Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Sewing Machine withdrawals
Display Avatars Sort By:
Dwight Shackelford
(zydeholic) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Sewing Machine withdrawals on 08/01/2006 20:49:47 MDT Print View

I threw my sewing machine out of alignment while working on the G4 pack, and it will be maybe two weeks until I get it back. Drats, fribbit, sulk.

My machine is a Janome 5124, which is supposed to handle heavy duty work (well, home decor, like reupholstery and such I guess). Just went by a sewing machine store and looked at some Pfaff's. $450 is the cheapest I can get out of there with, and I don't think I'm going to do it. The point, besides the satisfaction of making my own gear, is to also save money. I could buy most of my system for $450 off the shelf.

What sewing machines do you folks use?

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Sewing Machine withdrawals on 08/01/2006 21:24:52 MDT Print View

What kind of neddle are you using? I did the same thing a few years ago and that was the repair centers first question.

They said to try a "Denim" neddle, I said a what.

The Denim neddle works well with my "Home" grade sewing machine. Change it often.

Try this first if you haven't and it may save you some money.

Dwight Shackelford
(zydeholic) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
needles on 08/02/2006 08:50:45 MDT Print View

Not sure, I'd have to look. It was not a heavy duty needle. I was trying to go with the "small holes" thing. I guess that's more of an issue with tents and shells, and not so much with backpacks.

I did buy some really small needles for doing tents, and I can't even get the thread in the hole.

Live and learn, which is why I'm doing this. Thanks Bill.

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Sewing Machine withdrawals on 08/02/2006 09:03:06 MDT Print View

Dwight,
A Denim neddle is not a heavy duty neddle. It is a neddle made of a stronger material, it is thin, It is very sharp and made for tightly woven fabrics (Denim) and stuff like imitation leather.

I use a SCHMETZ brand that I can find at most fabric stores or my local Sewing Center. The pack I am looking at cost $4.39 for 5. What ever you use get good neddles and change then often.

When I picked up my sewing machine I took the webbing that I was sewing. They put a Denim neddle in the sewing machine and it sewed right through the webbing like it was some thin rip-stop.

Edited by bfornshell on 08/02/2006 09:05:18 MDT.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Sewing Machine withdrawals on 08/02/2006 13:09:12 MDT Print View

As Bill says, it ain't the machine, its the needle. Get yourself a carousel for needles of various sizes and shapes (ball, sharp, leather chisel) and stock it up. If one size/type drags, drops stitches or otherwise misbehaves, move one size larger. Remember, ball for synthetics/knits, sharp for naturals, chisel for leather or plastic. Sometimes you will have better luck with a sharp on some nylon fabrics. Thread size makes a difference, too. Test on scraps.

Dwight Shackelford
(zydeholic) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Ball on ripstop? on 08/03/2006 01:26:39 MDT Print View

So I use a ballpoint needle on ripstop, cordura, etc?

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Ball on ripstop? on 08/03/2006 14:09:14 MDT Print View

Yes, ball needles (sometimes labeled "for knits and synthetics" instead of "ball") works well on any synthetic. Here's why: A sharp point can snag on an individual fiber of nylon. Nylon is so strong that the needle may not break loose or go through, but instead will push the single fiber right through the cloth to cause a run or distortion, dropped stitches or tangles. This doesn't happen badly on silnylon because the silicone grips the fibers tightly, so the needle breaks loose. It is most important on lightweight uncoated nylon.
On the other hand, the ball needle pushes the fibers aside instead of snagging. That's why you should use it. On very heavy synthetics, you can sometimes get away with a sharp needle because the bulky, high denier fibers tend to stay in place. Still, a ball is better.
You can get ball needles up to #16, which is heavy enough for just about anything. Remember, the smaller #14 sharp is for denim.