top of page
Home: Blog2
  • Jenni Beth

Last Swimsuit of the Year - 5oo4 Alpha

Updated: Sep 15, 2021

So I thought I was done sewing swimsuits for 2021. I went to scout camp for a week (brought both of my one-piece suits that I posted about here). We went camping as a family three times. And I am ready to settle down into our school schedule (I cannot tell you how much I appreciate routine and a weekend that we will be home at this point). But then a friend asked if I would sign up for a session of adult swimming lessons with her, and I decided I needed a matching top to go with my Bethany bottoms for the swimming lessons. Enter the Alpha Top, Tank, and Dress pattern.

For this one, I used some Yoga Swim Spandex by Zenith and Quasar. I really love this fabric! It is a heavier-weight swim, which means it is perfect for making other things out of, in addition to working well in the water. It also has UPF50 sun protection.

This was a pretty quick sew, and as I haven't sewn for a couple weeks, that was a great thing! The pattern has you construct the bra/bodice part first, sewing them RSF with elastic in the seam and then turning them. I used clear elastic for this one, because I have a big bag of it, and it feeds through the little hole in the food of my serger, making it super-easy to insert. Then you make the three straps (there is a sewing school video on 5oo4's website linked in the pattern tutorial that shows exactly how to do this). And then you attach the bra band elastic (I used 3/4 inch regular elastic) and the skirt.

The only potentially difficult part is getting the straps the right length. I sewed most of it together and pinned the straps on the bottom. Then I had to wait for my husband to come home to help me check the length (turns out I'm not flexible enough to pin something on my back myself).

I wore this all day on Wednesday of this week, first as a "lounge-around-the-house" summer outfit, and then when I took my kiddos to the pool. It was really amazing to not have to be pulling at my swimsuit when I was swimming. It stayed where it was supposed to be the whole time. I was sad to take it off when I got home, but it was wet, and wet swimsuit mixed with an air-conditioned house is not so comfortable!

This post contains various affiliate links. Purchasing patterns using these links does not cost my readers more, but the designer does provide me with a small commission from any sales. The commission helps to fund my fabric costs, and is very appreciated

480 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

My Favorite Designers

Disclosure: I am an affiliate and promoter for these two designers, and I will make a small amount of money if you make a purchase after clicking on my link. The cost to you will not change. These are designers whose patterns I love, and that I would sew up for myself whether I was an affiliate or not.

Home: Clients
Ambassador LOGO.png
Home: Instagram

Why "Sewing and the Trivium"

The Story

Classical educators like to divide education into developmental stages called the Trivium. These are called "Grammar," "Logic," and "Rhetoric." Grammar refers to the first steps of learning anything: learning the vocabulary of the subject being studied and memorizing facts about that vocabulary. Classically speaking, this corresponds to the elementary years of learning - years when students never seem to grow tired of astounding the adults around them with fact after fact about things they are interested in. Have you experienced talking to a six year old who is really into dinosaurs? enough said...

Adults also begin learning with the grammar of a subject. Each subject has its own unique terminology and facts that need to be mastered before one can explore the more complicated applications of that subject. Sewing is no different. What is a french seam? What kinds of knit fabrics are better for different applications? What is a dolman sleeve or a raglan top? These are grammar queries.

In classical education, logic refers to the action of logically processing the grammar facts students have learned, or are learning. The student who is particularly suited to this type of thought is the middle-school scholar - the student who wants to argue his or her way through the world and "be right" about all the things. This pattern of thought includes bringing different ideas together, comparing and contrasting them, analyzing what an authority figure says about an argument, and deciding whether different arguments are consistent with each other. In the sewing world, logical questions include things like, "How is knit fabric different than woven fabric?" and "Why does this pattern ask for a particular fabric type?" as well as tasks such as mashing two patterns together or changing the sleeve/length/placket from how the pattern was designed.

The final part of the classical trivium, rhetoric, is when a student makes an argument of his or her own by developing a "thesis" or main point and then laying it out for someone else in writing or speech. Typically, students are ready for formal rhetoric in their high school years - years that they are very concerned about what they look like to other people and gain an interest in learning to craft a message in a way that will be most effective for their purposes. Examples of rhetoric in sewing would be fully-formed tutorials or sew-alongs - or even the writing of a blog post itself. Anything that is explaining previously thought-out/tried-out projects can count as rhetoric. 

My goal on this blog is to lay out my sews and thoughts using this framework. And that is why I chose this title.

Home: About
Home: Quote
bottom of page