How to Sew $3 Rash Vests for Kids [Pattern-for-pennies]

Well I promised it weeks ago, and finally here it is! The long-awaited rash vest post.

If you are sewing up some swimwear for your kids you might want to check out my other kids swimwear posts: Sew… Some Stretchy Swimming caps [Pattern-for-pennies]Are freezer paper stencils possible on Lycra/Spandex??, and Super Summer Swim Bottoms [Pattern-for-pennies].

But for today… rash vests.

Sew $3 Kids rash vests

I have mentioned it before, but swimwear really is one of the few things that almost always ends up more cost-effective to make than to buy. Case in point are these rash shirts.

I buy my swimwear Lycra/spandex at The Remnant Warehouse, where I pay around $15 per meter for prints and $10 for solids. For my kids (ages 6 and 4) I can get at least 4 rash shirts from 1 meter (and some extra sleeves and neck bands as well). That means that these rash shirts cost around $3 each in materials. When you compare that to the $30 that these can cost in the shops, then this super quick sewing project is a no brainer!

I drafted up a pattern each for my 4 and 6 year olds, and have graded it out to cover size 2 to size 10. So if you have a kiddo about that age you are in luck, I have included a Pattern-for-pennies pattern for you. If you need another size, you can use just about any slim fitting t-shirt pattern, or cut apart their old worn out rash shirt and make your own pattern!

You will need:

  • Pattern-for-pennies Kids rash vest pattern (or alternative).

Click here to grab the pattern for $0.99 AUD (that is around $0.65 USD).

  • Enough swimwear lycra/spandex to cut your pieces from(amount varies with size).
  • coordinating thread

Sew $3 Kids rash vests

So the first thing to do is to cut all your pieces from your fabric.

  1. Then grab your neckband piece, fold with right sides facing and serge the short end (picture 1 above).
  2. After you have a loop of fabric, fold it lengthwise with wrong sides facing and you have your neckband ready (picture 2 above).

How to sew a $3 rash vest for kids

  1. Place your front and back pieces together, right sides facing and line up the shoulder seams.
  2. Serge both shoulder seams.
  3. With the front and back pieces still right sides facing, place your neckband inside the neck hole and line up all three raw edges. The neck-band is slightly smaller than the neck opening so pin the band in at least 4 places making sure the stretch will be evenly distributed when you serge it on.
  4. Then serge the neckline on, making sure that you have caught all three layers of fabric in the seam.

How to sew a $3 rash vest for kids

Hem the sleeves:

  1. Fold the sleeve hem allowance towards the inside.
  2. Then flip your pattern piece over and fold the hem back towards the right side of the fabric so that you have the edge of the fabric lined up with the fold.
  3. Serge along the edge catching the edge of the fabric and the fold in the seam.
  4. Now you have a hemmed sleeve. Repeat with the other sleeve.

How to sew a $3 rash vest for kids

  1. Pin the sleeve to the arm hole opening with right sides facing. Match the center points and then use several pins to match up the remainder of the armhole seam.
  2. Serge the armhole seam (the bottom of the sleeve and the side seam are still open). Repeat the process above with the second sleeve.
  3. Serge the sleeve/side seam starting at the end of the sleeve and continuing down to the bottom hem of the shirt. Repeat with the other sleeve/side seam.
  4. Turn up and hem the bottom of the shirt using your sewing machine, you will need to use a zigzag stitch or a double needle to get a stretchy enough finished hem.

NOTE: Don’t be tempted to use the fold and serge method for the bottom hem as this will result in the bottom hem constantly flipping up when worn 😉

And now you’re done! go ahead and impress all your friends with your mad rash shirt sewing skills!

How to sew a $3 rash vest for kids

If you make a kids rash vest, be sure to grab some pics and hashtag them #SEW4BUB

I would love to see your creations!

As always, thanks for reading.

Liz xx


3 thoughts on “How to Sew $3 Rash Vests for Kids [Pattern-for-pennies]

  1. im interested to make this swim suit thank you no i have to find out how to download it any problems ill get back to you thank you ruth

  2. Pingback: High Waist Kids Swim Bottoms Hack [using our Pattern-for-pennies pattern] | Sew 4 Bub

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