May 24, 2011 at 8:20 am #1274322
What is a good starter project for someone who has never used a sowing machine but wants to learn. I was looking at the Ray-way tarps bad idea or not? Thanks for any help.May 24, 2011 at 8:29 am #1740458
@everreadyLocale: Sh!^^% Ohio
How about a beanie hat?May 24, 2011 at 9:05 am #1740475
Dustin ShortBPL Member
Simple tarps, if you're not using a cat-curve, will be easy and teach you how to sew a straight line. A synthetic quilt ups the complexity, but each individual part of sewing is easy enough as long as you plan out the project well. Same goes for a windshirt/windpant if you get a kit from thru-hiker or some other similar pattern.May 24, 2011 at 9:32 am #1740497
@aaronmbLocale: Central Valley California
I say start with a few simple stuff sacks made from low cost/expendable material, especially if this is your first time sewing on a machine. Once you think you have a feel for the machine, make some stuff sacks from "good" material – what you will learn as you go, versus just reading about it online, will help tremendously. Increase your project difficulty according to your comfort zone and growing skill set.
Sewing with a machine isn't quite rocket science but it certainly can be tricky at first and it doesn't take much to ruin good material. If it's not learning techniques that frustrates you it may simply be the time (read patience!) that is needed to make a nicely finished product. Start slow, cheaply, and have fun.May 24, 2011 at 9:55 am #1740517
@vickrhinesLocale: Central Texas
Before starting a project on expensive material, learn to sew lightweight fabric. Silnylon is slippery, UL uncoated nylon is also slippery and snag prone. There is a learning curve to machine stitching, not rocket science, but mechanical and tricky. It takes practice, and practice is better done on small projects that use little fabric.
You could go to the nearest fabric store and buy the cheapest, lightest, sleeziest fabric you can find to practice on. Look in the remnant bin for cheap cloth; every fabric store has one. If you can't find anything suitably light, get silnylon to make stuff sacks in a variety of sizes. It's great practice and you can always use them. owfinc.com had 2nd quality silnylon that works just fine for anything at prices that challenge local fabric stores. The ripstop available at some Walmarts is heavier than either silnylon or the uncoated fabrics you will want to use for most projects, and it is much easier to sew, which means you won't learn much from it.
It is easier to start with a needle a little larger than necessary or desirable.
Good polyester thread such as Gutterman's will work for most projects. owfinc.com has better polyester if you are picky.
Use pins to hold seams in alignment. The number of pin holes is insignificant compared to stitch holes. You will seal the seams of coated fabric anyway. Free-handing is only for the expert or arrogant. Pins will help you get professional results.May 24, 2011 at 12:10 pm #1740572
Anybody made the Ray-way Tarp?
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