Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Sewing book for, well, gear-makers?
I'm mostly finished with a canvas tent I made -- first "real" sewing project -- and thanks to this site and others, I was able to figure out pretty much everything I needed to know. Sailmakers' sites and sailmaking books were also great references. Same for parachute-makers.
Unfortunately, after spending an hour or so looking through "sewing books" at the store [after the fact], I found almost nothing useful for anybody making gear. If it even comes up, the word "reinforcement" is used in these books as a catch-all, without any real meaning.
Meanwhile, I needed to know things like when and why to use a flat-felled seam; when to use a bar-tack versus a box-x versus the W patterns, and how they hold up. Or even more basic stuff like which thread to use; when to use a straight, zigzag, or 3-step zigzag stitch; and how to set the tension properly. And tips and tricks like "how do you actually sew through 11-20 layers of 10oz canvas without breaking a needle by deflecting it into the throat plate?" E.g., joining 2 flat felled seams and a reinforced hem... (I actually had to buy a new throat plate, since I broke it.)
Granted, I figured most of that out -- even if using completely inefficient techniques. There's a few Frankensteinian corners on that tent.
So now that I'm effectively done with this project, are there any books that actually explain how to do any of this stuff?
Last edited by alvarez; 04-03-2012 at 14:29..
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: New Hampshire
Insulation: Dream Puff
You ask an excellent question. I own/run a quilt store and I am not aware of any sewing book that covers this topic. Any sewing book I have seen are about "wearables" (fancy speak for clothing), quilts, or purses/hand bags.
I think the problem is that sewing as a hobby seems to revolve around the women and what they generally "craft". (No offense or sexism implied here). I sell sewing machines, of the 15 models I have to choose from, only one was specifically designed with the idea of "heavy duty" fabric/projects in mind.
I am guessing that the kind of sewing we are doing for gear is more in the industrial sewing realm, which with the out sourcing of sweat shops is a dying market.
I have a book on sewing outdoor gear but to be perfectly honest it is 30 years old and the patterns in it are abysmally bad. The sewing instructions are ok but nothing that is not available in my We Don't Sew series... the DIY cards from one of our forum vendors or any number of other sources. This board is the best source for that information that I am aware of. I don't see the need for any other resource for _gear making_. If you want to make the jump into actually "sewing" then there are plenty of other resources but they don't do much to further the gear maker.
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