Sewing Machine to MYOG ?

Discussion about making bushwalking-related equipment.

Sewing Machine to MYOG ?

Postby CasualNerd » Sat 12 Aug, 2017 7:30 pm

I've been considering making and repairing some of my own gear for a long time, but I really have no idea where to start. Is there some particular models of sewing machine for example I should look out for ? I see a Singer 201 on gumtree cheap for example, but how do I know whether it will stitch canvas ?

I would think I only need to do simple stitching, but is there anything I need to look for or avoid in a machine ?
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Re: Sewing Machine to MYOG ?

Postby simonm » Sun 13 Aug, 2017 6:11 am

A 201 is a great machine for MYOG and should sew canvas ok. A straight stitch is all you need for most things.
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Re: Sewing Machine to MYOG ?

Postby Bill P » Fri 18 Aug, 2017 1:12 pm

I use a 1950's Singer that was my mothers. It only does a straight stitch - forward and reverse. I would like to be able to do a sideways stitch for buttonholes and bar tacks .
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Re: Sewing Machine to MYOG ?

Postby andrewa » Fri 18 Aug, 2017 9:23 pm

I've got a Janome SR2100 that I bought with money given to me for my 21st birthday, 34 yrs ago. Still going strong. You can sew most things, inc canvas, multiple webbing layers etc if using bigger gauge needles (eg 18 with leather cutting point). I can't sew leather with very heavy gauge thread - the machine just doesn't pull the bottom thread up into the stitch hole, even on maximum top tension. It sews fine with thinner thread though. I reckon an older second hand machine would be fine, esp as mines still going so well after 34 years, and 1 service!

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Re: Sewing Machine to MYOG ?

Postby Moondog55 » Mon 09 Oct, 2017 10:38 am

My Janome MyExcell is a wonderful machine when used within its limits but if set-up for LW fabric it won't sew canvas and other HD fabrics and if set-up for those it won't sew the LW and UL stuff.If you can afford it I would suggest an older machine and serviced to use HD thread etc and a LW modern machine for the other stuff
I still haven't had my S/H machine serviced but the machine only cost $5- and the full service will cost me close to $200-. after which it should sew canvas and other stuff well
Most of the problem is the rise; the amount of clearance under the foot, to get plenty of clearance and strength my old machine needs to have the shaft shortened and the pulley ratio changed slightly
A standard service is $120 to $150- by comparison
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Re: Sewing Machine to MYOG ?

Postby Lamont » Thu 03 Jan, 2019 7:00 am

Just reviving this thread from last year.
After a simple, easy to use sewing machine. Used for potentially sewing some Xpac up to VX21, (VX I know is still quite thin and probably lighter than canvas but wondering if the coating causes any concerns -has anyone sewn it before?) and DCF - and even taking up my jeans and shorts.
I would like to be able to bar tack for shoulder straps on a rucksack at some point. Doubt I would be sewing canvas.
So from the other posts it needs to go forwards backwards and is it sideways or diagonal?
I want to know what I am after before I start looking in earnest.
Happy to pay a wee bit more but not a ridiculous amount for simplicity if required.
Ta for any help you can offer.
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Re: Sewing Machine to MYOG ?

Postby Nuts » Thu 03 Jan, 2019 8:21 am

Cheap as chips, Spotlight is your friend. I'd look for a model with auto threader, the other features you need will be standard but curiously they don't all have an AT arm.

I had the cheapest model Singer and sewed all sorts for the past 8 yrs including things at or beyond it's limit. I now (since xmas) have a better machine but that little Singer was well enough for DIY and small/light enough to pack away easily.

There are some bargains to be had second hand but i'd probably still go for entry level/new so you can eliminate any blame on the tool through (what can be) a tedious learning process. Either that or see everything working smoothly before buying SH. Tiny problems can eat time while you get the feel for what they are.
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Re: Sewing Machine to MYOG ?

Postby Lamont » Thu 03 Jan, 2019 7:27 pm

Thanks Nuts, some sage advice. I'll nip in to Spotlight on my next visit to the big smoke.
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Re: Sewing Machine to MYOG ?

Postby andrewa » Thu 03 Jan, 2019 8:29 pm

My 35 yo Janone does bar tacks (zigzags). The machine I bought my daughter last year is not really much different than the one I bought 35yrs ago ( except for button holes, which are better).

Do not do anything stupid like I did recently and buy an industrial machine. A normal sewing machine has been fine for all my MYO gear......except sewing leather, which I do by hand.

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Re: Sewing Machine to MYOG ?

Postby Lamont » Thu 03 Jan, 2019 8:43 pm

Which model is it Andrew?
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Re: Sewing Machine to MYOG ?

Postby Warin » Fri 04 Jan, 2019 6:24 am

In 35years.. it will be an old model - superseded probably a few times.
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Re: Sewing Machine to MYOG ?

Postby Mark F » Fri 04 Jan, 2019 8:07 am

A good source of sewing machines is an old fashioned (not a chain) sewing shop. I got an excellent old Pfaff 362 (50's vintage) that the mechanic had serviced for about $120 several years ago. Has all you really need - forward, reverse, zigzag stitches (plus a couple more) and a free arm. The older machines will often be better if you plan to sew packs or heavier fabrics - more powerful motor and full metal gears - not plastic.
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Re: Sewing Machine to MYOG ?

Postby Lamont » Fri 04 Jan, 2019 10:05 am

Ta Mark.
I seem to understand the free arm makes sewing light fabrics easier, is that right. Avoids (stretching?)you getting to the other side and one piece being longer than the other. So it sounds like it is a must have would you say?
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Re: Sewing Machine to MYOG ?

Postby Mark F » Fri 04 Jan, 2019 10:54 am

The free arm allows things like a sleeve or a small stuff sack to be sewn or hemmed as it can rotate under the arm (the bit containing the bobbin, feed dogs etc). Lots of machines have removable sections that allow the excess base to be moved out of the way. The Pfaff is nice in that the free arm is quite long and the excess table just folds down..

I find it is the heavier fabrics that benefit from the free arm as lighter fabrics will fold and bunch up easily when trying to sew into tricky spots.

Free Arm.jpg
Free arm or table
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Re: Sewing Machine to MYOG ?

Postby Lamont » Fri 04 Jan, 2019 2:06 pm

Ah Ta mark that makes things clearer! Thanks for taking the time to get the pics.
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Re: Sewing Machine to MYOG ?

Postby Lamont » Fri 11 Jan, 2019 8:41 am

Realised we had two machines sitting in a cupboard, untouched for years.
The first and old family one, seemed good then it started smoking full on and I was sure a burning was about to happen-unplugged and gone. The stench!
The second, a Singer left behind from a while ago fired up and off I went. Made two shoulder pockets from 3D spacer mesh(free, hell that stuff is tough!), each weighs 2 grams I think. Toggled (free) them onto the daisys on the shoulder straps.
One for sunnies and one which holds my phone snugly (or would work for scroggin etc but made to hold the phone tightly), in case I want to put it in there. The toggle on the sunnies pouch goes around the middle narrow part and they aren't getting out, unless I loosen the toggle. They look quite professional.
Saved about $50 -those things sell for a small fortune being fiddly.
Went crazy at 10pm last night and cut my Uniqlo shorts down to a 90 mm inseam-bugger the privacy.
The first leg went so well I had a wee drop of the good stuff.
The second leg, it was the away match, not so good. Unpicked it, and well I will have to unpick it again-but Eureka I have another pair of nice airy shorts and only I know the seem is a bit wonky.
Worked a treat on my 10k walk this morning.
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Re: Sewing Machine to MYOG ?

Postby Lamont » Sun 13 Jan, 2019 7:07 pm

Ah well, after my DIY MYOG frenzy -a new (2 gram) peg holder/bag in 3D spacer mesh with a top flap and half a pole bag made from a shopping bag my machine has gone the way of the first, but not in the white smoke, pope has been elected kind of way.
The dog things seem to be playing up. Might need a clean?
Also I was given the 3D spacer mesh by a Technology design teacher from Geelong and I am certain she said I could buy more from Spotlight Geelong. I have spent ages on the website-does anybody know if it is called something else here?
Do Spotlight sell it?
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