That’s right, you don’t need a separate pattern for a rash guard! Just choose a slim fit tee pattern that has a neck band (not neck binding). I used the Gracious Threads Boulder Tee. Not only is it a good back to school wardrobe builder, it also makes the perfect rashguard!
I sewed up the ‘view A’ with short sleeves, but if you’d like even more sun protection you can sew up ‘view B’ with 3/4 length sleeves.
Once you’ve picked up your pattern, all you need is some swim knit. It can be found at most fabric stores in a variety of colours and prints. Look for a 4 way stretch (stretches vertically and horizontally). It is often simply called swimsuit fabric, but can also be labelled as nylon spandex or nylon lycra. I suggest staying away from polyester spandex since it doesn’t hold up well in chlorine.
So that’s it! Simply sew up your tee as usual. I decided to embellish mine with heat transfer vinyl. I was apprehensive about how well it would hold up in the pool, but we are a week into swim lessons and so far it is still looking great!
I paired the rash guard with a self drafted pair of board shorts. The side contrast panels and flat piping give it a ready to wear look and I included a liner sewn from athletic wicking fabric (left over from my diaper sewing days).
If you wish to purchase a pattern for board shorts, check out the Swim & Surf Shorts. While it is designed for girls, I used unisex standard measurements for sizes 2t-6. I’ve also had some customers use it for older boys, although you may wish to size up if your boy doesn’t like a tighter fitting short.