1. Are you a current member with account or password issues?

    Please visit following page for more information

    Dismiss Notice

How's it Going? Sew-Sew....

Discussion in 'Do-It-Yourself & Gear Modifications' started by RLN, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. RLN

    RLN Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    212
    I recently became aware of some of the neat stuff people are doing making EDC/outdoor gear by sewing their own projects. The idea of being able to do some projects in cordura or leather intrigued me.

    Now that posed a problem, I knew nothing about sewing, but there is no excuse for remaining in the dark about anything these days. Started the internet quest to learn about sewing.

    Found a pretty large community of people that use the old Singer machines for this kind of work. Learned about how these old machines were really built to last, and still serve well today. Parts are readily available for many of them, and best of all they can be found for reasonable cost. Reasonable is right up my alley. If I discovered I had no talent for sewing the total at risk investment would be modest.

    Started haunting CraigsList watching for a good candidate. Wasn't long until I saw one that might work. Lady said it belonged to her mother in law who had passed, said it was a Singer and that it ran. From the pictures in the ad which I compared to some I found on the net, it looked like a Singer 15-91 - by all accounts, a good model for my intended use.

    Made arrangements to meet and take a look. Sure enough that was what it was. It did run, if a little stiffly, and came in a serviceable cabinet and a couple of small boxes of accessories. We settled on the reasonable price of $40, and I now owned a sewing machine.

    Brought it home and started to take a closer look and clean things up a bit. The power cord and the cord to the foot control was badly frayed, even potentially dangerous. It was fairly straight forward to replace both with inexpensive lamp type extension cords.

    I found online the "Adjuster's Manual" for this model, which was a great help in understand how things worked and needed to be lubed and adjusted. I followed the suggested lubrication routine and oiled all the points the manual said needed attention.

    After cleaning and oiling the old girl ran fantastic. Really satisfying to get that result.

    According to the serial number and a reference on Singer's site, the machine was made in July 1953 - 61 years old! Still going strong.

    If you have never been around one of these machines, and are the type that appreciates really well built, elegant and large quantities of REAL METAL, then one of these machines can't help but make you smile. These are built like the proverbial tank, except heavier...

    So here she is full frontal....

    [​IMG]

    Singer Plaque

    [​IMG]

    Front plate and tension knob

    [​IMG]

    Look at all that iron!

    [​IMG]

    Top side

    [​IMG]

    Back side

    [​IMG]

    So after taking some time to adjust and get the machine set up as well as I could, I started simple practice stitching, trying different settings, stitch sizes, scrap materials. Generally just trying to get the hang of things.

    Still not good by any means, but itching to actually produce something other than heavily sewn scraps, it tried a very simple leather pocket sheath for a slip lock jack knife. I used some garment weight leather from a Tandy scrap bag. It was pretty darn respectable for a first timer! I kept practicing and sewing simple projects. Bought a yard of black denim at Walmart to practice with. Did a pouch or two, trying to add a step or two of complexity each time out.

    It is really challenging, but I am enjoying myself, and learning a new skill that is very useful.

    Below are a few of the items I have produced over the last week or so. I am confident that there are many 8 year old girls that could do a better job on most of these, but I don't intend to enter these in the County Fair, just want to have some fun.

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for reading!

    RLN
     
  2. SAKplumber
    • In Omnia Paratus

    SAKplumber EDC Junkie!!!!!

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    29,783
    Likes Received:
    107,170
    Nice score on the Singer!!:eek:
     
    Cobra 6 Actual likes this.
  3. al66pine

    al66pine Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    Messages:
    184
    Likes Received:
    211
    RLN
    Good work, champ, on finding, tuning up, and sewing.
    My Singer of earlier vintage (~1940) came from first owner-relative to me ~1980
    and is similar - all metal, black, gold trim, weighs a ton.
    Goes forward, backward. No other stiches, not even zig-zag.
    I expect it to outlast me.

    Show us more projects as you create.
    The tan or light brown item at bottom left, what is it - billfold, credit cards, bus. cards or ????
     
    BarksAtCats and Cobra 6 Actual like this.
  4. indigo_wolf

    indigo_wolf AKA Breezy

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Messages:
    4,973
    Likes Received:
    8,213
    Wait.... wait... this forum allows full frontals? :eek:

    Great score on the sewing machine. Yes, the older ones are definitely coveted as, in addition to metal housings and such, the gears are also metal and less prone to stripping over time.

    ATB,
    Sam
     
  5. RLN

    RLN Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    212
    We have the same gear box, forward, reverse and straight stitch only. Don't know enough to want more, probably won't ever.

    Yes, it it's a simple credit card/ID wallet. Holds 3 or maybe 4 cards

    If I come up with anything decent, I will post. Hope others will join in this thread with their creations as well.

    Thanks

    RLN

    Sent from my SCH-R950 using Tapatalk
     
    al66pine and Cobra 6 Actual like this.
  6. RLN

    RLN Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    212
    Yes, but just those 60 years and older. Not a huge demand you understand.....



    Sent from my SCH-R950 using Tapatalk
     
  7. al66pine

    al66pine Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    Messages:
    184
    Likes Received:
    211
    RLN
    Just full frontals of sewing machines 60+ y/o, right? Not edcf poster ages, right?
     
    BarksAtCats and Cobra 6 Actual like this.
  8. RLN

    RLN Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    212
    Yes, I think that is best, don't you? ;-)

    Sent from my SCH-R950 using Tapatalk
     
  9. northwest

    northwest EDC Junkie!!!

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2014
    Messages:
    724
    Likes Received:
    3,762
    Nice machine!! Cool pics too. Thanks for sharing.
     
    Cobra 6 Actual likes this.
  10. CatherineM
    • In Omnia Paratus

    CatherineM Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    Messages:
    3,949
    Likes Received:
    8,377
    My grandmother had one similar, but a few years earlier. It worked by treadle. No cords or electric needed. The woman had calf muscles like Arnold.

    I have a 40 year old Bernina 807. All metal. Every 3-5 years I have to take it in for new brushes in the motor and they always try to sell me one of those new plastic computer run machines. I laugh in their faces. I actually have a second machine in the closet for future parts. They will get my machine out of my cold dead hands.


    Sent by Owl Post
     
  11. RLN

    RLN Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    212
    Thanks Northwest and Catherine.

    So I had some time free this morning and thought I would do a couple small projects to get some more experience.

    As I mentioned before, I try to add a new wrinkle with each project to keep moving around (over?) the learning curve.

    Today's project was a simple sleeve for a small point and shoot camera that I carry in my EDC bag. Something simple just to keep it from getting beat up as it rides in there.

    The wrinkle would be adding padding to the sleeve.

    The Wife had some poly batting perfect for the job. Grabbed a bit and headed down to the Singer. Still using black denim for these early learning projects. Took the measurements of the size of the camera, got out pencil and paper and made a very simple drawing, adding to the camera measurements for seams and hems.

    Took a few minutes to think about the order of the processes and the assembly. This is the hardest part for me as a beginner. I do some woodworking, and the same skill applies, but because these processes are so new to me, I really have to take my time and think about things BEFORE I start or I end up painting myself into a corner.

    Once I got all of that straight in my head, I went to work. Fairly straightforward and in the end I have a serviceable pouch.

    Self critique

    1. Top edge on one side is a bit off, doesn't meet the other side perfectly.
    2. A bit snug on the fit, however that may loosen up with use.

    It is certainly easily good enough to do the job, so I am calling it a success. Here it is:

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    The last project for the day is a pretty simple one. As I have worked, I have noticed the necessity for a pin cushion. I have looked a Walmart, but all they had was little cutesy tomatoes and strawberries. Not feeling those, need to "man" it up a bit.

    So here's the one I made


    [​IMG]

    Air rifle pellet tin, black denim, a hot glue gun and a brass colored nut. That's more like it ;^)

    Thanks for reading.

    Rod
     
    Agent Berry, MangeD700, Xiii and 6 others like this.
  12. MartyMcC

    MartyMcC Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2011
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    19
    Rod

    It looks like you are having fun.

    Enjoy
     
    MangeD700 and Cobra 6 Actual like this.
  13. boyo17

    boyo17 EDC Junkie!!!!!

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    Messages:
    1,590
    Likes Received:
    14,499
    Great stuff :)
     
  14. Kerstel

    Kerstel Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2012
    Messages:
    221
    Likes Received:
    195
    I think you've gotten bitten by the sewing bug. Keep up the good work!
     
    Cobra 6 Actual likes this.
  15. Xiii
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Xiii Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2013
    Messages:
    1,386
    Likes Received:
    1,741
    good work keep the pics coming, I like the look of the machine 61 and going strong it has a lot of character
    Xiii
     
    Cobra 6 Actual likes this.
  16. RLN

    RLN Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    212
    Thanks for the interest everyone, I appreciate it.

    So here is the next chapter....

    After a couple of days, the unevenness of the top edge of the camera pouch was bothering me. I was wishing it had turned out better, when I realized that I was not powerless to do something about it.

    I guess I had been working too much with leather, and had gotten in the mindset that I only had one shot at making it right. Once you put a hole in leather, that is it, no do-overs. Cloth seemed to offer a reprieve, all I have to do is open the seam back up and take another run at it.

    So I grabbed the seam ripper that I had purchased and never used......I'll pause here for all of you to predict what happened next..... Like a untrained man with a chainsaw, I lit into that seam and I inadvertently (if not unpredictably) cut the cloth along the seam in such a way that there was no fixing it. Doh!!

    Oh well, I made one, I can make another.

    First I had to make a stop at WallyWorld to pick up some thread. While there I was looking around a bit and and came across the fabric remnant bin. Laying right there was about half a yard of what they had simply labeled "outdoor". It looked like Cordura, but I am sure it was not the real thing, probably actually named something KOOR-DUHR-RAH or some other knock off name. But for $2.77 it would be perfect for my experiments. Also found some super bright yellow green polyester athletic mesh, and thought it would be great for a liner, again about a half yard for $2.00. Perfect.

    Back home I went to work. The polyester was a bit more squirrelly to work with than the denim, but I managed. Added some poly batting again for padding and got the whole thing together without any real issues. And you will be glad to know that the top edge is pretty good this time and is unlikely to haunt me until I take after it with that murderous Jack the Seam Ripper.

    Here it is

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    So lessons learned in this installment

    The Cordura has a nice stiffness to it that makes it very nice to work with, the polyester, not so much.

    I cut the liner and the batting a bit shorter than the cordura to make the top seam less bulky, made for a much nicer result.

    As I prepared the side seams for sewing, I pushed the batting back from the edge to get less hanging out after the stitch. It made a nice difference, but could be a bit better yet.

    Finally of course, Seam Rippers have a high potential for tragedy when in untrained hands....


    Thanks for reading

    Rod
     
    Last edited by RLN, Feb 26, 2014
    MarcV, KODIAKman, Xiii and 2 others like this.
  17. northwest

    northwest EDC Junkie!!!

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2014
    Messages:
    724
    Likes Received:
    3,762
    That looks great. :)
    Nice pics too, really nice. Thanks for sharing.
     
    Cobra 6 Actual likes this.
  18. CatherineM
    • In Omnia Paratus

    CatherineM Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    Messages:
    3,949
    Likes Received:
    8,377
    I once found some Supplex in the bin at Walmart, probably because the pattern on it had been messed up. Bought the whole bolt. Made some pants that I'm still wearing after ten years.


    Sent by Owl Post
     
  19. RLN

    RLN Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    212
    Thanks for following the thread, I appreciate the interest. Stay tuned, I'll keep posting as I continue the learning process.

    Sent from my SCH-R950 using Tapatalk
     
    Cobra 6 Actual likes this.
  20. RLN

    RLN Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    212
    Sounds like money well spent

    Sent from my SCH-R950 using Tapatalk
     
    Cobra 6 Actual likes this.