Easy Rash Guard Tutorial

Easy Rash Guard Tutorial, DIY Fashion on RivaLaDiva.com Easy Rash Guard Tutorial Easy Rash Guard Tutorial, DIY Fashion on RivaLaDiva.com

The rash guard trend is no longer for the distinct surfer this summer and I couldn’t be more happy about it. This week, I have an easy rash guard tutorial that will update your end of summer look in a flash!

Easy Rash Guard Tutorial

I’ve been wanting to make a really fun swim top to add to my suit rotation this year. I’ve loved designer styles like Seea, Nanette Lepore, SOFIA by ViX and OYE (as seen above) because they have some great sleeved (short and long!) suit looks here and with summer coming to a shift end for some, it’s makes these styles even more tempting when they are on SALE (my favorite four letter word). I blogged about shirt style swim suits last month and it’s been my inspiration for this very post! I wanted something that covered my hands more – maybe it’s my competitive swimming days talking or my dermatologist wanting to cover up more, but I couldn’t resist extending my sleeves to the knuckles of my hands and having a thumb hole to give it a sportier look and more coverage. There really isn’t a pattern with a thumb hole out here in the sewing world and there are plenty of long sleeve patterns out there for swimming but since I already have a long sleeve pattern that I love, I thought I would give that a try first. I have to admit it was hard departing ways with a well loved leopard print on the gamble, in case it didn’t work out. But guess what? It did work out and I loved it!
  Easy Rash Guard Tutorial, DIY Fashion on RivaLaDiva.com
  • To make this pattern, I used my trusty old McCalls Pattern, m6886. YEP, the same one I use for practically everything (white dress, stripe dress, red dress). Since I had a high-waisted swim suit bottom, I wanted a crop top to wear for today’s look.
  • The fabric I used was a thick stretchy Lycra fabric AND it’s the most important part, I also used a nude lining to put under the front of my suit (for bustline coverage when wet), but you can use any heavy Lycra lining that would match the suit or the same fabric as your suite. This will give your suit the added protection of NOT being see thru when it got wet.
  1. When deciding on where to crop the pattern, I took a gamble and used the “Lengthen or Shorten Here” dotted line near the true waistline found on my pattern. If worked out great for me, although, I wouldn’t mind it be a liiiittttttle longer. For my friends reading this right now, I would recommend doing the shirt length and then altering it to your desired length. I don’t have a large bustling but if I did, that “Lengthen or Shorten Here” line that I used would have been too short and I would have been in trouble.
  2. For the thumb detail, I added a good 3″ to the length of the sleeve hem.
  3. Sew pattern according to pattern instructions until you get to the hem detail on the neckline, sleeves, and bodice. The ends should be serged so they look clean but not hemmed.
  4. To hem my neckline and sleeves, I used the basic zig-zag stitch on my sewing machine, folded the hem over (1/4″) and slightly stretched the hem as I stitched the it in place.
    Easy Rash Guard Tutorial, DIY Fashion on RivaLaDiva.com
  5. For the bodice hem, I used a matching (in color) piece of 1/4″ elastic that measured slightly smaller than the width of my bodice hem that I placed behind the fold of my hem. Just like the previous step, you will fold the hem (so the elastic is hidden), stretch fabric, and zig-zag hem into place. Not using the elastic will make the hem flare out. If you use a longer top, ditch the elastic and zig-zag stitch a 1/2″ hem into place.
  6. OPTIONAL. Adding the thumb hole, I’m sure there are super easy ways to make the thumb hole in a sleeve. I didn’t research for it, I didn’t have time before my little vacation (sorry!), so I just winged it by putting the sleeve on, marking the center of my thumb with a small snip of my scissors until it comfortably fits around my thumb (the cut line was a straight line – as straight as I could possibly do on myself). Once the hole was big enough, I removed the sleeve, turned the edges of my thumb hole under and zig-zag stitched in place. Then I transferred and matched the thumb hole size and placement on the other sleeve.

Okay, so I loved this top. I never worried about sunscreen or getting sunburned on my back and arms and chest – my dermatologist would be so proud! The cropped top was pretty fun to wear and I got a top of compliments so I think it was a success! If I wanted the sleeves rolled back a little (as seen in my sunnies, above) that was pretty easy to do, too! When I make another top though, I would ditch the thumb hole feature. I loved the design detail in theory, but hated it in real life and my real life consists of running after four babies and feeding them and applying sunscreen.

Hope you found this helpful!

Thanks fr stopping by and have a wonderful day!!


Hat – Floppy Straw Hat Target
Sunglasses – Women’s Cat Eye Sunglasses
Bottoms – stripped bottoms from Ross.
Fabric – remnant from Michael Levine’s Loft store.

Easy Rash Guard Tutorial

RivaLaDiva.com occasionally receives vendor/ brand sponsorships for mentioning their products and services, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Spreading the word one link up at a time, you can visit the full list: HERE.

1 comment

Add yours

+ Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.