These are what I call Sunshade Hoodies... modeled, shamelessly, after the Patagonia product of this name. Back when Lilly was a baby I snagged a Patagonia one on sale, and it was the best darn thing for keeping the sun off of a little kid. I still run after them with sunblock, but I feel less bad about the inevitable spots that I'll miss, and late reapplications. So much of summer play involves the kids sitting or squatting over big piles of sand, and the hoodie is just perfect for that since it covers their back and head. I also find that a hood is easier to keep track of than sun hats, and it is so light that I can flip it up over their heads and they often don't notice, while a hat can be a fight.
Other than the Patagonia product, the only other thing around seems to be the ubiquitous rash guard. Those are okay, but the kids ones are often not labeled with their UV protectiveness rating so I just don't know how protective they are, and the cut leaves the back of the neck and sometimes the arms exposed.
Anyhow, I decided to make my own this year. The fabric is from Peekaboo Pattern Shop which has the cutest line of coordinating swim fabrics, all labeled UV 50. They also have pirates, ice cream cones, and mermaids... but I just couldn't resist these sharks!
The pattern is from Hey June Handmade, and is the Hatteras Hoodie pattern for kids. I LOOOOVE this pattern, it is everything I could hope for in a pattern. The size range is HUGE, from 2 to 14 years! Kids grow so fast that I'm grateful for the range, and it means I could use the same pattern for both kids.
This pattern is also fantastic in other ways. I love the 3/8 inch seam allowance, it is perfect for serging seams-- not too much waste, but a nice little 1/8 of an inch to chop off and give a clean finish. The construction is clean and clever, and gives a professional look. And the sizing has been spot on so far, for both kids-- I risked it with no toiles, just going by the measurements, and the fit is perfect.
I mostly followed the pattern exactly, but I added just a bit of interest by finishing the curved edge of the pocket with a contrast strip.
The trickiest part was getting the hood to match perfectly with the edge of the front slit. It really helps to sew a line of basting holding the hood and front edge in place before you sew the neck seam.
And of course, stripes meant I had to take extra care in matching the side seams! Tons of pins seemed to do the job nicely. I only chopped one with my serger, doh! I can't help thinking, every chopped pin is taking me closer to the inevitable replacement of that blade.