This Old Rashguard….

It’s always good to fix or reuse whatcha got already, instead of always going for new, shiny stuff. This is especially true with clothing, which actually takes up a big percentage of our waste these days.

I avoid using the dryer as much as possible to extend the life of my boardshorts and swim gear (just look in the lint trap to see all the fibers you lose every time with your clothes). I’ve started to discover recently that it’s worth reusing and resewing some of my surf gear because the prices have become crazy for material and for the finished garments themselves.

Remember in my last blog post when I used a too small rashguard for a project? Here’s what I did with the rest of it.

This is what the original too-small rashguard looked like:

After my last project, I was left with a sleeveless top with a collar that I removed with the seam attached:

Next, I wanted to trim the length of the top so the finished garment ended up around my ribs (with a 2″ elastic band). I don’t need it riding up on me, and I’m not going for skimpy. I cut across about 4″ down from the armpit:

I also wanted to make the neck a bit shallower and matching front and back, so I used a French Curve to make a slight scoop:

At this point, you may want to line the front of the top with some of the extra rashguard material, especially if you are using a lighter colored rashguard, or if the material is really thin. I didn’t bother lining this one.

Next, I cut the collar into halves. This creates a little tunnel I can feed cord through, and the seam keeps it shut.

I pinned each of these halves onto the front and back of the neck, and serged them on.

So next, I measured out some 2″ soft waistband elastic. The rule of thumb for elastic is, take your measurement (an inch or two below my bustline for this), then subtract 10%. However, since I’ll be surfing in this, I’m going to take 15%, just because saltwater breaks down elastic quickly. Boo.

I serged the ends of the elastic into a loop, pinned the band onto the bottom, and strrrrrretched the elastic as I serged it to the bottom of the top.

To make the loop strap around the shoulder, I cut a 2″ strip from the leftover rashguard material. I pulled the strip taut to make it curl onto itself to make a cord so I could feed it through the channels at the neckline:

I sewed the cord loop closed when I got the length where I wanted it. Remember that it will stretch a bit over time. I like the long length, since I wipeout a lot, adjusting my top is a PITA.

Here it is, front and back. This dress form is a little small, but you get the idea:

No, I’m not going to model it personally and post photos. I’m a modest Southern lady that enjoyed fried foods for some years now, unlike my healthy quinoa friends.

Don’t judge me.

My Favorite Disney Princess….

Easy Wetsuit Hack Attack

It has been cold for Central Florida, with our water temps dipping down into the high 50’s. At least today was warm, but it won’t be for long. I may have to break down and buy another full wetsuit that goes all the way down to my ankles, and that makes me sad. Worse yet, I’ve got to go try some on, and it’s a pain in the ass to wriggle into the freakin’ wetsuits.

Most surfers have heard the old trick about slipping into a wetsuit easier (dry or wet) by using a plastic shopping bag over the foot or hand, sliding the appendage through, then removing the bag. There’s even surfy gimmicks out there you can buy to help you like the Jimmy or WetSox, but you can make this so easily, it’s insanity.

This upcycling hack looks similar to WetSox. I’m taking an old rash guard of mine that’s a teensy too small, cutting a sleeve off, sewing up one end with a whipstitch, and BOOM! E-Z Wetsuit Slip On Tool. Here’s my process in pics (I wish WordPress would let me do captions again):

A little more permanent than a plastic bag, plus it’s washable. Schweet.

So what am I going to do with a sleeveless rashguard? I might come up with another project, or I may go surfin’ with this brah, he knows the feeling of a good wipeout…

Surfer’s Jewelry Tray Pattern

It’s been super mega frosty here in Florida lately. The water has been extra cold this season, hovering right around 60 degrees F, which is right at my tolerance level limit in a 4/3 wetsuit. I’ve surfed in 55 degree water before, and it felt like tiny needles on my hands when I paddled. More motivation for me to NOT wipeout. I lasted for a whole TWO waves before I needed to bathe in some hot soup.

In winter, I have to remember to take all of my jewelry off, including my wedding ring. Cold water will cause you to lose a priceless ring faster than you can say “Shark!” Ask a few surfers- they’ll have stories. Not going to embarrass anyone in particular, but I did learn to take my jewelry off from hearing their stories. And around here, the littoral drift means you’re probably not getting it back.

So I wouldn’t forget where I left my stuff when I get back home from surfing, I made a simple little jewelry tray with some waxed Linhasita cord and some simple crochet techniques. This little basket could also be done in fine hemp, but it won’t shape and hold up as well as the waxed cord will.

Here’s the pattern I came up with if you’re so inclined….

Surfer’s Jewelry Tray Pattern

Made in continuous rounds. I crochet tightly, so I used a 2.0 mm hook for this project with the Linhasita, but you may want to size up or down, depending on how “nautical” looking you want it. The firmer crochet in a tan/sand gives it a fisherman’s basket look. To me.

This is also a good reference for using this type of pattern: Crochet Abbreviations

1st Rnd: 10 sc in Magic Ring (10 st)

2nd Rnd: Make 2 sc in first sc from 1st rnd, place a marker in the first sc in this rnd. Make 2 sc in next sc in rnd, and in every sc around. (20 st)

3rd Rnd: Make 1 sc in the first sc (place marker), 2 sc in the next sc. Repeat this pattern until the end of the rnd. (30 st)

4th Rnd: Make 1 sc in each of the first 2 sc (place marker in first sc), then 2 sc in the third sc. Repeat this pattern until the end of the rnd. (40 st)

5th Rnd: Make 1 sc in each of the first 3 sc (place marker in first sc), then 2 sc in the fourth sc. Repeat this pattern until the end of the rnd. (50 st)

6th Rnd: Make 1 sc in each of the first 4 sc (place marker in first sc), then 2 sc in the fifth sc. Repeat this pattern until the end of the rnd. (60 st)

7th Rnd: Make 1 sc in each of the first 5 sc (place marker in first sc), then 2 sc in the sixth sc. Repeat this pattern until the end of the rnd. (70 st)

8th Rnd: Make 1 sc in each of the first 6 sc (place marker in first sc), then 2 sc in the seventh sc. Repeat this pattern until the end of the rnd. (80 st)

Now, here we’ll start making the sides of the Tray. I’ll crochet just a hair more loosely on the sides, allowing some stretch.

9th Rnd: Make 1 sc in FLO of first sc. Repeat this for the entire rnd. (80 st)

This round makes the base for the side.

10th-14th Rnds: Make 1 sc in BLO of first sc. Repeat this for the entire rnd. (80 st)

Bind off, weave in ends.

Shape the tray, hand pressing the bottom flat and hand shaping the sides outward.

Starfish Accent

I riffed off of the original motif pattern which can be found at this website, or you can check out my other Motif post.

I used a bit of fishing line to sew the motif onto the tray, like it’s going up the side.

Ready to use! I put my 4Oceans bracelet in the pic. If you buy a bracelet, they claim they pull 1 pound of trash out of the ocean.

WHOA…..what if MY pound they pulled contained 100 surfers’ lost wedding rings? I want in on that action, so I bought one of these bracelets. Just waiting for a call when I win my pound of trash.

What? That’s not how it works?

The Orange Peel Surf Wax Mold (My Review)

I was a Kickstarter supporter for The Orange Peel, a new surf wax gadget that just shipped out to most of us last week who bought in to the concept. I felt like doing a review of this product, so here it is. Did I get it for free? Hell nah, brah. These opinions are all Average Surfer Approved, and that’s all that matters, Bro-tein Shake.

The Orange Peel (peelitout.com, $11.99) is a 100% silicone cup that’s meant to fit into your car’s cup holder, and collect the gnar bits of surf wax that end up in your car. Unfortunately, this silicone cup was a little too small and got “lost” in my Surfmobile’s (Yaris) oversized side door cup holders, so it’s going to have to sit in the open middle console instead. Here it is in my grody Surfmobile:

The actual surfy-special feature of this mold cup is a raised strip of silicone along the bottom of the inside. This allows the mold to create the traditional break line for the bar of surf wax after melting it into the mold, creating the distinct halves. A half a bar is enough to wax up a longboard for a sesh, and fits into a pocket easily.

That feature is what makes the mold stand out for me. There are plenty of silicone molds out there for far cheaper in the craft store’s baking section, but as a surfer, I like the simple and practical addition of this line in the mold that creates a truly usable bar of surf wax.

To test this new mold, I used an actual old gnarly ball of surf wax from under the seat of my car, and rolled it around in more sand from the car. Yummy.

Here’s your WARNING WARNING WARNING!

Although the Orange Peel cup itself alone is microwaveable, you SHOULD NOT microwave things with sand all over it. Here in Cocoa Beach, a lot of our sand is dredged from shoals off the Cape, and there can often be trace metals in the dredge material. NOT a good thing to put in the microwave.

For this experiment, I used the little toaster oven we picked up at Goodwill. It stays out in the garage, so I use it for melting small amounts of wax sometimes, but mostly it’s for baking modeling clay (no fumes in the house, bonus).

I heated the clump in the toaster oven at 250 degrees Fahrenheit (recommended by Peel Surf) for 20 minutes. This wax was most likely “Tropical” hardness from throughout this Summer and Fall, so I figured I would need to heat it for a while for it to melt sufficiently. The sand and debris in the wax will tend to fall toward the bottom of the cup. After I removed it from the oven, I made sure to give it a little stir to help things along.

Allow it to set for at least an hour. I left mine to harden overnight.

It came out of its mold with some difficulty because of the thickness of the cup’s walls. It’s a sturdy design, but it also makes it tricky to pop out easily without damaging the edges of the finished wax bar a bit.

Once the bar was out, I just scraped off the sludge that had settled to the bottom, which is now at the top of the bar of wax. I still had quite a bit of clean wax that remained.

Done!

Ok, so here’s my overall impression…..

Pros:

  • Makes a decent sized, good looking bar of wax
  • Molds a deep, easy-to-break line in the center
  • The bright color of The Orange Peel makes it easy to spot in a dark car in the morning

Cons:

  • Expensive- the price point of 12 bucks needs to be reduced to make this product work, or else I’m using my old muffin cups
  • May disappear into the cup holders of many cars with oversized holders

My suggestions:

  • Please get the price down- nice concept, but most surfers will have trouble justifying the expense, even to recycle their wax and Save Da World.
  • Include a simple Recipe Book- a lot more people might buy your product if you include some fun how to’s, similar to a Surf Wax Making Kit.
  • Introduce a “Jumbo” Orange Peel for oversized drink holders, and people who want to make larger bars of wax.
  • Consider a Glow In the Dark version for those Dawn Patrol sessions.
  • Offer unique molds (flower shapes, animals, etc.) with break lines through them. Only the inside of the cup needs to be shaped, the outside of the cup can be smooth, so it can still fit into a drink holder nicely.

I’ll definitely be using this cool little mold often, but I’ll be waiting on buying anymore “Peels” until the price drops a bit. BUT, if there’s a surfer you want to splurge on, this might be a fun gift to give along with some natural beeswax (and show them how to make their own surf wax too!).

DIY Upcycled Neoprene Pouch Keychain

This week has been cray cray. The stress of the holidays is approaching, and you can see it around Cocoa Beach with the influx of angry out of towners. And here I thought the ocean was supposed to be soothing.

Instead of getting out in the crazy shopping melee tomorrow, MAKE something useful out of your old wetsuit, since you’re probably getting a new one anyways. Even if you’ve been naughty and stealing my waves, you wanker.

I used a scrap of Neoprene from a machine washed wetsuit sleeve for the main part of this pouch. Machine washing is OK and DESIRED if it is to be used for crafting! The Velcro and nylon webbing piece came from another old surfing vest zip back. I cut the piece of Velcro in half so it would span the top flap and keep it closed.

I also used a keychain ring with a clip from the hardware store, and some heavy duty nylon thread in purple and black to sew everything. You can use Neoprene repair glue if you want to glue the pieces instead, but I hand sewed everything on.

I cut the sleeve just a few inches above the wrist, then cut away a little on the inside, leaving a top flap to put the Velcro on:

I sewed the clip and strap onto the back of the pouch also:

Done- and useful for putting all sorts of surfy stuff in, like surf wax, fin screws, leash loops, etc. Schweet.

Now, wasn’t that more fun than dealing with the holiday chaos?

FYI: Outerknown Black Friday Sale

Hey, I don’t freakin’ work for Kelly Slater, but he IS da MAN here in Cocoa Beach, and a nice dude, so I’d thought I’d give a plug for his latest clothing endeavor, Outerknown. They’re having a Black Friday Sale, so if you’ve ever wanted to check out the brand, this is a good time. This is just info, I wish I got free stuff from them, but no, I just keep watch on da sales.

Their clothes are usually CRAZY expensive, but on their website, I just picked up a pair of boardshorts for $30.

I’ve checked them out in person before, and they were extremely well made, but I couldn’t justify the original price of $75. Yikes. Currently, the boardshorts are the best bargain on the website, in my opinion.

Guess he’s gotta pay for that new wave pool.

DIY Surfboard Carrier Sling

I think these surfboard carriers are pretty smart, but they can also get a bit over the top. I just need something to take some pressure off of my

Kinda pricey, but nice

 carrying arm when I’m taking my board down to the beach. More so now with my recent shoulder injury. There’s some on online stores that are well-designed, could probably take a bullet, but also cost some real cash (plus S&H, too).

I just figured I’d make my own simple one out of an ancient bath towel, a couple of surf tees, and a bit of rubber kitchen drawer grip ($1 for a big roll from the thrift store originally). Kinda has that MacGyver feel. Nice.

I LOVE this shirt, but it’s a little big

I did this one mostly for my 7’0” funshape, so this not-too-big, not-too-small shrunken bath towel would work fine. This towel’s width was around 1/3 of the length of my funshape board, which I thought would help for stabilization.

The only machine stitching I did on this carrier was to make the top casings for the handles. I just folded down each end a bit to the outside of the carrier, pinned it, and ran a straight line of stitching down each end. Also hid the fancy pants brocade strip so common with bath towels. Takes away from the Surf Cred, ya know.

If you want, you can add the kitchen drawer grip as a strip to the bottom of your carrier, like I did. I made mine 6” wide, and around 26ish” long, approximately the width of the carrier sling. This will help the board from sliding out of the sling as you move around. I used a heavy hand-sewing needle and Button and Craft thread (thicker than sewing machine thread) to sew in the strip to the bottom.

Next, I applied interfacing to the back of the surf tee logo to give it some stiffness for use as a pocket. I sewed the cut out patch pocket onto the front of the carrier, being careful not to overlap the kitchen grip attached at the bottom. I used a triple step zig-zag stitch around the curved edge. The top edge was open, but I had hemmed it already.

Taking the remainder from the surf tees to make the handles for the carrier sling using t-shirt yarn (learn how to make t-shirt yarn), I braided the strands, then sewed two braids together to give it some width. The t-shirt knit makes it comfortable on the shoulder, too, and also stretches a lot.

The handles were made by feeding 1/2 of my doubled braid into the casing I made on the towel, and sewing the ends together. Same for the other side.
Done!

I’m in full GNAR mode now

I was pleasantly surprised that it will carry my biggest longboard, my 9’0” Dewey Weber:

Schweet

Now that’s how you MacGyver, kids.

Yikes. World’s over.