and colourblocking which I think you’re going to really like!