Beach Life

Shortly after Memorial Day, we left our beloved apartment in Oakland for a new adventure (and a new house!) in Santa Cruz. After the terrible year that was 2020, I have really enjoyed being closer to family, daily beach walks, and having more space (and house projects!). Being near the water has also meant more outdoor adventures. After rafting the Rogue River in Oregon this summer we bought an ocean kayak that we can walk to the beach from our house!

Bikini top: Greenstyle Creations Power Sports Bra in nylon spandex
Bikini bottom: Stitch Upon a Time Bunzies in nylon spandex
Rashguard: Greenstyle Creations Waimea Rash Guard in nylon spandex
Shorts: Closet Core Patterns Pietra Pants in ripstop nylon
Cost: $30

There is something really powerful about making your own performance wear. I wore these pieces for an entire week river rafting. We were out in the wilderness so they really needed to hold up without the ability to switch them out or make repairs. They held up beautifully, kept me comfortable, and protected my skin from sun and water. I felt like superwoman!

Probably the most interesting part of this outfit to make were the board shorts. I wanted something that would be quick-drying and protect my legs from sun and the rubber of the boat. I decided to use the Closet Core Patterns Pietra pants/shorts. They have a gathered/elastic back and flat front, so they gave me all the ease of a pull-on short but look pretty good for rafting! The fabric is rip-stop nylon from Harts Fabric and I think the quality is better and it dries faster than another one I ordered online. 

Rather than gather the back waistband and run elastic through it to create the elasticized waist, I didn't cut ou the waistband fabric and just used the elastic. This gave me less bunchy fabric to deal with, as the elastic sits flat (photos of the back farther below). The front waistband is "lined" in elastic - I essentially ran the elastic through the front without stretching for added stability as I didn't want to risk trying to do iron-on interfacing on this plastic-y fabric. Of course, this is all a deviation from the instructions but worked out well after some fiddling.

I also added a zipper to one of the pockets (pictured above), leaving the other one open. I can store things in there like chapstick or a key - they get wet but won't float away. After testing these out I kind of wish that I'd given both sides a zipper as the non-zippered one tends to balloon full of water more easily. But it doesn't bother me enough to fix it. 

The other crucial element to this outfit is the rash guard for sun protection. I'm not sure the fabric is UV-rated or anything, but it helps a whole lot just to have my arms and torso covered. This was my first time sewing the Waimea rash from Greenstyle Creations and it fits well and is easy to put together. 

Underneath it all is a Greenstyle Creations Power Sports bra and Stitch Upon a Time Bunzies - two underwear patterns made as a swimsuit. The Power Sports bra gave excellent support and comfort wearing it all day. The criss-cross straps in the back are super cute and also prevent them from slipping off my shoulders. 

The Bunzies are a nice underwear pattern to have in your stash - they have a few options ranging from cheeky to full coverage. I used the pattern variation without elastic - you simply add hembands to the leg openings and waist. I was worried it might make them a bit loose but it worked out well and meant I didn't have elastic cutting into me all day. The one modification I made was to lengthen them so they sit at my natural waist. 

This has been the perfect summer "capsule" bathing suit wardrobe that is super comfy and functional. Here's to the beach life!

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