I thought it was time I gave something back after all of the information I have pulled from here over the years so I figured I would write a little about something I know a little about and that is sewing. Let me start by saying that I am totally self taught, so sometimes my grasp of terminology can be a little tenuous, and I may miss a technique here or there that others are aware of and I am not, so feel free to chime in if you think I have missed something (I know I am not the only stitcher on this forum).
The focus of this is on the home sewing machine. Usually for tactical equipment, one requires an industrial machine, but for most of us, we really don't have access to or the funding for an industrial machine when we start out and frankly, if you only need a couple of pieces, why get one? So what I am going to attempt to do here is to condense 5 years of trial and error into a short piece about what works and what doesn't when using a home machine to make your own gear. What I am not going to do is discuss lace, doilies, how to make pants or Christmas vests, just to be clear.
So where to start? Most of us have a project or two that we would like to work on, be it a chest rig, magazine pouch, EDC pouch (which is where I started) or simply lengthening (or shortening) a bag strap. So, go dig out your mothers sewing machine and lets have a look at it.
This is what I started with, it is an old White sewing machine that the wife purchased from Wal-mart about 25 years ago, and I still use it from time to time depending on what I am doing.
Not my photo but one from the web, but this is exactly the machine I used for years.
If you want to get more in depth than I will here, I can recommend the complete idiots guide to sewing
Your sewing machine
I know it goes against the grain, when you dig out the machine, see if the manual is there with it. Now, go read it. This is important because, the first thing you need to be able to do is thread the machine. Now I am not going to get into machine specifics because there are a large number of machines out there and they are all different, however, they all have a couple of things in common:
1. A place to put the lower bobbin
2. A place to put the thread spool
3. A pedal
4. A lever or button (or both) to lower and raise the needle.
Most home machines also have a stitch selector and adjustment, as well as some form of tension adjustment. In the next posts I'll discuss needles and threads, how to set the machine up, how to design your gear, and how to design around the limitations of your machine. I will also list places to get supplies, and show you some of the tools I use.
British by birth, American by choice.
Bespoke shooting accessories Retro Tactical
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