Backpackers Non-Essential DIY Tool: Sewing Machine

in Build-It7 months ago

Brother JS1410 Entry Level Sewing Machine

Backstory

Last year the kids were playing with the dog in the backyard where I was experimenting with Tarp Shelter setups. During the excitement, Bruno (the dog) ran over the Tarp causing irreparable damage, but at least I was able to save 40% of the tarp hoping one day I can use it somehow.

That one day was 4 days ago, I bought and collected a sewing machine (2nd hand) for $50NZ. I decided to make a small front panel for a 3x3m DD A-Frame Tarp shelter.


Here is where the fun begins

No instructional DVD in the box!

Calling out to no one in particular ... "anyone knows how to use a sewing machine"

"no"
"nup"
"nope"
"nah ... wait ... did you buy a sewing machine ? ... why ?"

Ignoring the unintelligent people in this household, I did the google thing for this model. Came through once again, disaster averted. Bobbin, foot thingy, thread, fabric ... OK I have all the Buzz words down .... apprenticeship over.

Right, next step I need some thread. Jump in the car shoot down to the general store and bought "some thread ?". "Are there different types of thread ?" I guess it doesn't matter, as long as it is black to blend in with the tarp.

There is a diagram on top of the machine showing how to thread the "thread" onto the bobbin. Cool, easy as! Pressing down on that pedal felt like I was in control of a sports car. Job done.

Now to do the top thread, pull thread around here, down here then back up behind this arm thingy before going down here to hook behind this bit and push in the needle from the front.

.......... 20mins later WTF !!

There has to be a trick to get that thread through that tiny hole. I cut it, I licked it, I burnt it with a lighter, squashed it .... swore at it. Back to google!

OK I need a thread puller, back to the shop. I bought a small sewing kit with stuff I might need because returning to this shop is not a good look.

Testing - Bits N Bobs

It took a few days to practice before I was getting a nice-looking sewing line. Next step, set up Tarp in Modified Holden configuration. Measure cut and finally sew things together and I was pleasantly surprised at the outcome.

I was too excited to take any photos during this process until after I added the front panel to the shelter as shown below.

Glimpse of Front Panel

But after the next overnight camp, I'll produce photos showing more details of the panel.


Photos were taken with Samsung Galaxy A10 Phone.

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I was a theatrical Lighting design major in College. Didn't matter, all backstage tech had to take at least one semester in costume, so we did a 6 week sewing lesson Fast foward a dozen years and I am married to an accountant. Fast forward another 20 years and my wife leaves corporate accounting, to go inter her own business. we now own about 10 machines: All of them industrial, basically, large metal motors, little faring, and huge horsepower. Surgers, Blind Hemmers, Walking Foot Machines, ones that can do embroidery, etc.

Still, when I am called upon to fix the machine or timing, I can at least remember, how to thread one. Well, maybe 1 out of 3 times. But, there's always Mr. Google.

Funny you say that, I have created a new problem. The whole family are into experimenting with the sewing machine. The place has turned into a mess as they pulled out old clothes, tea towels, sheets etc (that are in my opinion, beyond repair) to experiment with. I should buy another needle before this one wears out and a lot more thread.

If you can start a business based on something you have a passion for, that's freakin awesome :-)

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I've been looking for info and ideas just like this. I want to create some diy custom tarp shelters.
Thanks for the post.

I actually tried this because I saw a guy create his tarp sewing shower curtains together. Having a damaged Tarp to begin with gave me the opportunity to try. I really wasn't confident so if I stuffed up, no big deal. But it turned out well.

Standing applause, sewing is not as difficult as many think (a seamstress tells you) Greetings and blessings

Over time and a bit more practice will make it easier for me. Funny thing, now the whole family are sitting in front of the machine, which is a good thing.