Hi there Mermaids! We are so excited to bring your our two newest patterns in our Mermaid Shores swim collection – the Reagan Rash Guards for youth and women! These raglan style rash guards and a fun, quick sew for everything from outdoor activities and water parks, to added sun protection on the beach! We wanted to answer a few questions that we knew might come up frequently, as well as provide you with a fun reverse overstitching tutorial to get that ready-to-wear rash guard look! Be sure to check out our Raglan Fitting 101 Blog Post for helpful tips on everything from FBAs to broad shoulder adjustments, specific to the raglan style sleeve!
How does this fit?
Youth is drafted with zero ease at the chest and then goes straight down to the hip. This means if you prefer a more fitted look or your child is between sizes, you may wish to size down. We included the finished chest measurements in the tutorial so you could compare for your preference. We chose to draft it this way so that it could be layered if people wished and so the long sleeve option wouldn’t be too difficult for the little ones to get on and off independently. Women’s has some negative ease through the bust, with zero ease through the waist and hips. Again, if you prefer something very fitted or are between sizes on waist and hips, we recommend sizing down!
Does the women’s option have built in bust support?
No; traditionally, women’s rash guards are meant to be layered over another swim top for added sun protection. You can also buy swim sports bras. Just make sure you are measuring with this in mind! This means you should be measuring your full bust when you’re wearing whatever it is you intend to wear with the suit – if you intend to wear a certain swimsuit under, measure with that on. This will affect the sizing!
Do I need to use the elastic in the crop option?
The elastic helps keep the crop option in place below the bust or chest. Some testers did try the crop option without elastic and didn’t report issues, but we recommend it for active swimming!
Do I have to use swim elastic?
What if I can’t find the correct elastic size in swim elastic?
While not ideal, you can stitch together more readily available elastic sizes to create the elastic size that you need. I say it’s not ideal because they do have a tendency to roll in half. If you choose to do this, I recommend stitching with a very short, very wide zig-zag stitch and tacking the elastic in place at the side seams to help keep the elastic from rolling onto itself. For example – if you need the 3/4″ elastic required for the size 12 youth crop version, but only have 3/8″ on hand and don’t want to wait, just cut 2 crop elastics in the 3/8″ size and stitch together along the long edge!
Does this come with matching swim bottoms?
No – this rash guard doesn’t have matching bottoms. They pair perfectly with all of our other swim patterns though! Many of the testers paired their Reagans with Lainey, Calypso, Roxy, and Women’s Roxy! If you catch us during our release sale, you can snatch any of our other swim patterns at a discount! We also recommend the P4P Swashbuckler Swim Trunks for board short fabric!
Reverse Coverstitching Tutorial
What is reverse coverstitching? It is a decorative stitch look achieved by reversing the fabric when you run it through the coverstitch machine. If your coverstitch machine has 3 needles, I encourage you to use them all when doing a reverse coverstitch. If your machine only has the two needles option, it will work too, you will just have a narrower stitch.
Now let’s talk about the ” WHEN? “.
In this blog you will notice that I have used the kids Reagan Rash guard as an example but all the “know how” applies to any patterns. I recommend doing the reverse coverstitching after each step.
For example, if you’d like to add details to the sleeve/bodice seam, sew/serge according to the pattern and then place the seam allowance under the presser foot, making sure that the right needle is exactly where the two fabric meet.
Remember to have the wrong side of the fabric facing up to get the reverse look. If you place the right side of the fabric up, you will have the classic coverstitch with two/three parallel lines on the outside.
You might have noticed that I have a multi color effect on my decorative stitch. That look can be achived by using variegated thread. My favorites are the Maxi Lock Swirl (first four) and the Fabric Anthropology Sim (far right). Of course this s not needed, it just adds more details. The variegated thread MUST be used in the looper. The thread you see on the outside is the looper thread, not the needles one.
As with regular coverstitch there are two ways to stitch them, flat and in the round. For the raglan sleeves you’ve seen me use a flat coverstitch. Next I will show you how to hem in the round.
I find reverse coverstitching the hem easier than regular one. You get to see exactly where the edge of the hem is. Be sure that the left needle is as close as possible to the edge of the hem.
Remember to overlap the stitches about 3/4″ -1 ” when you get to the end (or beginning 😉 ) of the loop.
That’s it! Super easy! Now use your coverstitch to its maximum potential and get creative with your swimwear and clothing!