Sewing and the Trivium

Learning to Create

Join me as I use the tools of learning to delve into the world of needlecraft.

 
  • Jenni Beth

The Sara Sweater: Comfy and Classy


I was recently given the opportunity to sew up the Sara Sweater, a new pattern by Rebecca Page. This one is really unique. It has a relaxed fit with dropped shoulders. But it is so much more than just a comfy sweater! It has an offset placket with three buttons and a scooped high collar. The sleeves are wide at the bottom, and then gathered into a sleeve cuff that is the perfect size to push up above your elbow if you don't want them in the way when you want to use your hands. The silhouette is so feminine!

The Grammar

Blouson Sleeve - a blouson sleeve is a very full sleeve that billows over a narrower band. From what I read, it works particularly well for people with a smaller bust or a larger midsection, as it adds softness to a small upper body and draws the eye away from any lower body problem areas.

Welt Pockets - these are pockets typically used on the front of jackets/shirts where there is not a seam to insert them into. They are often used in formal or semi-formal garments and tend to look classier than your typical inseam pockets.

Placket - a placket is the double-layer of fabric that holds the buttons on the neckline of a shirt. They are commonly used in polo and henley shirts, and they tend to make a shirt a little bit dressier.


The Logic - putting it all together

While this shirt is a little more complicated than your typical raglan or relaxed-fit sweatshirt, if you follow the

straightforward step-by-step instructions, you will absolutely be able to make this one, whether you are a beginner or a more experienced sewist. My shirt is a L bust/XL waist and hips, as that's where I typically fit on Rebecca Page's size chart. I took an inch off the height of the sweater, as I am shorter than RP's 5'6" drafting. I took the height off in two locations, per the recommendation of the pattern tutorial. Other than that, this one is sewn just as the pattern was drafted. And this fabric is from JoAnn Fabrics. It is their Coastal Lagoon Poly Cotton Spandex Pucker. And it was really easy to sew on.

Thanks for checking out my pattern review. Here is the link one more time to the Sara Sweater.


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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My Favorite Designers and Fabric Stores

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. The fabric stores are just ones that I love. I do not earn any money if you purchase from them :)

 
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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.

 

"Blessed is the man...whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does he prospers"

Psalm 1: 2-3

Tree Leaves
 

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