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Sew What! DIY Tips and Tricks.

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Other users have shown an interest in having one place to gather our thoughts on each persons best ideas on how to DIY crappy homemade gear. So here we go, contribute your successes and as importantly your failures. Mistakes are a great learning tool.

I'll start. Attached are some photos of my little sewing room. Its in a basement and could use some sprucing up but it's a rental and likely poisoning me with Radon gas so I leave it be.

Organization really helps. We all can stand to be better at it but keep up the good fight.

As much as you can afford to, keep a variety of materials on hand. When the creative urge strikes, you are much more likely to go make something if you have some materials on hand.

I find it most helpful to put away my tools and accessories EVERY time I am leaving the shop for more than a few hours. Nothing better than coming in to a tidy workspace to spark creativity.

When purchasing a machine make a budget and then try and double it. You will never wish you bought less machine, in my experience. I have two pretty heavy duty machines and find myself wanting bigger and badder machines. I am ALWAYS on the lookout. Thanks Pine for the hook!!

When you make something and if think you are really gonna like it, try and write down measurements of the pieces used to construct it. At a minimum make sketches. I try and keep large pieces of cardboard around to make patterns. If I really like something I may go as far as drawing it up in Fusion and cutting out patterns on the plasma so that they can be used to cut out material.

If you have industrial machines, make a little thread catch bin on the end of your table. This helps keep the shop so much cleaner.

I will try and continue adding to this thread as time and creativity permits.
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So that machine (need pictures) is for making straps ? Like the ones that we use to hold frames to boats? Sorry if this should be obvious lol!
That is its most common use yes.... it basically quickly and efficiently stitches a pattern...


It will make quick work of assembling cam straps. I may consider making custom cam straps for people to help pay for it but probably not till mid summer. I'll let ya'll know. Zero idea if people would be interested in that.
 

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@Bootboy Those are some nice looking buckles. How much are you paying per buckle?

Also, I'm slowly gearing up to start on some boat/drop bag projects and looking for a little advice for purchasing buckles who are you all buying from and how do you decide on which buckle to go with? I was looking at buckles on strapworks.com and they've got several options to choose from for the 1" buckles.
 

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For those who want the bare Rollercam Buckles.... you can order them via their website for $3.95 each. If you want a bunch...maybe call him and see if he'll run you a bulk deal or talk to a dealer and see what they can do for ya.

I really like the look of those straps Bootboy... your machine does much neater and precise stitches then mine. Does it do all of them in one run or one at a time?

I know I'm not gonna be able to justify it and won't do it...but I already wanna upgrade to one of those pattern machines. I think I'd rather figure out a binding attachment setup first though.
 

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Straps! I wanna geek out my new cat boat with saftey orange and yellow Straps. So I look so fancy getting beater'd View attachment 75792
I am pretty sure Whitewater Designs will see you straps in your desired length and color. I had them make me some four footers because their standard fours are red. In my experience, red straps have the shortest lifespan.
 

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I ran across a used Consew oilbath machine listed for $10.00 this morning on FB. I don't know anything about it, but it might work for someone?

 
RMR, Hyside, NRS, Sawyer, K2 coolers, Whitewater Worthy Trailers, Frames and soft goods
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This machine is not a walking foot… It is a drop feed. My first machine was a drop feed judy and I was able to learn to sew on it. You will however run out of machine capacity when doing multiple layers of webbing. This would be a great machine to learn on or in my case could be good for lighter weight applications that the walking foot machine does not do well. If there’s anybody in Seattle area that’s headed down for a rogue trip and wants to transport it let me know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #70 ·
I ran across a used Consew oilbath machine listed for $10.00 this morning on FB. I don't know anything about it, but it might work for someone?

This machine is a freeform/quilting machine. It is likely the feed dogs have been removed. While it is incredibly cheap it is not a super useful machine for rafting sewing needs.
 

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I'm working on a gear net that I'm making out of Textilene woven mesh and polypropylene webbing. I just learned about different needle styles and am wondering if I am fine using a universal needle or should I be using a ball point needle?
What size thread are you using? I've found this needle/thread guide from Sailrite to be helpful.
 

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What size thread are you using? I've found this needle/thread guide from Sailrite to be helpful.
I'm using a 100/16 gauge universal needle, I'm not sure about the size of the thread. I purchased it from strapworks as a 4oz spool.

I watched a video today on selecting a needle type and they recommended using a ballpoint needle for woven fabrics. I'm not sure if polypropylene webbing is considered a woven fabric or not.
 

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I'm working on a gear net that I'm making out of Textilene woven mesh and polypropylene webbing. I just learned about different needle styles and am wondering if I am fine using a universal needle or should I be using a ball point needle?
Try to get a full overlap on your webbing at the corners and bartack it when you sew it up...otherwise the mesh will try to tear between the webbing at the corners.

(You can probably make some good laps with the webbing when you add d-rings, but webbing is typically strongest along its length and doesn't do as well across its width...so again...bartack/zigzag!!)
 

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I'm working on a gear net that I'm making out of Textilene woven mesh and polypropylene webbing. I just learned about different needle styles and am wondering if I am fine using a universal needle or should I be using a ball point needle?
I have never tried a ball point, I would just use a regular or sharp needle. If your machine balks at the thickness of the material using a universal, you don't have enough machine for what you are doing but might be able to get away with it using a sharp needle.
 

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I'm using a 100/16 gauge universal needle, I'm not sure about the size of the thread. I purchased it from strapworks as a 4oz spool.

I watched a video today on selecting a needle type and they recommended using a ballpoint needle for woven fabrics. I'm not sure if polypropylene webbing is considered a woven fabric or not.
I'm new to sewing rafting gear too so I can only say that I've been using Singer 110/18 sharp tip needles with V69 thread and Phifertex Plus fabric with good sucess on my Singer 4411 machine. You might want to try a #20 needle if it fits in your machine for T92 thread.
 

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Try to get a full overlap on your webbing at the corners and bartack it when you sew it up...otherwise the mesh will try to tear between the webbing at the corners.

(You can probably make some good laps with the webbing when you add d-rings, but webbing is typically strongest along its length and doesn't do as well across its width...so again...bartack/zigzag!!)
Is bartacking when you just reverse back over the line you just put down?

Once I have the boarder straps sewn in they will look like this.
Outerwear Jersey Textile Sleeve Grey

Azure Mesh Line Font Urban design


Then on the corners I will sew in some D-rings that will look something like this...

Textile Art Wood Mesh Pattern

Textile Mesh Organism Plant Wall


After I sew in the D-Rings will that be enough to secure the corners and keep them from tearing?

@Shaft I've done some test lines on some scrap fabric/straps and with the universal 16 needle the machine doesn't have any issues.

@gwpatrick So far after a couple of test lines with the thread and a size 16 needle everything looks good (for my skill level, or lack there of lol). I might try and get a hold of some size 18 needles as I'm sure that will make things work even better.
 
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