A Union Suit for a hot Kayaker


My husband’s most passionate hobby (much like my sewing/craft hobby) is kayaking. And I mean serious kayaking, he throws himself down class 5 rapids in tiny little playboats- thank goodness he has a good life insurance policy. Hee hee, I kid, I kid! Anyhow, he goes kayaking all year long, all around the Southeast where the water is running. Needless to say, the water can get COLD no matter what time of the year it is. So he asked me to sew him a Union suit, it is a stretch full body suit that he wears underneath his dry suit to add an extra layer of warmth. He actually got online and found this Kwiksew pattern 2335 to use as a template, its pretty much a wetsuit but clearly this pattern has been around since the 90’s judging from the neon green and electric blue color they used.

Lucky for him I let him pick the fabric he wanted to use or he would’ve ended up with a 90’s hot pink version. He found a synthetic rayon/polyester blend material (in solid black of course) not waterproof but would absorb sweat and provide some insulation. It was surprising easy to sew, Kwiksew patterns are very clear in their instructions. I did end up using bright orange thread which actually looked pretty cool, gave it a sporty look. The most fun part was putting in the 24″ zipper, I used a sports version but they do have waterproof ones. It turned out good though a little snug and short, this is just the prototype though according to Chris.

For the next one he wants to order Neoprene which is a rubberbased fabric that flicks sweat away from your body. Our good friend DJ who is also a big kayaking enthusiast is in line for one too. 🙂 Here’s a picture of Chris in action.

He has used his Union suit for 2 boating trips and it has kept him nice and toasty!

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