Since it’s getting that time of year (we’ve been lucky here in Florida with several warm wetsuit free days in December!), I did don the wetsuit for one chilly morning a few days back. I noticed my new, fancy wetsuit that is super warm, made from fancy pants neoprene, blah blah blah, has a key holder, but really no place to hold some wax in the water if I need it. Yeah, I’ve tucked some wax under the ankle of my wetsuit before, but that never seems to stay put, and it gets wax all over the suit and doesn’t feel the best on my ankle.
So, I thought this might be a good solution for a wax carrier that would work with a wetsuit.
I had some leftover scraps of an old shower curtain I used for a project, so I thought that material would be a good candidate. I also had a short length of 1″ non-roll elastic from a previous project, but I just picked up a new roll for another project for less than a buck at the fabric store yesterday, so it’s not expensive.
|Elastic, shower curtain scrap, scissors|
I cut my scrap piece to 6″ by 5″ with my rotary cutter, but scissors work just fine.
|6″ by 5″ piece of shower curtain|
Next, I folded up the bottom, and folded down the top so that there’s be a 1″ lip over the top, making a little pocket. I used staples to “pin” the sides, keeping in mind I’m going to stitch 1/2″ in on each side, so keep the staples close to the cut edge. The material won’t fray, it’s plastic, so I don’t need to worry about the edges.
|Little pocket stapled to hold in place before stitching|
Next, I stitched each side with a straight stitch on the machine, but this can be done by hand. I was too lazy to change out my thread from when I was hemming some jeans yesterday, but the dark color shows up well in the photo at least. I stitched back and forth on each side the full length about five to six times to ensure the pocket would be strong from taking wax in and out.
|Stitching each side, with the flap down, making a pocket|
Next, I went out to the garage with my elastic and a marker and put on my wetsuit (just on my right leg, I surf regular), with my leash. I stretched the elastic above the leash wrap so that it was tight, but not a tourniquet. I made sure to leave an overlap of about 1/2″, then I marked that point.
|Monkey toes- diggin the purple leash, huh??|
I brought the elastic back inside with a piece of wax about the size I would take out with me into the water. I went ahead and put the wax into the pocket, and lined up the pocket about center on the length of elastic.
|Centering the pocket|
The reason for having the wax in the pocket while sewing instead of sewing flat is to prevent the wax digging into your ankle when you use it, and it make getting the wax in and out easier. I sewed each side down using a triple step stitch, which is like a zig zag stitch- which can be used- but the triple step is a bit stronger and is used in stuff like sailmaking. So the pocket sides should be sewn in a little closer together that if the pocket was flat to the elastic. Make sure the flap opening is facing to the OUTSIDE when stitching it down, or it’ll be tricky to get your wax….
|Sewing each side to the elastic with triple step stitch|
Again, I did this back and forth several times to secure- I didn’t stretch the elastic while stitching.
The last step is stitching the ends of the elastic together to make a loop to go around the ankle. This is a bit tricky, and you can take the wax out for this part if that’s easier. overlap the ends 1/2″ (that’s the reason for adding the 1/2″ while measuring) and use the zig-zag/ triple step stitch to stitch the ends together a little off the edges, then again over the top edge again, going back and forth several times to secure.
|Elastic ends stitched together to make loop|
Now, it’s ready to go! I put it over a roll of masking tape to show how it looks finished:
|Wax Pocket- Flap should be at the top keeping the wax in (I have it upside down, duh), easy enough to get out when needed.|
I wouldn’t recommend this for keys, money, or diamond smuggling, but wax probably won’t slip out on you. Well, if the water’s cold enough, I may slip in one of those emergency heat packets to put down the front of my suit. No, I won’t do that alternative to stay warm- would you do that in a $300 business suit? I didn’t think so.