- Nov 22, 2017 at 4:09 pm #3503489
I am a novice at using a sewing machine although I’ve made a goose down jacket years ago when they were very expensive. I’m making my own backpack and would like some suggestions on what would be the most successful seam for me to use to hold the bag together. I will probably use grosgrain tape over the seam afterwards to neaten everything up.
My initial thought was just to lay the parts to be joined together and run a stitch line and then repeat it – two lines of stitches on each seam plus the tape, so three total. It occurred to me that this might not be the best way to go, but it seems it would be the easiest to accomplish.
I really have no idea. I’ve done some searching in this forum and the comments tend to be more advanced than my skill level so I don’t know or understand whats being discussed.Nov 22, 2017 at 4:52 pm #3503494
chris bBPL Member
Go to REI/outdoor store and look at the seams of other backpacks. There are different seams for different purposes.Nov 22, 2017 at 5:07 pm #3503496
Lester MooreBPL Member
@satoriLocale: Olympic Peninsula, WA
There was a good thread a few days ago about ways to stitch the main seams of a backpack (it was DCF, but answers apply to other materials too). A simple double stitch plus tape seems like a popular and long lasting way to do it:Nov 23, 2017 at 12:42 am #3503589
Thanks. I saw that thread, read it yesterday and just re-read it to make sure I didn’t miss anything. There are a few posts on trying to line up two lines of stitches so extra holes aren’t added. There are several posts discussing if it’s possible/impossible to make a flat felled seam on a tube with a closed bottom. Since I don’t know how to sew a flat felled seam or what it is that whole discussion is lost on me. Finally, there is one guy advocating the use of the stitch I was planning to use because his old Lowe Alpine pack was sewn that way. I actually have a vintage lowe alpine pack and as that poster said it’s made of heavy cordura which is a whole different type of fabric than VX21. Also,I looked at my lowe alpine contour and several of my many other packs last weekend and was unable to determine the construction by looking at them. I believe that partial disassembly of a seam would be required to learn anything.Nov 23, 2017 at 11:02 am #3503631
Have you already purchased your vx21?Nov 23, 2017 at 2:36 pm #3503643
No. You recommended X21rc to me a few weeks ago. I ordered a sample and I prefer the vx21. I’m not completely sold on any of the xpacs due to the very wide spacing of the reinforcement and limited color choices. What attracted me to xpac is its waterproofness and the fact that it doesn’t absorb water. I don’t care that much about weight.Nov 23, 2017 at 9:08 pm #3503710
Nick SmolinskeBPL Member
@smoLocale: Rogue Panda Designs
What you’re talking about should be fine for VX21 and VX42 – they hold stitches very well. In fact I would skip that second stitch line and just have the first stitch line plus the binding tape. But add extra reinforcement at any points where straps come out of the seams.Nov 24, 2017 at 2:55 pm #3503814
Do you think waterproof seam tape would work on vx21? Somebody told me it wouldn’t stick. I’m considering using the waterproof sealing seam tape instead of grosgrain.Nov 24, 2017 at 3:43 pm #3503820
From what I recall, you would have to use the iron on tape. That’s the reason I went with the X21rc, the weight savings was just an added bonus. I have gobs of cuben tape and I wanted to use that. It also helps to strengthen seams.Nov 25, 2017 at 4:03 am #3503970
I didn’t like the color choice – white only. The only color I would like less than white would be black. That said, there’s nothing wrong with white, but white isn’t my choice for a backpack color.Nov 25, 2017 at 5:00 am #3503976
Color choice for which material?Nov 25, 2017 at 2:52 pm #3504009
I just checked and was wrong about that. Quest has black, silver/grey/(whitish) and yellow X21rc in stock.Nov 25, 2017 at 3:44 pm #3504020
A flat felled seam is strong. The two rows of stitches share the load. Plus I add a third row of stitches just to make sure.
I use it in packs. Its a bit difficult to manipulate the pack fabric so you can feed through to do the last row of stitches (or 2 rows for extra strength). You have to plan which stitches to do first to avoid painting yourself into a corner.Nov 28, 2017 at 2:20 pm #3504488
THanks Jerry. My question was more about a strong seam for a novice at sewing. I think a flat felled seam would be tough to do in a tube with a home sewing machine. I don’t know though. My original idea of a double row of stitches and a grosgrain tap cover would be impossible to neatly seam seal from inside the bag. I don’t want to seam seal the outside.
I knew about a flat felled seam but don’t think it will work for me at my skill level with my machine.Nov 28, 2017 at 3:40 pm #3504501
I do flat felled seam with home machine on tubular pack. I don’t know that the machine or skill level is that important.
A French seam is about the only seam I can think of that avoids the problem. But that’s hard to seal, especially if you put the flap of fabric on the inside. Even the clean side is hard to seal because when you stuff the pack it stretches the fabric apart so would tend to rip the seal.
There are a lot of other things like sewing on straps that require sewing through the pack even though it’s tubular shaped.
Maybe just try flat felled seam and see if you can get it to work. You could try cheap fabric first if you didn’t want to waste money on expensive fabric.Nov 28, 2017 at 3:46 pm #3504505
200D fabric is $5 a yard. Maybe try that first. Good to work out your technique regardless of how you do it.Nov 28, 2017 at 10:42 pm #3504557
Thanks Jerry. I’m making a pack bag for an old school type of frame. It will be basically a roll top dry bag with side pockets. I plan to practice with cheap fabric. The VX21 is pretty stiff though. I dont think that any amount of practice with cheap flexible fabric will prepare me for that.
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