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  1. #1
    Senior Member Lone Wolf's Avatar
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    DIY bug is getting me- Need some help

    OK..My wife has a new sewing machine and I keep reading and seeing these projects. I'm a reasonable intelligent person(I can tie my shoes and rarely put my pants on backwards in the morning) and want to make something.

    My question is .......Is there a book, video, online tutorial to get started. I have never used a sewing machine and know absolutely nothing about sewing.

    I would like to make the following:

    Stuff Sacks
    ASYM style hammock
    cheap hammock for other scouts that dont have one
    Tarp
    KAC under quilt
    Super hero cape for nighttime fun with the wife...OOPS did I say that out loud.

    Anyway- I have poured over Jeffs site and the directions for HC4U, but I guess I am hesitant since I am clueless when I comes to sewing.


    I appreciate any feedback on procedure, stiches.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf View Post
    OK..My wife has a new sewing machine and I keep reading and seeing these projects. I'm a reasonable intelligent person(I can tie my shoes and rarely put my pants on backwards in the morning) and want to make something.

    My question is .......Is there a book, video, online tutorial to get started. I have never used a sewing machine and know absolutely nothing about sewing.

    I would like to make the following:

    Stuff Sacks
    ASYM style hammock
    cheap hammock for other scouts that dont have one
    Tarp
    KAC under quilt
    Super hero cape for nighttime fun with the wife...OOPS did I say that out loud.

    Anyway- I have poured over Jeffs site and the directions for HC4U, but I guess I am hesitant since I am clueless when I comes to sewing.


    I appreciate any feedback on procedure, stiches.

    I jumped right in. No knowledge of sewing whatsoever. Your first project is probably going to suck, without a doubt.

    I would say first thing to do, what I did, have your wife show you how to sew on a scrap piece of ripstop. Once you can sew straight and find your right tension your on to make a stuff sack, which will probably look like crap if you're like me, mine looks like a boot, and then you will eventually not suck as much at sewing.....I am still waiting for that day.

    One thing I have learned is don't get down on yourself for it not looking like HC4U's because it will be awhile before that happens. It does take practice.

  3. #3
    Senior Member NCPatrick's Avatar
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    I sat down and read my machine manual (went against my nature) to learn how to thread the machine and wind the bobbin and all the other types of machine type functions. Learned how it worked. I had the benefit of living near blackbishop351, who showed me how to do most things related to sewing. Just take it slow, enjoy the process, but at some point just jump right in with your first project.

    Good luck! It's fun and it feels good when you finish and get to use what you made.


    "Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities."
    - Mark Twain
    I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.
    - John Burroughs

  4. #4
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    Agreed. Start with small stuff like stuff sacks. Practice on scraps with the sewing machine. TAKE YOUR TIME, pin your stuff, double check your measurements, and start off on $1/yard fabric.

    Good luck!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by booone0 View Post
    Agreed. Start with small stuff like stuff sacks. Practice on scraps with the sewing machine. TAKE YOUR TIME, pin your stuff, double check your measurements, and start off on $1/yard fabric.

    Good luck!
    From someone who recently learned how to sew, this is good advice. Follow it! The next trick is to learn to focus while working with l o n g peices of fabric like hammocks and tarps call for. But if you start small, you will develop the skills that allow you to move on to bigger, better things!
    Last edited by Narwhalin; 07-15-2008 at 10:12.

  6. #6
    Senior Member CajunHiker's Avatar
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    I'm in the same boat(err, hammock) as you. Just started, also looking for scout projects.

    Make sure you leave enough thread at the begin & end of each stitch to tie it off. I usually pull the bottom thread through to the top and tie off.

    Practice on some scraps before moving to the good stuff.

    I started off making some tyvek stuff sacks from some old fedx envelopes.
    I made a HH Safari no-net clone. Used the HH whipping (melted holes). The fabric was $1 walmart, and was breathable. It did not slip very much when sewing.

    I'm also working on another hammock, but this is with walmart 1.1 dwr. Very slippery & I had a difficult time getting a good hem.
    To Boldly Hang Where No One Has Hung Before...

  7. #7
    Senior Member NCPatrick's Avatar
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    It also might help to learn (when you can) what the machine feet do. I found a 1/8" hemming foot at Hancock fabrics that has made hemming a lot easier. The machine is your friend. Let it do what it does best. Don't fight the machine... "Be" the machine...


    "Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities."
    - Mark Twain
    I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.
    - John Burroughs

  8. #8
    GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    part of TAKE YOUR TIME is to PIN. A trick I learned about was to place the pins at a right angle to the direction of the feed into the machine, and you can usually sew right over the top of them, and remove after the stitch is laid down. That way if you get the pinning right, and get the stitch straight, you're definitely in business.

    I don't pin so much any more for 1.9 oz ripstop because I can eyeball the seam allowance as I hem, but it remains necessary for sil. That stuff has a mind of its own, using at odds with what you want it to do.

    Grizz

  9. #9
    New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrizzlyAdams View Post
    part of TAKE YOUR TIME is to PIN. A trick I learned about was to place the pins at a right angle to the direction of the feed into the machine, and you can usually sew right over the top of them, and remove after the stitch is laid down. That way if you get the pinning right, and get the stitch straight, you're definitely in business.

    I don't pin so much any more for 1.9 oz ripstop because I can eyeball the seam allowance as I hem, but it remains necessary for sil. That stuff has a mind of its own, using at odds with what you want it to do.

    Grizz
    Grizz is right pinning is key with very little experience I was able to hem my hammock without much trouble because I had pinned it all out. Of course pinning it all out did take about 90% of the time to hem it but hey better that realizing you did a crap job and having to go back and do it again.

  10. #10
    canoebie's Avatar
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    I am in that boat er uh hammock as well guys. I bought a bunch of ripstop at JoAnn's in the bargain bin. Your advice is well taken. My wife is very patient with me. I may test that. She is going to let me use her machine and she has shown me all the tricks to threading, bobbins, etc. I even went out and bought her (ahem me) some nice ceramic bobbins to make her machien run more smoothly. It has a computer in it and does all kinds of fancy stuff. I just use the straight stitch. When I get really good, she might let me touch her surger. Now that sounds exciting.

    David
    Revolution is about the need to re-evolve political, economic and social justice and power back into the hands of the people, preferably through legislation and policies that make human sense. That's what revolution is about. Revolution is not about shootouts.

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