Feb 12, 2010 at 1:45 pm #1255189
My name is Jay and I am a MYOG addict. I ordered a Ray Way tarp kit and now i am hooked. I am not even done yet and i am looking to get the vest kit from thru-hiker. Is there a drug in sil-nylon that is realeased when sewing it?Feb 12, 2010 at 4:50 pm #1573125
@tippymcstaggerLocale: North Texas
No drug, just a raging detail-oriented personality.Feb 12, 2010 at 8:50 pm #1573226
That must be it. I have had a sewing machine for seven years and never touched before this tarp. I can't believe how much i am diging making my own stuff. This site is really made my backpacking much more rewarding.Feb 12, 2010 at 10:33 pm #1573254
Kits are MYOG's gateway drug. You'll soon be trying your own design ideas in search of the perfect ______ (you fill in that blank). There is no going back.Feb 12, 2010 at 10:51 pm #1573263
Detail orientation is one gateway for the addiction. Individualist empowerment is another.
I'm not much of a perfectionist, but I hate the idea that I can't do anything myself, especially in light of the premiums some outfits get for their fluff. (50% cheap/50% narcissistic?)
Rain kit is the one issue I'm muffed about ATM, I want to be able to make my own jacket with equal, or superior performance to the mainstream.. It seems like the only place we're limited as DIYers atm.Feb 12, 2010 at 11:08 pm #1573270
@alifeoutdoorsLocale: Iron River, WI
I'm in the same boat. I bought a refurbished hobbyist sewing machine off of ebay almost two years ago and I never know where to begin. A friend keeps promising to come around and show me setting up the "bobbin" and what not but never has made it. lol I don't even know how to set up the machine much less start "practicing" any basic stiches. Any tips to get started? Sewing for dummies? JoAnn Fabric classes?Feb 12, 2010 at 11:26 pm #1573275
Have you got the owner's manual for the sewing machine? If so, then read it cover to cover. Then sit in front of the machine and read it again cover to cover, and fiddle with each piece as the manual describes it. Unless it is a complete piece of junk, it will explain how to load the bobbin and the rest of the basic functions.
I read Sewing For Dummies. I got something out of a few of the chapters, but I kind of lost interest when it got to How To Sew The Little Black Dress.
You can pretty well assume that the first project will turn out badly, so make it something with cheap fabric. Then, you will learn from your mistakes. Now sew the same project again, maybe with better fabric. My second project turned out fine.
–B.G.–Feb 12, 2010 at 11:50 pm #1573276
The hardest part is getting the dang machine set up and learning what knob is what. It took me about two evenings of fiddling around with it and trying before i got the balanced stich i was looking for. Like everything else in life the best way to learn is to do it and make a few mistakes and learn.Feb 13, 2010 at 12:06 am #1573278
Go to Thru-hiker.com and read his free article about how to load a bobbin. Print the article and keep it by your sewing machine. Read the free article about thread tensioning. Print it also and keep it by the machine.
Now, you got an owner's manual with the sewing machine, didn't you? Read the owner's manual cover to cover, and keep it by the sewing machine.
My only initial problem was that I purchased cheap thread (since I didn't know any better). The machine would chew that up and spit it out. Once I got good thread, the problems started to dissolve. A cone of thread contains something like a zillion miles of thread. It won't cost. It will pay.
–B.G.–Feb 13, 2010 at 6:53 am #1573316
@zandarLocale: Central Coast of California
Just a thought, I too found the sewing machine stored in a back bedroom closet, and thought it was time I learned to use it.
I stumbled upon an Adult Ed class in beginning sewing and it has been the best resource. I started without even knowing how to thread the machine, and at this point I have made a G4 pack, rain jacket, and numerous stuff sacks. Next is the Ray Way tent tarp !
I only feel limited by my imagination.
So, look around your local area for a beginning class, they are out there. And, get comfortable with your seam ripper.
Z.Feb 13, 2010 at 7:15 am #1573320
@sarbarLocale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
One single "how to" class will take you far in understanding your machine. Often you bring the machine with you. All machines work on the same principle, just with minor differences. Once you understand tension and balance it is all pretty easy.
At 36….I learned how to sew back in middle school in mandatory "home ec" classes. Sadly, those classes actually DID teach a lot of good things and our home ec classes were co-ed. It is to bad the classes have been taken away in the past 15 to 20 years. Every kid should know how to hand sew, machine sew and how to cook a simple meal!Feb 13, 2010 at 10:38 am #1573374
My mom taught me how to sew and how to bake cookies. My dad taught me how to hunt and fish. The kids these days don't know much except how it looks on the video game.
–B.G.–Feb 13, 2010 at 10:26 pm #1573576
Sewing my own gear got me addicted, too. It's not good for my egomaniacal, perfectionist tendencies, but…
The most frustrating part, by far, of my sewing experience has been dealing with thread tension. Practice a lot on scraps, of varying numbers of layers. Use new sharp needles. And make sure your thread is routed properly. I can't tell you how many times I've had to rip out seams because of this beginner's problem.
Oh, and make sure you're only sewing what you want to be sewing. Thin fabric has a way of folding and bunching up right under the needle, causing many curses.Feb 15, 2010 at 9:40 am #1574004
@alifeoutdoorsLocale: Iron River, WI
Thanks for all the tips guys. Have my friend coming over to help with the setup, have read the manual one and a half times so far to be prepared. Bought crappy ripstop nylon off of ebay so I think I'm set to fail a couple times before the 1.1 pressure. This will probably become my favorite forum on the site. :)
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