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Bag making: Sewing machine help.

Discussion in 'Do-It-Yourself & Gear Modifications' started by waldamir, Nov 22, 2016.

  1. Westerdutch

    Westerdutch Loaded Pockets

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    Like i said earlier, topstitch are large eyed needles so they naturally will have more difficulty going through fabric as they have to push all of it further apart. Try some jeans needles or even thick universal ones, you want at least size 90 needles for thick fabrics and even higher for the real heavy duty jobs.
     
  2. waldamir

    waldamir Loaded Pockets

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    I'll give it a go when I get the chance. It was recommended by the folks from the store I picked up the needles from to use topstitch but I did also pick up some HD needles as well

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  3. waldamir

    waldamir Loaded Pockets

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    So, I tried switching over to the other needles and now, it seems I'm having some more tension issues.

    This is what my top stitch looks like
    [​IMG]

    This is my bottom
    [​IMG]

    And for reference, here are the needles I'm using
    [​IMG]

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  4. leaky5

    leaky5 Loaded Pockets

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    I ran out of 100 needles the other day and tried some 90's I had. But they just would not pick up the bottom thread.
    I was trying to go through 2 layers of gore text, 2 of lining and 2 of binding at the time.
    I am going to see if I can get packs of just 100's from now on as I am just not using the 90's

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  5. Westerdutch

    Westerdutch Loaded Pockets

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    Yeah that's not great, try a thicker needle and/or up the tension a tad. Does the wire come out of the bobbin like it's supposed to? You should be able to hold the weight of the bobbin holder by the thread with ease, only having it slowly inch down when you shake.
     
  6. Westerdutch

    Westerdutch Loaded Pockets

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    If the needle goes through the fabric but doesn't pick up the lower thread there's a bigger issue. Could be anything from a worn bobbin carrier to machine misalignment to user error (bending the needle too much), given it goes away on thicker needles it's very likely the last bit could still be misalignment in the machine with too much flex. Is your machine proper full steel frame (very heavy)?
     
  7. Westerdutch

    Westerdutch Loaded Pockets

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    Also you say you 'ran out' of 100 needles... do they break? If so that is a good indication that something is wrong with either the machine or want you are doing to it. I haven't broken a needle in a year or so and i jam more fabric under my machine than the feet allows (8-10 layers impregnated postal bag canvas)
     
  8. leaky5

    leaky5 Loaded Pockets

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    Yes I broke my last 100, but think I know why. I don't normally break them very often and normally hand crank over zips, I went over a zip, hit a plastic tooth and the needle broke within another few stitches.

    Just popped a 90 back in, tested up to 5 layers of Goretex and was all good, so went back to the piece I was working on and it is now fine. Not really sure what happened yesterday.
     
  9. Westerdutch

    Westerdutch Loaded Pockets

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    Oh yeah zips can be fun... plastic ones dont worry me too much but i've had a nasty mishap with a brass one way back when i started working with zippers. Ill spare you the details but both the tip of the needle (but backwards) and my index finger were part of the equation ;)
     
  10. tattoosteve99
    • In Omnia Paratus

    tattoosteve99 EDC Junkie!!!

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    Check the spring tension on the foot. Looks like it's slipping and allowing the needle to shift when it hits the second layer. It could need adjustment or may be broke/worn.


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  11. waldamir

    waldamir Loaded Pockets

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    I think I got my tension worked out. My stitches are looking a lot better after adjusting top tension.

    Is 500d cordura any easier to work with then canvas? These edges fraying are driving me up a wall

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  12. leaky5

    leaky5 Loaded Pockets

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    Yes. You get very little fraying from the cordura type materials

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  13. DannyX

    DannyX Loaded Pockets

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    Make sure you get coated Cordura, the coating is what actually prevents the fraying.
     
  14. Westerdutch

    Westerdutch Loaded Pockets

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    Any nylon or otherwise thermoplastic based synthetic fabric is a joy to work with once you get the hang of it. Some fray more than others but the best thing is that you can melt the stuff! So you cut it to size and then you run a lighter past the freshly cut edge for a fraction of a second and all the end bits will melt together like magic and will not fray under normal conditions. You do really need to get the hang of this especially on thinner fabrics as they will melt or catch fire very fast (think parachute/kite fabric) but thicker fabrics are not so iffy and i would recommend you start out with something nice and beefy.

    Coated fabrics will indeed not fray by design (be it coated nylon, coated cotton or something like kevlar with silicone) as the fibers are basically glued together, however these materials will be more demanding on your machine as the needle will not slide through the fabric with as much ease. So get coated if you like it for whatever reason (usually more waterproof and a bit stiffer) but regular thick nylon fabric is just plenty good as well especially when you are starting out and just wanna experiment on a budget...

    If you make a habit of working with nylons a nice investment would be a hot knife, this will both cut and melt the ends of the fabric in a single go. A thrift-store soldering iron makes a nice alternative if you like to tinker, just take a hobby blade and solidly attach it to the soldering irons tip with some steel wire (or strip an old electricity wire and use the copper from that to connect the two). Let the thing heat up and it will slice through the fabric like butter!
     
  15. waldamir

    waldamir Loaded Pockets

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    That's all fantastic info. My goal is to eventually start using 500d and 1000d cordura but I got this canvas so cheap I figured "why not?". I love the look and feel of canvas, especially when it's waxed. However, I don't want to have to worry about my fabric fraying out its stitches

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  16. Westerdutch

    Westerdutch Loaded Pockets

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    So any progress with some fresh fabrics?
     
  17. waldamir

    waldamir Loaded Pockets

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    Not too much. I'm still struggling with this canvas and how thick it is. My machine seems to not like anything more then 2 layers of fabric

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  18. Lorenzo

    Lorenzo Loaded Pockets

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    Will be monitoring this thread folks... got myself a true antique, foot-drive Singer over a century old.
    After some light cleaning and lube job made a new leather drive belt and hope it's in truly working order, that's, it sews, not just runs. Wish me luck :)
     
  19. waldamir

    waldamir Loaded Pockets

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    I was just thinking about those this morning. Have any pics? It sounds awesome

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  20. Lorenzo

    Lorenzo Loaded Pockets

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    [​IMG]
    Well here's a view. I know that saint patron of bagmakers, Notless Orequal (google 'im up!) uses a heavy, saddlemaker's Singer but hope mine will handle heavy canvas and light leather.
     
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