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22 April 2016

S Is For Sailrite | Nancy Drew Investigates {A To Z Challenge}



During April, we're participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Every day (except Sundays), we'll be doing an alphabet themed post starting with "A is for Anchor" and ending with "Z is for Zodiac." Each post is an installment of "Nancy Drew Investigates the Case of the Missing Anchor" - so you may want to read the posts from the beginning, in order to follow along with the story (click here for the first post and here for an index of all the posts). At the end of each post, you'll also find some random thoughts on the day's particular topic. So, if Nancy isn't your thing, feel free to skip the story and go straight to the end.   

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When we last left you, Nancy's beau, Ned Nickerson, surprised the girls, along with his friends Dave and Burt. Over chocolate cake and lemonade, Nancy told them about her plan to sneak aboard Party Time and look for clues.

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“Was that Ned we saw?” Shelley asked Nancy, as she and Marvin tied up their dinghy to the back of their boat.

“Yes, he’s crewing on one of the boats during the regatta, along with Burt and Dave, two of his friends from college.”

“Oh, that’s lovely, dear. He’s such a handsome young man. Did you offer them any cake and lemonade?”

“We sure did. They thought it was delicious and said to say thank you. We’re going to see them later at the barbeque.”

Bess muttered, “That’s not all we’re going to do at the barbeque. Tell them about your plan to sneak aboard Party Palace.” Nancy shushed Bess and turned to Shelley. “Bess was just asking if you have a sewing machine onboard. She was offering to repair your Q flag.”

“Of course, I have a heavy duty Sailrite. It’s wonderful for boat projects. Come on down below, Bess, and I’ll get it out for you.”

While Bess and Shelley worked on sewing the Q flag, George and Nancy talked about what clues might be aboard Party Palace. They agreed that if Nancy could find the list of what goods were stolen and how much they were sold for, they would have a solid case against Captain Gus and his gang.

“Look what a lovely job Bess did,” said Shelley as she held up the mended Q flag. Bess smiled. “It was nothing. Your sewing machine made it so easy. I’d love to have one just like it”

“Maybe you should learn to sail first, before you go buying a sewing machine for boat projects,” George said with a smirk on her face.

Before Bess could argue back, Marvin came out of the aft cabin, nodded appreciatively at the Q flag and said, “Right, we better get a move on. The barbeque is going to start soon.”

Distracted by thoughts of hamburgers and frankfurters hot off the grill, Bess hopped into the dinghy and thought to herself that maybe sailing wasn’t so bad after all. After all, there always seemed to be plenty of snacks and treats involved.

Tune in on Saturday for the next installment of Nancy Drew Investigates – T is for Toe Rail.

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Our trusty blue (and very expensive) Sailrite sewing machine. You can see the swatches that they send with your new machine to show that its been tested, adjusted properly and can sew through heavy material.

We've spent a fair chunk of change on things for our boat since we bought her last year and one of those things was a Sailrite sewing machine. It's an industrial machine, popular with boaters. I really debated whether to get one of these and would have long conversations with a friend of mine at the marina about the pros and cons of a Sailrite versus other sewing machines. In the end, I drank the koolaid and joined the Sailrite cult.

So far, I've made a few things for our boat and there are a few more things I need to make over the coming months. It's kind of fun to do some arts and crafts type of boat projects. Sure beats draining a fuel filter any day of the week.

When word gets out in a marina that you have a Sailrite sewing machine, you suddenly become very popular. I've had a few people borrow my machine for various projects. Because I'm a novice sewer, it's been really educational to pick their brains and see how they do their projects. Unlike with dressmaking where you can buy a pattern, most boat projects don't have patterns. Everything is one of a kind and you kind of have to figure it out as you go. One of my friends is making dinghy chaps (which are going to look amazing when they're done) and I've been watching her like a hawk to see how she does it so that I can make my own at some point. (Dinghy chaps are like cute outfits which you dress your dinghy up in to keep it from disintegrating due to the harsh sunlight.)

If you're interested in sewing machines, you can read my review of Sailrite and lookalike machines here. If you're not interested in sewing machines, you can read about the time I accidentally sent my friend porn about sewing machine here. Emphasis on the accidentally. And, don't worry, it's a G-rated post, despite the subject matter.

Do you sew? What types of things do you make and what kind of machine do you have? Have you ever accidentally sent someone an embarrassing email?

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34 comments:

  1. I used to do a lot of sewing for cosplay for conventions, but I haven't pulled out the sewing machine for a while. There was as shop down the way that used to have all these end of line bolts of fabric for really cheap prices, but I have no idea if it's still there. Could never afford the moleskin for a Jedi robe at normal prices. Hasn't everyone send an embarassing email? I thought it was a rite of passage ;)
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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    1. Well, I'm glad I'm not alone on the embarrassing email front :-) Fabric can be so expensive and I love when I can score a cheap little remnant on sale.

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  2. A type of sewing machine especially for boat stuff - cool! :)

    I did used to sew a lot for conventions, like my sis, Tasha. I have used all sorts of machines, my father used to collect old sewing machines, so I've used everything from a hand cranked Singer through treddle to one that had been converted from a hand machine to one that was powered.
    I try very very hard never to commit anything to email that could be used against me at a later date - so no embarrassing emails, I can embarrass myself quite well face to face though :)
    Sophie
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles | Wittegen Press | FB3X

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    1. I've seen non-boaties use Sailrites, primarily for leather work, like making handbags. It goes through thick material really easily.

      How neat that your dad collected old sewing machines! I love the look of those old ones with the treadles.

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  3. Thanks for visiting my blog :)

    What a cute theme you have for the A/Z Challenge!

    I used to sew a long time ago, my mom would make a lot of our clothes and I made a few things like skirts mainly. Haven't in a long time.

    That does look like a cool sewing machine though that you have!

    betty

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    1. My mom used to sew clothes for us as well. These days, it seems like sewing clothes is more expensive than buying cheap imported stuff. Which is kind of sad as it's become a bit of a dying art.

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  4. I do a lot of sewing on our Sailrite. It's a love/hate relationship! - Lucy

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    1. So far, mine has behaved herself. I'm assuming it's a girl, although I haven't checked that closely. I need to give her a name. Maybe a contest is in order :-)

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    2. So, you plan on naming it Sewey Mc Sailrite? Ours is called the Blue Anchor. I need a lie down after lifting it out from under the settee. It's an all day affair to sew a cushion after you count all the lie-downs and breaks I take! - Lucy

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  5. I have tried sewing on several occasions - none of them successful. I gave up reading patterns because they made no sense to me. Some day I'd love to try quilting... perhaps I can sew a straight line, with practice :)

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    1. I think quilting would be such a fun hobby with all of those fun patterns to choose from.

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  6. Like Lucy, I both love and hate our Sailrite. I love that we were able to completely reupholster our interior, restitch the sail covers, and make a summer awning and winter enclosure with it. I hate that every one of those projects came out a bit lumpy, though I can't blame the machine for that...

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    1. I'll be interested to hear about your re-upholstery job. I just made some cheap and awkward looking slipcovers for our settees.

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    2. Before: http://lifeafloatarchives.blogspot.com/2011/09/cinderella-gets-new-ball-gown.html

      After: http://lifeafloatarchives.blogspot.com/2011/09/re-upholstery-update.html

      It wasn't hard, just tedious. Sailrite had some great videos online to help.

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  7. I think any kind of sewing could become a love/hate relationship! Fabric never does what I want it to even in my bachelor crude sewing!

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    1. Fabric can be so uncooperative at times, can't it. Especially shiny, silky materials. They have a mind of their own.

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  8. If you like sewing and enjoy being creative, with plans to fix sails and canvas, and create cockpit cushions,... I think it is a good idea to have a sewing machine on board. If you have room for it. We couldn't be bothered during our eight years of cruising and had sails and canvas fixed in the cheaper countries, which did not set us back too much in terms of money. Dinghy covers are one of the hardest sewing projects there are, because of the odd shape of the tubes and needed holes for the handle bars and so on. We have a few friends who managed to create them and they make all the difference to make your dinghy last longer! It always seems a hassle to get the machine out, though, and cruisers would wait until they have a few projects lined up, before diving into them.

    Liesbet @ Roaming About – A Life Less Ordinary

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    1. I'm so impressed with my friend who is making dinghy chaps. She doing such a great job on them. I really should make some for ours.

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  9. Don't do it, Nancy! Don't sneak aboard the Party Time. It's too dangerous!

    http://www.svcambria.com/2016/04/the-side-effects-of-cruising.html

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    1. Somehow, I think Nancy is going to take her chances. Don't ask me how I know, it's just a gut feeling.

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  10. The story is coming along nicely. Nancy will get the bad guys. She always does.

    I don't have a sewing machine and you should be thankful for that. You would never want anything I attempted to make. I'm terrible and then some.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend. See you tomorrow. ☺

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    1. Nancy is one tough cookie. I have faith that she'll nail the bad guys.

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  11. I take it that Sailrite sewing machine is for heavy duty canvas and such.

    I have a Brother cheap a** quilting sewing machine that I have put to work - I'm on quilt no. 7 or 8 now. I sew in our camper but not on our boat.

    www.thriftshopcommando.blogspot.com

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    1. Yes, they're industrial machines. Great for heavy fabrics like canvas, sailcloth, leather etc.

      I really think I'd like to take quilting up one day. The possibilities are endless with all of the patterns and fabric choices.

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  12. I am an avid "sewist" and have a lovely Husqvarna that never lets me down. I make clothes, home decorating items, quilts, anything I can dream up. I love sewing.

    @Kathleen01930
    Meet My Imaginary Friends
    #AtoZchallenge

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    1. Sewist - what a great word! I'll be using that one from now on :-)

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  13. I'm afraid to get a sewing machine like the Sailrite. right now I have a Brother that is electronic and i love it for the small things I do. I used to be a seamstress so I'm known to have 'sewing skill's, which is to sailors what 'typing skills' used to be in the business world: it relegates you to using them. I never wanted to be a secretary. My worry is that if I have a spiffy sailrite, it will be up to me to do things like upholstery, which I would much rather pay someone else to do, and sail repair, which i would much rather pay someone else to do. but since we will be poor sailors, I may not have the money to pay someone else. What a quandry. Melissa from http://littlecunningplan.com/2016/04/s-is-for-sharks/

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  14. I learned to sew on a machine when young and have made lots of projects over the years. I don't have time for it anymore though. The BBQ talk has me HUNGRY and thinking about hamburgers and hot dogs "off the grill." Now going in search of food...

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  15. I lack the patience for sewing. It is a skill I will most likely never acquire, but I am impressed by your willingness to take on the task. Having to create things without a pattern or set of guidelines must be challenging, and exciting at the same time.

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  16. LOL, yes, I read the post on porn. Too funny. Hasn't happened to me, yet! :)
    And I do sew, while I have a machine, I prefer the hand sewing projects to the machine sewing, but love it regardless. My grandmother taught me. She made all her own clothes, seldom if ever bought a new dress she loved the second hand that she could remake for herself. She was also a quilter, I still want to join that club.

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  17. I've been sewing since I was (knee high to a grasshopper???) quite young. I joke that instead of my Mom sewing clothes for me, I sewed clothes my Mom. As an adult I used to make all of my clothes, I had a wonderful Viking machine, now it is less expensive to buy them.

    We had talked about buying a Sailrite machine, and my sister-in-law needed a heavy duty machine for some of her projects so she bought one first. Lucky me, I then borrowed it, and sewed a fly-bridge cover for a 50ft trawler, and earned enough to buy one of my own. :-)

    I have so many things I want to do for Denali Rose, my project list is getting quite long. It's not necessarily things that need to be done, but things I WANT to do, breaking the rule of, "if it's not broke, don't fix it". Still I'm looking forward to having the boat reflect our personality, and high on the list is to get rid of the 80's red velour in the V-berth! (ugh, and shudder) The Harbor-master found out I had a Sailrite, and I get so many inquiries about sewing for others, that I'm sure I could make a living at it, if I wanted to. --Then no time for sailing!

    I have probably sent an embarrassing email, but I'm sure I have blocked it from my memory.

    Be careful out there Nancy!

    Donna/svdenalirosenc43.blogspot.com





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  18. Interesting. My mom sewed our outfits when I was little... I asked her why she stopped and she said it got cheaper to buy them in stores. The material prices went way up, especially when retailers like Walmart came along, offering bargain clothes.

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  19. Plot still thickening. Followed your link to the other post too and now my mind is boggling!
    The Glasgow Gallivanter

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  20. I have a sewing machine. It hasn't seen any action for over 25 years. I used to make my own clothes. It was much cheaper than buying and I was a good seamstress. Even made my husband a leisure suit back in the 70's, lol. But truth be told I HATE sewing. Which is why the machine is sitting.

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We'd LOVE to hear from you! If we're out on the water cruising, our internet access will be limited and it may take a while before we're able to respond to your comments and pay a return visit to your blog, but please know that we will once we can get connected.