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

ckrockets

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).

524657524659524660524661524663
 
Last edited:

NatersXJ6

Explorer
Someone mentioned classes somewhere...

Your local fabric stores like JoAnns will have classes, or old ladies that are willing to teach and happy to get money. They always think it is the most fun thing in the world to teach a middle-aged guy to see.
 

ckrockets

New member
Someone mentioned classes somewhere...

Your local fabric stores like JoAnns will have classes, or old ladies that are willing to teach and happy to get money. They always think it is the most fun thing in the world to teach a middle-aged guy to see.
It's been my experience seamstry techniques in light garment making cannot be used on heavy textile materials (i.e. cordura).

Years ago I tried watching YouTube videos of sewing very very little of it was useful for medium to heavy textiles. I ended up using trial and error til I figured out techniques that worked. I was just reinventing the wheel so to speak on those techniques. I found gear makers hold allot information close to their chest, less competition maybe who knows. Most of the gear makers I've interacted with are very arrogant and won't discuss any building techniques like it's a trade secret.

Like I said I've been building for 7 years now and I can pretty much make anything I can think up.

If anyone has questions let me know, I don't do this for a living so I'm willing to share what I've learned.
 

NatersXJ6

Explorer
It's been my experience seamstry techniques in light garment making cannot be used on heavy textile materials (i.e. cordura).

Years ago I tried watching YouTube videos of sewing very very little of it was useful for medium to heavy textiles. I ended up using trial and error til I figured out techniques that worked. I was just reinventing the wheel so to speak on those techniques. I found gear makers hold allot information close to their chest, less competition maybe who knows. Most of the gear makers I've interacted with are very arrogant and won't discuss any building techniques like it's a trade secret.

Like I said I've been building for 7 years now and I can pretty much make anything I can think up.

If anyone has questions let me know, I don't do this for a living so I'm willing to share what I've learned.
Agreed on techniques that convert well for heavy fabrics, but there is a lot to be learned in a beginner level class, and that learning is even better in a one-on-one environment. In the end, sewing is similar to welding, all the talk and video in the world won’t help you until you start practicing!

Also similar to welding... I’m not particularly good at either... but I try!
 

ckrockets

New member
Another way to do it is use 2 grommets and use your headrest posts. I do this for trash in the car.
Kevin
Both those bags contents are very heavy. I had considered using that trick to hang some molle panels just above those bags.

Here are some more protective carry bags I made for an upcoming overlanding trip.

524784
524788
2 - USB fans, DC power box, hoses & accessories, propane hot water heater
 

jacobconroy

Hillbilly of Leisure
Let's keep this thread going. I've been daydreaming about learning to sew heavy goods for a decade or more and I think it's time to commit.

Gotta take some classes first to learn what sort of machine I need though. From the posts above I realize that the methods learned from a "run-of-the-mill" sewing class might not necessarily pertain to what we (in this forum) want to do...but at this point I really don't know anything at all when it comes to sewing.

The idea of buying a 70-year-old industrial sewing machine sounds good. But I'm a techie sort of guy. Once I know what I need I'll dump a couple of grand on an appropriate, and new machine and go from there.
 

ckrockets

New member
Let's keep this thread going. I've been daydreaming about learning to sew heavy goods for a decade or more and I think it's time to commit.

Gotta take some classes first to learn what sort of machine I need though. From the posts above I realize that the methods learned from a "run-of-the-mill" sewing class might not necessarily pertain to what we (in this forum) want to do...but at this point I really don't know anything at all when it comes to sewing.

The idea of buying a 70-year-old industrial sewing machine sounds good. But I'm a techie sort of guy. Once I know what I need I'll dump a couple of grand on an appropriate, and new machine and go from there.
A heavy duty industrial machine is needed to sew heavy materials (canvas, cordura, webbing, leather, even thin plastics).

I bought a new Juki DNU-1541S with table for under $2000, with zero knowledge about how to sew, ZERO. I just knew I wanted to do it. A seamstry type sewing machine will not work, don't waste your time and money.

A sewing class will do basically nothing for you. It probably will even lead you in the wrong direction.

A industrial machine is a must, only reason to buy a used one is if you can't afford the $1500-$2000 or you think you might find out you don't have the time to dedicate to the self study required to sew heavy materials.

No one is going to teach you how to sew heavy materials, not unless you go get a part time job in a sewing factory if any still exist in your area.

Buy a Juki, Techsew, or Consew. I played around with the idea of buying a used machine but eventually realized the savings was not worth the time to find a decent used machine that didn't need work. Buy once cry once.

YouTube and Google searches are your information sources. Self study and practice practice practice are how you will learn.

Trust me I've been there, and I've done it, I can make anything now basically with one machine one thread size and one needle size, oh and a L and R zipper foot.

No one is going to teach you how to sew heavy materials.
 
Last edited:

BritKLR

Kapitis Indagatoris
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:

View attachment 524508

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.
My apologizes. Just getting home from a cold, wet and fun 5 days up in the mountains around Aspen, Snow Mass and Crested Butte. Anyway, too be honest that is a great "old" machine. While, it is strong enough to sew heavy fabrics it maybe just too old, slow and maintenance intensive to be useful. I guess some of my questions would be: Does it have reverse? Is it foot pedal powered or motor powdered? What motor? What accessories come with it? (Needles, bobbins, lights, bobbin case, bobbin wonder, oiler, small parts? And it's general over all condition or in other words, does it work?

Sometimes really old machines just require too much attention to work efficiently. Lmk. Good luck
 

ricardo

Observer
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.
Whatever happen on Fight Club, stays o.....

The amount of iterations at the race in between protection and projectiles is far more prolific than the Dopers at the tour the France and the UCI detection technologies, sometimes you just need to be 3 weeks ahead, but at the end they all do it...

just consider yourself lucky you only need to deal with projectiles..

Vest are one thing, Bomb suits, that is where the real challenges exist, intense vacuums, massive Gforces, liquification, those are the challenges hard to tackle, plus you need to deal with wearability, efficiency to get suit up, access to tight/constrain spaces, back up breathing and lighting systems, etc..
 
Top