I was a bit bored with sewing swimming things after the big effort on my morning off last week, and had planned to move onto another project this weekend, but a few factors changed my mind. The main one was another dust storm on Sunday. Having just cleaned the entire inside of the house after the last storm, losing a precious Saturday sewing day in the process, I was not terribly happy about the frequency of these storms. However there was a big silver lining - I had originally planned to devote some of Sunday to cleaning the verandahs - currently coated in red dust, but it would have been pointless. So when you are inside all day because it is nasty and dusty outdoors, what can you do?
Stay indoors and sew, but something easy, because everyone else is in the living room too, and requires periodic lego construction approval/help with the assignment/conversation, etc. Besides, all the knit sewing machines were still on the dining table.
First I made the planned rash vests for my daughters. I patted myself on the back a bit for sticking to my plan.
Elizabeth has requested elucidation regarding "rashies". These are sun protective garments made from high UV rating, swim friendly fabrics. Nearly all Australian children and an increasing number of adults (including our family) wear these when swimming at the beach and at outdoor pools, with occasional exceptions very early in the morning, or in the early evening, when the risk of skindamage from the sun is less. Schools in Queensland require these to be worn during swimming lessons (held in outdoor pools). They are called rash vests or rashies, because the original versions (late 80's maybe) were modelled on the garments worn by surfers under their wetsuits to prevent skin rashes. The Cancer Council calls them "Sunprotective swimsuits" which I think explains even better why rashie is the preferred term. Girls usually wear a regular swimsuit top underneath their rashie.
To wander off topic a bit, Elizabeth also wants me to explain "tracky daks" from an earlier post, although I think such a clever lady as Elizabeth should be able to guess what this means from the photographs in the post! Daks is slang for any outerwear nether garment - trousers, shorts, jeans. "Tracky daks" are tracksuit pants, generally used to describe extremely casual lounge wear type clothing that you should not wear down to the shops - rather than your very smart exercise wear designed for showing off at the gym. I will try to use less slang to accomodate my international audience :).
Once I had made the rashies for my daughters, I had all these little pieces of the print fabric left over, not really enough to make anything for the people at my house, but too big to throw away. Being very fond of making little girl's clothes, I decided that my nieces, whom I will see next week in Sydney, need new swimming costumes.
I did not have a pattern for a rashie that small, so have guessed at a size 3 and a size 5. The matching swim pants are mostly from this ancient pattern which I last used in 1999.
Lucky I never throw anything away! I made the flounce at the top of the legs of the pants at the left by tracing around a spool of overlocking thread. I took the construction of the elegant flounce from this post by Shams and applied it to an inferior garment, but thanks Shams for your very useful and inspiring post. I fancy that skirt.