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  • Writer's pictureJenni Beth

Summer Swimming...or Sheltering at Home

Updated: Sep 15, 2021

So I got all this swim fabric, because my husband did really well in sales last year and won a free "Presidents Club" trip to Cabo. So I planned a swim/warm weather capsule.

Turns out that coronavirus didn't know about the trip we had planned over spring break, and we didn't get to go after all. So I decided to sew some things up anyway...and here are my Spring Break Trip...I mean Quarantine at Home...sews.

The Patterns:

5oo4 Escapade - I made a swim dress out of this one, but it also has options for a bikini or a tank, with a halter top, straight straps, or crossed straps. I though that a halter top look felt more "vacation" to me, so that's what I sewed. This fabric is the teal Birds of Paradise swim from Boho Fabrics, and I lined it with techsheen from Phee Fabrics. I might not be able to wear it to the swim-up bar at the resort we were going to be at, but it will definitely get some wear this summer, since it tends to get rather hot and sticky here.

5oo4 X Factor - I am in love with this pattern. It is super-supportive with the "X" in back, and it has options for a bikini, a straight or gathered tank, as well as options for maternity and nursing. I made the top portion the size that I measured, and I sized up one size just on the waist part so it would be slightly roomier there. I made the long length on the tank part so it would have a nice drape and be suitable for exercising or swimming. Speaking of the versatile nature of this make, the fabric is from Zenith and Quasar, and is one of their YSS (Yoga Swim Spandex) Fabrics. I got just enough for this top in a scrap pack. In fact, i used another of their fabrics for the "X" on the back...that one has a black/gray gradient to it. So I can dress it up, dress it down, wear it to work out it, and wear it to swim. So, so fun. My husband calls it my "X-wing shirt," so that's fun too :)

5oo4 Candy Pants - Last, but not least, are the bottoms that I made to go with the X Factor Tank. I used 5oo4's new Candy Yoga Pants and Leggings pattern for this one, and this is a pattern with a ton of options. This one is a re-make of their hugely popular Ninja Leggings, and it has the same fit, just more options. As the name indicates, it has cut lines for both yoga pants (snug fitting to the knee, and then more ease through the calf and ankle) and leggings. It has seven lengths: 2", 5", 7" shorts, pedal pushers, capri, ankle, and long. It has four rises: high, mid, low, and extra low/maternity. And it has four waistband options, plus a maternity waistband. This is seriously the only legging/yoga pant pattern you will ever need! Oh, it also has side colorblocking with pockets.

My goal in this make was to emulate another 5oo4 pattern, the Tidal Waves, without having to purchase an additional pattern. I made the high waist option with a contour waistband, and I chose the 5 inch shorts. I added the side panels, because I had just enough of the sunflower fabric left for that. (The black is Greenstlye Creations Swift 260 fabric). I made a pocket in just one side, because that's how much fabric I had left. It can hold my phone on the way to the pool or while exercising, though, which was what I wanted! The only modifications that I made to the pattern were to fully line it (with the same black fabric), add powernet to the waistband, and add very short bands on the bottom with the very last of my grey gradient fabric. I can't tell you how comfortable this outfit is. I put it on for pictures, and then I didn't take it off again for a couple hours, just because I was comfortable wearing it.

I feel super-excited about these outfits, even though I don't get to wear them on vacation yet :) They will definitely be worn this summer, especially if pools open at some point :) Here are my pattern links one more time:

5oo4 Escapade Top and Dress

5oo4 X Factor Bikini and Tankini

5oo4 Candy Yoga Pants and Leggings

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.

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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.

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