Sunday, June 25, 2017

In The Swim

I love to sew and by this time in my life I'm finally getting good at it. In a previous post about making swim suits for Emma, Getting Prepared, I made up five little suits and last weekend I got to see one in action. We were all together for a family time with my sisters and those who were out-of-town stayed in a nearby hotel with a pool just for the kids or the young at heart. Emma wore her yellow suit and I could watch her in action to see if it really did fit (could be a little longer) and how it held up (the top decorative-only button fell off). There were her older brothers who enjoyed a game of catch with Grandpa Jim, but little Emma had two girl cousins from Michigan, Vivie and Frannie, who were just a tad younger and older so they were quite a three-some. How many times can you jump into the pool and in how many ways? There seemed to have no limit and they sure did have fun. When Emma's family drove home the next afternoon Vivie and Frannie didn't stay in the pool too long that evening because it just wasn't as much fun without their new friends.

Once we got home I found something I needed to mail to Beth, my niece and the mother of Vivie and Frannie, and decided I couldn't mail off just one item so decided matching swimsuits would be fun for the girls. Wouldn't you know it? I still had enough fabric to make two more suits that were the same yellow print as Emma's:
Kwiksew 3785 size small and X-Small
By this time I was on suit numbers six and seven with this KwikSew pattern 3785 so I was getting pretty good at the elastic sewing but each suit takes five loops and each loop gets sewn on twice: once to attach and then folded over and sewn again. That's ten times per suit! But I woke up early one morning and couldn't get back to sleep so I started in on the suits and they were done in no time. You know how much I love to sew on vintage sewing machines but I've been using my Viking Designer 1 and, oh my, there are some features that are really, really nice. For instance, needle up and needle down. Now, a lot of sewing machines have this but the D1 takes it a step further and when it's needle down and you stop, the presser foot raises up a half step, not all the way up, just halfway. This lets you reposition your fabric (and elastic) yet keep your place because the needle is still down in the fabric. Then there is the Fix feature that is automatic at the start of each new seam where it stitches in place for about five ups and downs to secure the stitch. I have this on earlier Vikings, the 1100, 1200 , and 1250, but you have to choose it. The D1 has it at the start by default and I'm not changing it! Finally, when you are done with a seam, select Fix again to lock the last stitch in place, and then you can select the scissor button. What does the scissor button do? It pulls the thread from the top down to the underside and clips both the needle thread and the bobbin thread. It works about 80% of the time but that's fine by me because it snips the thread!!!!!! I didn't know how much that bothered me until I no longer had to do it.
Viking Designer 1 function buttons on left side of the body
I was even feeling adventurous and sewed the buttons on with the sewing machine, something I rarely do, but was willing to try it again since Emma's button came off her swimsuit. This was also easy and no broken needles, either. Oh yea, I'm in love with the D1 right now.

As a post script, I did receive photos of my niece's daughters in their new swimsuits. You gotta admit, they are cuties!

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