We have just returned from a five-day camping trip to the idyllic, beachside town of Dunsborough (approx. three hours drive south of Perth, Western Australia). I knew we would spend most of our time on the beach while we were there, so I wanted to make new 'rashies' (rash vests/sun shirts) for the boys, with hoods to keep their necks protected from the sun.
While flicking through my patterns and pondering how to attach a hood to the standard t-shirt style rashie (like this one I made for LJ, with matching shorts and hat), I came across my trusty Jalie 2795 jacket pattern. The more I thought about it, the more it seemed to be a good idea. The front zip would make it so much easier to get the rashie on and off (usually after swimming, I am faced with a wet child shouting "help!", their arms and head trapped by the too-tight neck of the inside-out rashie. Many's the time someone has almost lost an ear!). Also, this pattern is slim-fitting for swimming and the hood is exactly what I was looking for.
So it was decided. Another two Jalie 2795 jackets coming up quick-smart for the holiday.
I have a large stash of lycra thanks to a fantastic sale at a local swimwear manufacturer late last year. The boys chose the aquarium print lycra fabric and I chose the black and blue lycra to go with it. I switched the positioning of the black and blue on each jacket so I would be able to quickly tell them apart as I dug around in the swimming bag while running after the boys reminding them to put their rashies on!
I followed the pattern exactly except that I left the pockets off as I thought they'd just get full of sand. I went up two sizes from the measurements of each of my sons. This worked well for JJ (aged 7), but LJ (aged 9) could have done with some extra length in the body and sleeves of the jacket. He is a beanpole. The measurements on the pattern are for a girl (here is a Jalie 2795 jacket I made for a seven-year old girl) and I think the different proportions of an older boy need to be taken into account when deciding on sizing. I'd say the best rule would be 'if in doubt, go up another size or two'!
Before I made these, I toyed with the idea of adding a sun visor to the hood, but I decided against it in case it hampered the swimming. Wearing a cap inside the hood works well on dry land.
I cut both jackets out together and sewed them one at a time, so as not to mix up the numerous pattern pieces. Once cut out, they took around two hours each to sew and were ready in time for the trip.
These jackets were invaluable on the holiday. They were great for keeping the sun off, but the boys also used them, once dry, for warmth once the cooler evenings arrived. They were light and easy to carry around, looked good and, most importantly, easy to get on and off. Hooray!