I really like to use a swim shirt or rash guard for my kids instead of a regular swimming suit. They get sunburned so easily! A swim shirt really helps to protect their arms and shoulders from the sun’s rays! Today, I’m showing you how I made 2 different rash guards. I used the Kids’ Easy Tee Pattern, the Kids’ Rocket Raglan Pattern, and the crossover high neckband from the Kids’ Jo Sweatshirt Pattern to made my swim shirts. You could also use the adult versions of these patterns and make yourself a swim shirt, too! I used the same swim fabric for each of them, so you will be able to see the differences in fit between the two patterns. This pattern hack is really easy and in no time, you’ll have a brand new swim shirt just in time for summer!
- Swim Fabric-refer to your pattern to see how much you need for the size you are making
- Your preferred shirt pattern
- Lots of clips or pins-swim fabric is slippery!
- Your sewing machine 🙂
Easy Tee Swim Shirt
I used the Kids’ Easy Tee pattern because I already know that I love how it fits my kiddos and I already had one printed out in their size. Bonus! I used the crossover high neckband from the Kids’ Jo because I wanted the collar to come up a bit higher than a normal T-Shirt neckband. This will provide a bit more sun protection for their neck. Plus, the crossover makes it really easy to get on and off! Print your pattern pieces and tape them together.
Cutting your fabric
- Cut out 1 front, 1 back, and 2 sleeves from the Kids’ Easy Tee Pattern
- Cut 1 crossover high neckband from the Kids’ Jo Pattern
Time to sew!
- Follow the Kids’ Easy Tee instructions to sew your bodice and sleeves together
- When you are ready to sew the neckband, you’ll need to follow the Kids’ Jo instructions
Follow the crossover high neckband instructions in the Kids’ Jo pattern, it starts on page 31 of the tutorial
- Hem your swim shirt and it’s all done!
Rocket Raglan Swim Shirt
For the raglan style swim shirt, I used the regular neckband that comes with the pattern. I did make it a bit taller, though. It’s not a high neck, but it comes up a littler higher on the neck than the original neckband. I did not want to make it too high and have it be constricting on the neck.
Adding height to the neckband pattern piece
- After printing and taping the neckband pattern piece, before I cut it out, I added about 1 inch of height.
- Measure down about 1 inch from the bottom corners
- Then, draw a straight line connecting the two points
- This is your new bottom line
- Now, you can cut it out and you have your new neckband piece
You are ready to cut your fabric!
- You will cut 1 front bodice, 1 back bodice, 2 sleeves, and 1 neckband piece
- Follow the instructions in the Rocket Raglan Tutorial
Time to sew your raglan style swim shirt
- The rest of this is easy peasy, it is just like sewing a normal shirt (except with swim fabric!)
- You’ll sew your sleeves and bodice together first
- Even though we added height to the neckband, the method of attaching it to the shirt is still exactly the same!
- Follow the tutorial and attach your neckband
Hem your swim shirt and you’re all done!
I used the Kids’ Riptide Reversible Shorties pattern and made a whole swim suit! Now, your kids are ready to head to the beach, pool, or backyard sprinkler!