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  1. #1
    New Member boundfree's Avatar
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    First Sewing Machine

    The first time I had a rip in my trousers and my dear mother or grandmother wasn't around to help, I resolved to do it myself. Not a great job, but at least I had taken the mystery out of sewing.

    Recently, getting into hammocks has been a great rediscovery for me of the outdoors and...sewing! I sewed loops into my webbing, and was proud. But when I reinforced a ripped stuff sack, I thought, that would have cost me 10 bucks to replace. Then I made a water bottle carrier, another 10. Camera case, 10. Make repairs to a bag, 20 for labour, up to 50 for new bag. Mods to a rucksack, 30 for labour, but up to 100 for new sack. The numbers were adding up, considering the investment of about 3 dollars for the sewing materials, which I will not have to replenish for a long time to come.

    I just bought some mesh from the textile store, I overbought by a very long way getting more than 6 times what I needed for my tarp snake-skins, but I only spent 10. I'll have extra in case I need to replace it or make one for a friend, I thought.

    At home, sewing, estimating the project would take about a 4-6 hours. Out of curiosity, I looked at sewing machines. I was surprised to see that there were mini machines available for 10-30 pounds (20-40 dollars?) on the UK amazon site.

    HERE

    I was reluctant to spend the initial 100-200 on a normal machine, but for the money this is going for, to see what it can do, it may be worth it!

    Ideas???? Warnings???? Suggestions???

    I now look at that extra material and all sorts of new ideas are crowding my mind...stuff sacks, new designs...maybe even down gear in the future...
    "Love the earth and the sun and the animals, despise riches, stand up for the stupid and crazy, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God.
    Have patience and indulgence towards people, re-examine all you have been told in school or church or in any book,
    dismiss whatever insults your own soul.
    This love above all love has leisure and expanse."
    Whitman

  2. #2
    Senior Member KerMegan's Avatar
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    mesh is also good for bug nets, warm weather overcovers, and exterior pockets on packs.(depending on the holes per inch, more is better for bug nets)
    KM (who has many of these on her upcoming project list..)

    p.s. re; machine: see if any family members have one lurking in the craft room or attic/garage that is not getting used; and arrange a long term loan/lease.

  3. #3
    Senior Member rjcress's Avatar
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    If you haven't already, I recommend that you search this forum for the member "RamblinRev". He has links in his signature that will help you understand what requirements you should have for a machine for gear making.

    Welcome to the madness!
    "I keep telling myself that if I make perfect seams, nobody will believe that I made it... " -JohnSawyer

    My outdoor gear review site http://gear-report.com
    Gear reviews, DIY / MYOG projects, Outdoor gear discounts, sales and coupons updated daily

  4. #4
    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Did I hear the call of the new thread injector search? If you are looking to "save money" don't buy it. Presuming you have done all the rest of the sewing by hand you have saved some serious money. But with machinery you inherit costs you don't have with hand sewing. After all... you don't have to take your hand in for periodic servicing.

    If, however, you have the madness and want to sit in front of a power driven beastie of speed, wonder and frustration... then by all means... jump in the water's fine. Check the "Guidelines" link in my signature. Others have found it helpful.

    Do check with the relatives for the closet exile but beware... It may be there for a reason that no one remembers. You might want to plan to have it serviced by a shop before trying anything demanding.

    All you _absolutely_ need is a straight forward stitch. Reverse is usually a given for any machine with in the last 75 years. Zig zag can be useful but it is not absolutely required. Other than that... you won't use the puppies and flowers stitches on camping gear. Unless you are making a Cinderella Hammock for your 6 year old daughter. But that's not really gear in my book. Fun, useful, endearing yes. But it surpasses gear for me.

    Regarding your cited machine... I would avoid it if it were me. For one thing the description names a "locking chain stitch". If I am correct that is the kind of stitch used on bags of potatos and animal feed here in the US. It is fine for that but I don't think you would like it for gear. It is bulky, somewhat ugly, and not suitable for heavy use projects in very light weight materials. They are also wicked hard to waterproof. Secondly, I suspect it would be too light and skittish for long term table use. You don't want to have to chase the thing all over the table. It is fine as what I call a "toy" machine. But I think you would find it extremely limiting in the process of gear making. A listed selling point is that you can use "large spools" with it. To me that suggests it's capacity is fairly small in terms of bobbin content. You could be changing your bobbin quite often. That gets frustrating and annoying in a real hurry.

    IMO it is not what you will be wanting once the sickness matures and you are driven half-mad with the ideas for the next top quilt and tarp.

    Have fun.
    Last edited by Ramblinrev; 02-14-2011 at 17:47.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

    We Don't Sew... We Make Gear! video series

    Important thread injector guidelines especially for Newbies

    Bobbin Tension - A Personal Viewpoint

  5. #5
    New Member
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    boundfree the sewing machine you put in your link is a piece of crap seriously, I borrowed the same (not exactly but they are made for 3 or 4 brand by the manufacturer the only difference is the color and the marking) and in the first 2 inches I understood how crappy it was, it was a pain in you know what to adjust because the fabric is too thin for the machine and even when you find a setting that "work" it get stuck every 6 or 8 inches so don't buy that!!! EVER!!!! paying a bit more to not have that machine is simply buying peace... but if you want something strong and cheap talk to some of your family member they maybe have something that they don't use and that they are willing to let go and if it's full metal it'll more heavy duty than heavy duty means now days sometimes the most that it cost is a tune-up sometimes even less (like free, I like free like when my mom gave me her sewing machine so I could make my first hammock)

    chris
    why should I have a rock, a root or anything else hurting my back in camping?

  6. #6
    New Member boundfree's Avatar
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    Tonight I sewed my first long length of stitching by hand. It was a 7 foot length. I used the Straight stitch, the most simple one, which I got better and faster at as I went along.

    It wasn't that time consuming, just very fiddly with the long length of thread. It would be better if I had a larger workspace - but you can just tell it's a practice thing. Once I have done it a couple times it will present no problems.

    Out of curiosity I went into the local sewing workshop and talked to the lady there. She laughed her head off when I told her I wanted a sewing machine. I thought it might have been a delicate matter, after all, I had taken my clothes there for mods and repairs in the past. Getting a sewing machine would, in theory, take business from her.

    I was wrong, she was all too glad to welcome me into the guild and show me her machines. In the back of her store she had a sewers paradise. 7 industrial machines. Threads, needles and accessories packed on the 20 foot walls. Spools the size of dogs.

    She went one further than all who replied here. She went straight out and said "get an industrial one...there is no point in buying the ones they sell commercially...second hand industrials are safe, and very possibly dirt cheap, because they work well for a long time and are usually replaced because newer more modern machines come in and make the old obsolete, but for a DIY sewer, it's a dream come true." She said she'd look into prices for me which I will update here.

    I didn't even bother mentioning the small one included in my previous post.

    The woman said "you'll save money, and if you are able to imagine, and have some intellect to back it up, you'll end up saving a small fortune. Besides, you'll make friends happy and end up with perfect, personalized gear you'll never find in any shop. Even if you could find it, you'd have to pay 50 times as much as the raw materials"

    It doesn't seem an exaggeration to say you'd have to pay 50 times as much as raw material. Especially considering some of the outrageous prices I have seen out there.

    She said to me, winking, almost in a whisper: "i charge 4 dollars for sewing a meter of simple stitch!" - just imagine!

    I feel as if I have stumbled upon a secret brotherhood, and am being royally welcomed.

    I am very pleased to have discovered the ancient art of sewing.

    Did you know that sewing is one of the oldest of the textile arts, arising in the Paleolithic Era. Before the discovery of spinning yarn or weaving fabric, archaeologists believe Stone Age people across Europe and Asia sewed fur and skin clothing using bone, antler or ivory needles and "thread" made of various animal body parts including sinew, catgut, and veins. - from Wikipedia.
    "Love the earth and the sun and the animals, despise riches, stand up for the stupid and crazy, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God.
    Have patience and indulgence towards people, re-examine all you have been told in school or church or in any book,
    dismiss whatever insults your own soul.
    This love above all love has leisure and expanse."
    Whitman

  7. #7
    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    The term "industrial" can have different meanings in different places. But in essence she is correct. Some of the machines you see talked about here are/were industrial machines in their day. The emerging industrial world still uses some of the Singers, as well as others, you see here because they are workhorses that never wear out, assuming proper maintaining. Parts are still available for them and in some cases they are still supported by the factory, although often the parts are not advertised as available because of very limited demand.

    I would advise you to allow her to be your purchasing guide in all of this. She knows whats out there and would know what was worth buying.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

    We Don't Sew... We Make Gear! video series

    Important thread injector guidelines especially for Newbies

    Bobbin Tension - A Personal Viewpoint

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