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My first pack
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Jedd Cheshier
(JeddCheshier) - F

Locale: Midatlantic
My first pack on 02/09/2011 09:14:27 MST Print View

I'm getting ready to try to make my own pack. I'm going to use this thread as my all purpose question thread as I go along.

1st question - What kind of thread should I be using?

I've researched the fabrics, but haven't noticed any mention of thread. I'm assuming I would need something more substantial than what we have in our sewing box.

ziff house
(mrultralite) - F
this on 02/09/2011 10:20:21 MST Print View

won't help, but i get a heavy polyester from a shop in Vancouver, they get it off a larger roll somewhere so it has no label. I also use 150lb spectra fishing line [power pro, white] from cabelas , for hand sewing. dental floss is good too.

Chris Peichel

Locale: Eureka
Thread on 02/09/2011 10:26:05 MST Print View

For thread, use a 100% nylon(if nylon use a uv treated) or 100% polyester. Bonded threads are better. Size of thread for a pack, depending on how thick of fabric you are using, should be around a size 40 or 46 and up. Thread sizes can be a little hard to figure out, many threads don't list the size. Gutterman polyester thread sold through many cottage places will probably be sufficient. has some for a good price, fair and very fast shipping. also has, from what I hear, good poly thread. has bonded polyester size 46, and bonded uv treated nylon size 46, but their shipping is expensive.

What sewing machine are you using?
What fabric?

Good luck, keep us posted

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
thread on 02/09/2011 10:26:33 MST Print View

Hey Jedd! A lot of us are using Gutterman 100% polyester thread which can be bought at almost any fabric store. You can use their std weight for most anything (Joanne fabrics often has them on sale). I reserve their heavier weight for bartacks and reinforcing. I use a #9 needle with it.

Edited by Konrad1013 on 02/09/2011 10:27:33 MST.

Jedd Cheshier
(JeddCheshier) - F

Locale: Midatlantic
Thanks on 02/09/2011 11:58:40 MST Print View

I appreciate the quick replies.

I have not purchased a sewing machine yet. I've been scouring online stores and craigslist. I'm assuming most MYOG projects will use simple stitches. Are there any suggestions on less expensive machines that will handle most projects?

Konrad, nice to see you. I hope you are happy with the tent when it arrives.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
thread on 02/09/2011 12:28:37 MST Print View

I buy the thickest 100% poly thread that Joanne's stocks.

Andrew Schriner
(lettheguydance) - F

Locale: Midwest
sewing machines on 02/09/2011 19:48:49 MST Print View

Jedd -
A straight stitch and zig zag stitch will get you very far. I'm using a White I got used off craigslist for $60 and it's done everything I've asked of it, including packs (sewing through foam and webbing), and as far as I know, it's nothing special.

Jedd Cheshier
(JeddCheshier) - F

Locale: Midatlantic
Sewing Machine on 02/10/2011 07:55:46 MST Print View

I got my first sewing machine last night. It's a 1961 Singer Slant O Matic 500 I picked for free.

Brendan S
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
slant o matic on 02/10/2011 08:01:41 MST Print View

sweet find! especially for free! I've been using a 600 and love it.

Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
Thread on 02/10/2011 08:14:22 MST Print View

I use T-70 thread from Rockywoods it is heavy duty Dabond polyester thread that fit in a home machine and stronger than the Gutterman and available in quite a few colors. Plus it's on a large 4 oz spool is about $7.00 verses Gutterman on small spools and lighter weight and expensive in the small spools.
I also use Schmetz 100/16 blue jeans needles because you will be sewing through a couple layers of nylon fabric and Nylon webbing. You need a sharp and strong needle to get the job done with out breaking needles.

Try to pick up a used older Sewing machine on Craigs list or a sewing machine store that sells used machine you can test. From the 1970's or earlier that is all metal construction their geared more to heavy duty work when people use to used sewing machine to repair things like denim and feed bags. Verses now days when sewing has become just a hobby.
I am using a Riccar Rm 540 Because it has 1.5 amp motor verse a .75 amp motor for more power.

peter vacco

Locale: no. california
Re: My first pack on 02/10/2011 20:14:49 MST Print View

as stated.. older machines can very likely be better units.
singer is good, and you can get zillions of cool feet from them. teflon, roller, zipper.
if looking at a vintage singer, make sure it is a vertical shaft type, not a slant foot.

you should not really have to PAY for a sewing machine, at least, not hardly very much.
friends will be willing to give you one, if only so they can out from the guilt of having, but not using, theirs.

do internet research on how bobbin tension affects things, and the mystical bs surrounding it's adjustment.
oil and thoroughly clean the machine. do not ever lose sight of the hard fact that a sewing machine is a MACHINE.
they are not magic. not spritual. not hype. they are machines, and as such, will, if you dork with one long enough to develop an understanding of your opponent, will do what you are telling it to.

stitches. forward. backwards. zig-zag..... you're There. circa 1962, it's all you'll need.

Jedd Cheshier
(JeddCheshier) - F

Locale: Midatlantic
Fabrics on 02/19/2011 18:46:14 MST Print View

I'm thinking I am going to use X Pac. Where can I get colors other than orange and grey?

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: Fabrics on 02/20/2011 00:44:51 MST Print View I just talked to them yesterday and they told me that they have all sorts of new colors. Black, blue, etc...

or directly from Dimension Polyant. Send them and email.

Edited by Found on 02/20/2011 01:16:30 MST.

Frederick Maxfield
(fredmax56) - M

Locale: New England
My first pack- XPAC on 02/20/2011 05:28:00 MST Print View

Hi Jack,
The colors shown are the new colors they are going to have in stock? Did they tell you when XPAC would be back in stock?

Jedd Cheshier
(JeddCheshier) - F

Locale: Midatlantic
Colors on 02/21/2011 11:41:53 MST Print View

I checked Rockywoods and only see blue listed in addition to the other colors I mentioned, and it is out of stock. Is it listed in multiple areas that I am missing? I also used the contact us email on the DimPoly website. Is that the one you are referring to?


Jared Dilg
(Village) - MLife

Locale: Texas
Re: Colors on 02/21/2011 12:20:32 MST Print View

Jedd, not to stray too far off-topic, but I have some VX-42 in dark blue and VX-21 in light blue if you're interested. Some gray as well but you mentioned looking for other colors..

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: Colors on 02/21/2011 12:27:10 MST Print View

I don't know. Call them.

John Canfield
(jcanfield) - F

Locale: Cascadia
drifting... on 02/21/2011 21:31:04 MST Print View

Tex 70, bonded any color you want is best for backpack making IMO. I use 138 for heavy applications (harnessing, marine canvas, etc. and ~40 for clothing.