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Thread: Sewing Tips

  1. #1
    Senior Member ljcsov's Avatar
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    Sewing Tips

    Finally got myself a sewing machine despite the damage it did to my masculinity. I told my girl friend my new hobby must be kept top secret.

    I was wondering if you guys had any advice on sewing silnylon. It appears that it isn't the easiest thing to deal with and has driven me to the edge on multiple occasions when working on my tarp. I am not sure if I want high or low tension or there are any other controls or nuances I should be aware of. I am using the Gutterman's thread recommended by diygearsupply.com (great place!!).

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Needs more Hang time Catavarie's Avatar
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    My machine pretty much stays at 3mm stitch length and thread tension I keep medium to medium-high depending on how the stitches are looking. As for dealing particulary with silnylon the main thing is to go slow. Take your time and you'll end up with a better finished product. Good Luck and can't wait to see pictures of the finished project.
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    Senior Member Timberrr's Avatar
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    I just did a project with ripstop. Not as slippery as sil, but slippery enough...
    I found that an extra set of hands makes short work of what otherwise would be a royal pain. Basically, one person holds the fabric pieces together (or holds the rolled hem in place or whatever it is that slips as soon as you let go of it) while the other puts in pins - lots of pins.
    An added perk is that if your lady helps make the gear then there is probably a better chance she'll want to go with you to use it.
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    Senior Member Timberrr's Avatar
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    PS

    Okay, one other tip.
    Sew a couple practice seams on scrap pieces.
    This is critical for you to get the flow of the machine and the fabric, and to get the #!&% tension adjusted properly. Be patient - Don't start on your "real" pieces until your practice pieces are coming out perfect every time.
    Good luck!
    .
    So many trees, so little time...
    We follow where the Swamp Fox guides,
    His friends and merry men are we;
    And when the troop of Tarleton rides,
    We burrow in the cypress tree.
    The turfy hammock is our bed,
    Our home is in the red deer's den,
    Our roof, the tree-top overhead,
    For we are wild and hunted men.

  5. #5
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    Pins and pins and pins

    Hey the secret will be soon out when she sees you can sew better than her, or at least thats what they will say to comfort you. I use a lot of pins. Also buy one of those magnestic pin holders that looks like a soap dish, helps in picking up pins that drop onto the floor that you might not see.

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    WV's Avatar
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    Typing out "s-e-w-i-n-g-m-a-c-h-i-n-e" takes time (and may erode your masculinity), so use the approved HF abbreviation of PTI for "powered thread injector". Those slinky silicone fabrics will respect you more, too.

  7. #7
    Senior Member KerMegan's Avatar
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    also- to avoid putting in a lot of holes you have to go back and seam seal; paperclips (coated kind) and office binder clips, as well as good old clothespins (the spring kind) do a pretty good job of holding, don't stab your foot/hand, but are bulky, and sometimes more difficult to remove than pins, but you never leave one inside the seam, either.
    then OTOH, there is tape, which works, but depending on the types/style, might gum up your needle and cause even more problems...
    HTH, KM(who has been through this several times, thankfully the remembering curve is shorter than the learning curve...mostly)

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    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Pins are your friend. Lots of pins. Did I mention pins? Place the pins _across_ the seam line. Do not place place them in line if you want maximum stabilizing. For sil you _want_ maximum stabilizing. Let the machine do the work. All you have to do is guide the fabric. BUT do practice passes on scrap until you get the hang of it.

    Don't worry about the pins making extra holes. The machine needle will make more holes than any pins you might add. You only need to pin the first stitch line. After that is done the fabric is stabilized by those stitches. Usually if you are doing a rolled hem or seam your folds will take care of any pins holes and since you are probably going to want to seam seal the seam anyway it won't be any more of a problem.

    I pin alternatives are fine but I stick with good sized straight pins with a decent head ball on them. The head of the pin goes to the right as the fabric feeds through. You can grab the pins just before the enter the needle plate. They don't catch on the machine or create more bulk. That's just me. If you like the clips or clothes pins knock yourself out. Nothing wrong with them. I just prefer pins. IMO seam tapes or adhesives of any kind are a bad idea because, as KM said, they can really gum up the works.
    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."
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    Senior Member Timberrr's Avatar
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    It's been mentioned a few times and I feel compelled to address the masculinity issue.
    During the Great Depression when people did anything possible to survive, my grandfather sewed every bit of clothes for my mother, my two uncles and my grandmother. He did what he had to do to take care of his family. In my opinion - That's a real man!
    My mother learned from him, I learned from her (my wife helps me), and now my daughter is learning. And she's better at it than I am! I love the family dynamic it creates.
    I know you meant nothing offensive - and I don't think anyone, including me, was offended. I'm just saying that it's okay for guys to sew just like its okay for girls to shoot. (BTW - my wife was sharpshooter rated in the Army - just sayin')
    This is a good thread on sewing (sewing thread... get it? ) and I'm enjoying the tips and ideas.

    .
    So many trees, so little time...
    We follow where the Swamp Fox guides,
    His friends and merry men are we;
    And when the troop of Tarleton rides,
    We burrow in the cypress tree.
    The turfy hammock is our bed,
    Our home is in the red deer's den,
    Our roof, the tree-top overhead,
    For we are wild and hunted men.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ljcsov View Post
    Finally got myself a sewing machine despite the damage it did to my masculinity. I told my girl friend my new hobby must be kept top secret.
    In the old days tailors used to be men -- so don't worry.
    It's not gonna take long till you'll be proud about having done this and that all by yourself... and then you'll be stuck with it -- addicted to sewing. like many of us

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