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


Hillbilly of Leisure
Great machine. Kinda pricey in 91 and even more so now due to condition. $250-$500 if everything works and it just needs a cleaning.
Thanks! It seemed a bit too pricey. I’ll hold out for a better bit. There was a Sailrite on CL last year but I missed it.

The Artisan

Fwiw, technically, machine shown is not portable unless its set into a carrying case.
In fairness, some bare machines have feet under its bed what would allow it to run if sitting directly on a surface. Thats a miserable way to run a machine and it appears that shown example does not have feet regardless.
Btw, if buying new or searching secondhand, consider a freearm machine and buy or build a removable bed to use it for flatwork.
They are they actually just sit on those pegs you set on a flat table. Youtube portable walking foot machines.
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New member
Thanks for sharing so much info and images. I especially like to see the way you are adding the binding tape. I've been struggling with it the last couple of times, binding tape attachment didn't really help .

Thanks. I really enjoy the planning, patterning and assembly process. I also enjoy working with waxed canvas it just seems like a cool, old school textile.

I did go through my "black" tacti-cool Cordura period for many years. I really enjoyed creating LEO/SpecOPS mission bags, concealment rigs and non-traditional body armor garment systems. Since now everyone wears 5.11/tacti-cool garments we modified Northface, Marmot, Cabelas, Filson, Archteryx, etc... jackets to accommodate armor panels. So that the operator/agent/LEO wouldn't stick out due to the civilian popularity of 5.11 clothing.View attachment 508958View attachment 508959View attachment 508960


New member
Started a year or so ago with what is probably the cheapest Singer out there (no complaints as it was a birthday present from my mother-in-law and I was glad to have it). Spent some time learning the ropes and working on light weight materials. Put together some bags and a hammock.

Moved up to a 1950's Kenmore that had been neglected since the 70's. 100$ tuneup and it was off and running. Started working with some heavier Cordura fabric as well as some repairs (zippers on winter coats and such). Used this machine exclusively for the last few months and may have worn some parts out as the zig-zag gave up on me. Not interested in another >$100 repair, I invested in a Sailrite LSZ-1. It was used (but only for about 4 months) and was a pretty good deal. I liked the compact portability. Idea is to create a bench on the tailgate of my Tacoma and either run the machine by hand or add power to the cubby in the bed. I met the SE sals rep for Granite Gear as well as some other outdoor companies and he has a sweet setup in a little trailer he can tow around. He offers free repairs on all the gear he reps for at different events. The new growth of the gear repair options are a real inspiration (primarily out west). Seriously leaning this way for a little side gig if/when I retire in the near future.

Working with the LSZ-1 has been a bit of a learning curve but I'm enjoying it. Current project is a top bar bag for my mountain bike. Had one almost done until I realized I left an important step out early on. Now it sits on the shelf as I work on #2.

I also spend lots of time drooling over the Adventure Tool Co. products and am very grateful for everything you have shared BritKLR.

Recommended books for Overlanding


Kapitis Indagatoris
In the middle of working on the next four custom Tool Bags for the following ER's. Will be hand laying the truck ID tags on the exterior of the bags and finishing the seam taping on some of the interior pockets. Each of these bags have over thirty individual peices that get patterned and sewn in assembly line order and approximately 30 hours (excluding embroidery). Always exciting to see them in the Earth Roamers!



Hillbilly of Leisure
So, the seller has lowered this to $600.00, and I think I might be able to grab it for less. I emailed the seller and it turns out it's a Singer 7-31. I found this on the interwebs:


Given this new info...what do the experts here think? I don't really intend to do any leather work, but I've read that this machine could do it if needed. My main focus would be Sunbrella, canvas, making storage bags, etc.
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Maybe PM @BritKLR so he sees your question sooner?

I’m sure others are knowledgeable as well but it would make sense to get his experienced opinion ASAP since you’re dealing with Craigslist


Expedition Leader
Busy little sewing bee going on in here while I've been busy working in other media. Lots of good info which I'll definitely be revisiting this winter. Got too much else to get done in the meantime. On a woodworking and remodeling / renovation binge.


New member
Hi, I think this might be my first post.

I bought a new Juki sewing machine 7 years ago and taught myself how to sew (mainly tactical gear). Like anything practice practice practice.

I can make anything I want now.

I call this the "Turtleback". Also made the rack inner cover (36 mounting straps).

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