Sewing Thread....A discussion on making your own adventure textile gear.

Rookie questions

I can not get my mothers domestic 70's machine to sew/feed canvas and sumbrella. Reading makes me think I need a machine with a walking foot or maybe more?
Being a rookie buying a used machine for my needs does not seem like a smart choice. So I found a new REX machine https://www.amazon.com/REX-607-Portable-Walking-foot-machine/dp/B01H2DG6YG/ref=asc_df_B01H2DG6YG/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=194007750414&hvpos=1o4&hvnetw=g&hvrand=3393954677142205501&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=m&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9010909&hvtargid=pla-309219348361&psc=1 that claims to be heavy duty with a walking foot would this be a good choice to meet my needs for the hobby guy?
There are a lot of poor reviews on that machine. You might want to look for something better.
 

Herbie

Rendezvous Conspirator
OK, here's a topic I'd like to hear from the experts on:

Sewing folding or semi-rigid containers. I'm talking stuff like the Front Runner Flat-Pack Storage cubes, or the various organizer/storage cubes from Ikea or any of a million Chinese firms - the kind of thing with panel inserts to help them keep their shape.

I have a set of the FR Flat-pack cubes, but they're just too tall to fit under the bed/bunk in my van after recent rework, and they weren't perfectly sized anyhow. At the moment, I'm using an Ikea "Skubb" (underbed zippered soft-box), which fits, but it isn't perfectly sized either, leaving unused cubic inches. The Ikea and Chinese stuff is also cheap as hell, which I don't love. It's a good thing the Skubb was like $6 (so I bought a 2nd one) since the first is already coming apart at one seam where it got man-handled a bit.

I don't necessarily need the "Fold Flat" capability, but I'm looking to sew my own such cubes to maximize the available dimensions and use heartier materials and construction.

I sew "OK". I have a weak hobby machine, but with good needles and patience I've been able to sew canvas and upholstery fabric for a few jobs including HD seat covers for our bench/bed. I can handle sewing a "box", and I think I can figure out the steps for a zippered lid, but once I add in making lined panels with a stiffener, I start to lose the ability to visualize the steps...
A follow up to this. I got a good deal on some factory-2nd 12oz bull denim (minor color variation issues, but I will probably wax the material anyhow). At $2.69/yd, it was cheap enough to justify the attempt.

IMG_20200101_100950.jpg IMG_20200101_104936.jpg
IMG_20200101_103511.jpg IMG_20200101_104523.jpg


So I ended up with a basic rectangular box with a zippered lid, nothing fancy, but it replaces the Ikea "Skubb" underbed storage we were using as a "drawer" under our van's bed/seat. Since I've been doing a lot of organization with corrugated plastic lately, I went ahead and just built a basic unlined box and then cut coroplast panels to friction-fit and make the semi-rigid box hold its shape. After cutting the main pattern, I found I had some waste material that was perfectly sized to add a zippered pocket to the front edge, convenient for small items we want to keep handy.

This is the first of two bags (of different dimensions) so that I can optimize the available space, while each is perfectly sized to hold our packing cubes that we use for clothes, etc. Aside from not filling the available space, the other issue with the Ikea unit was that it was too large (and undivided) to easily carry it like a bag (e.g. when bringing all the clothes in after a trip, or if we stay a night in a motel and want to bring all the clothes in from the van). Having two smaller bags with better handles and D-rings for shoulder-straps means these will better serve as both "drawer" and "luggage".

Aside from a couple of wonky stitch lines, I'm really happy with how this turned out. Total investment <$40 in materials (with a lot of leftover fabric and zipper for future projects).
 

BritKLR

Kapitis Indagatoris
A follow up to this. I got a good deal on some factory-2nd 12oz bull denim (minor color variation issues, but I will probably wax the material anyhow). At $2.69/yd, it was cheap enough to justify the attempt.

View attachment 559284 View attachment 559285
View attachment 559298 View attachment 559299


So I ended up with a basic rectangular box with a zippered lid, nothing fancy, but it replaces the Ikea "Skubb" underbed storage we were using as a "drawer" under our van's bed/seat. Since I've been doing a lot of organization with corrugated plastic lately, I went ahead and just built a basic unlined box and then cut coroplast panels to friction-fit and make the semi-rigid box hold its shape. After cutting the main pattern, I found I had some waste material that was perfectly sized to add a zippered pocket to the front edge, convenient for small items we want to keep handy.

This is the first of two bags (of different dimensions) so that I can optimize the available space, while each is perfectly sized to hold our packing cubes that we use for clothes, etc. Aside from not filling the available space, the other issue with the Ikea unit was that it was too large (and undivided) to easily carry it like a bag (e.g. when bringing all the clothes in after a trip, or if we stay a night in a motel and want to bring all the clothes in from the van). Having two smaller bags with better handles and D-rings for shoulder-straps means these will better serve as both "drawer" and "luggage".

Aside from a couple of wonky stitch lines, I'm really happy with how this turned out. Total investment <$40 in materials (with a lot of leftover fabric and zipper for future projects).
Love it! A couple of questions/suggestions.

Did you sew a patch on the backside of the handle where they're X-boxed? If so, cool! If not, sewing a patch on to the backside will increase the strength and longevity of the fabric and reduce the chance of the handle being pulled off.

Will your machine sew through the plastic liner? If so, a couple of bartacks along the seam will help lock in place.

Cheers.
 

Herbie

Rendezvous Conspirator
Love it! A couple of questions/suggestions.

Did you sew a patch on the backside of the handle where they're X-boxed? If so, cool! If not, sewing a patch on to the backside will increase the strength and longevity of the fabric and reduce the chance of the handle being pulled off.

Will your machine sew through the plastic liner? If so, a couple of bartacks along the seam will help lock in place.

Cheers.
Thanks for the tips! I did not put backing on the handles, I will add that for bag #2. My machine will definitely not handle the plastic, but I was thinking of adding a "flap" to the inside when I stitch the zipper in place. When it flips to the inside, it would be a little lip that helps secure the plastic the way the front pocket does.

I need to locate a zipper foot for this machine too. I thought I had one, but couldn't find it in my box of sewing bits, so it made the zipper operations more challenging than they needed to be, I think.
 

Herbie

Rendezvous Conspirator
A small update to my project for underbed semi-rigid bags:
IMG_20200111_115714.jpg IMG_20200112_102015.jpg

I completed the second bag to fill up the space. At Paul's suggestion, the carry handles now have backing material, and as discussed, I sewed a "flap" around the sides that folds over the coroplast liner to help hold in place.

You can sort of see the wasted volume I recovered vs. the black Ikea Skubb, but what's hard to show is that I can really fit a LOT more stuff now. I made the bags in two different sizes so that I can maximize the number of standardized packing cubes that fit. (Everyone in the family uses the same brand/model in different colors.) Four cubes fit exactly in the smaller bag, four more fit in the larger, with extra room for bulky items like jackets or a dirty clothes bag. With the Ikea, we could sort of (almost) fit six of the same cubes, with extra stuff crammed into the corners, so with this change we've actually increased our usable volume by more than 30%.

A more complete writeup is on our blog here.
 

BritKLR

Kapitis Indagatoris
A small update to my project for underbed semi-rigid bags:
View attachment 561001 View attachment 561002

I completed the second bag to fill up the space. At Paul's suggestion, the carry handles now have backing material, and as discussed, I sewed a "flap" around the sides that folds over the coroplast liner to help hold in place.

You can sort of see the wasted volume I recovered vs. the black Ikea Skubb, but what's hard to show is that I can really fit a LOT more stuff now. I made the bags in two different sizes so that I can maximize the number of standardized packing cubes that fit. (Everyone in the family uses the same brand/model in different colors.) Four cubes fit exactly in the smaller bag, four more fit in the larger, with extra room for bulky items like jackets or a dirty clothes bag. With the Ikea, we could sort of (almost) fit six of the same cubes, with extra stuff crammed into the corners, so with this change we've actually increased our usable volume by more than 30%.

A more complete writeup is on our blog here.
Looks great! It’ll be interesting to see the abrasion wear on the bottoms/corners overtime. If you can add 1500D or a slicker material on the bottoms it may aid with wear over time. But, still an awesome project!

We’ve been contracted to produce a line of specialty vehicle wrench rolls (unique wrenches for a unique purpose) for a large line of green/coyote colored vehicles over in the sand. Working on the green ones today. God bless and be safe to those that’ll be using them! (Sorry, can’t show the entire project)
 

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