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Sewing projects

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So with all the wet dreary weather we have had lately I haven’t been too motivated to get out in the shop. I decided to do some sewing projects I’d been thinking about for a while. Last fall I bought for little money some Sunforger fabric remnants form a local sailmaker. First I made a duffle bag of a size that would permit carry on airlines. Then I made a slightly smaller one. The bigger one already has accrued air miles as my wife took it to Santa Fe to do some painting.
The real project I wanted to make was what I am calling a field bag. A shoulder bag fitted out with pockets and sized for day hikes. I found a YouTube video of someone making a ‘messenger bag’ that looked close to what I envisioned, based on that I sewed one up and before I had even made the shoulder strap my wife said it would be perfect for a sketching kit when she wasn’t going to paint. I hadn’t even finished it yet and I lost it already. The shoulder strap was then made to her specifications. I made another one for me while she was away. I changed the pockets and a few other details on the second one, it’s also just a wee bit wider so it can fit the laptop if need be for a weekend visit with family. Some of her painting friends admired her bag and will probably be looking for someone to sew one up for them. Not sure I’m interested in going into production, I still have a lot to learn in the sewing trade. The best part of making something yourself is the ability to customize to fit your needs. After living and using this for a while I might make another with new modifications or size. I still want to make a Whelen tent, and a few other things.
Anybody else sew their own gear? Feel free to share it here.
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Jim
 
Your "field bag" is what I would call a haversack. I will be making one very soon to hold chainsaw/logging tools - spare chain, wedges, log hooks, etc. I love making bags - it's kind of an obsession.
 
Yup Scratchy, one could call it a haversack. But this is a bit more than an ‘oat bag’ which is the root of haversack. Messenger bag, haversack, field bag all boiled down to an over the shoulder bag, so call it what you will.
When you make yours add pockets for the wrench, wedges and other things it will stay more organized. And please share it here I’d love to see it.
Jim
 
Thanks Erica. The box stitches still give me a bit of trouble, and by the second bag I learned how to sew better corners. Always learning something.
Jim
 
The real project I wanted to make was what I am calling a field bag. A shoulder bag fitted out with pockets and sized for day hikes.
I like your design. I used a similar waxed canvas field bag for carrying maps and aerial photos while working in the woods. I added a quick release waist belt to keep it from flopping around and getting caught up in brush.
 
I cut/sewed my 8x10 wall tent down quite a bit a few years back, recently I made a portable stove jack/window screen and I sewed up the canvas for some old camp chairs from leftover canvas from a canoe project. I also made some utensil holders from canvas that hang off the interior of the wall tent.

Downsized wall tent I sewed,

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Sewing up a stove jack for cool weather, screen for warm weather that attach with velcro,

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Old camp chair with new canoe canvas,

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I think I've posted this before. Spray deck for a 17' PakBoat. I'll put it through its paces this summer. My next project (waiting on the fabric) will be a custom duffel that will include two paddles, the long rods of my PakCanoe, and a hard case for the shotgun.
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Wow, lots of talented people here! How did you folks learn how to sew? My mom taught me many years ago to use a sewing machine, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't even be able to thread one now.
 
Mem, I started with an old Singer treadle machine. It was real easy to go slow and take your time.
This was my first major project done on the treadle machine back in 1978. I lost the machine in the divorce, odd because she didn’t sew, and consequently didn’t have anything to sew with for many years.
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Just find a sewing machine at a thrift store and start, YouTube has many videos that will guide on all manner of projects. The older all metal machines are the best for power unless you come across a more industrial machine. Mistakes will be made, just like canoe building, but in this case a seam ripper is your friend.
Jim
 
Wow, lots of talented people here! How did you folks learn how to sew?

I kinda taught myself some years ago. I picked up a couple old machines for cheap. They needed a little work but it was pretty easy and helped me learn how they worked. I started by getting some patterns for stocking caps (that would be a toque to you) and sewed a ton of them. The patterns and instructions helped me pick up the basics and after making a few, and finding I didn't quite like the fit, I started modifying the patterns to better fit me and for thicker/thinner materials. This helped me figure out how to start making basic things without a pattern. By the time I was done sewing caps I had 2 that fit me well and 78 that ranged from baby to mongoloid size. These I gave away to every baby and mongoloid I came across. I also had the basics of sewing basic stuff down pretty well.

I had grand plans to sew up all kinds of canoeing and camping gear and bought a lot of the cloth to do it. I even managed to draw up plans for a couple of them. Then, as with most things I do, I suddenly dropped it and moved onto something else.

I did manage to make a lightweight nylon shoulder bag with pockets and pouches for day hikes. I wanted something small that wouldn't take up any room in a larger pack but that would give me enough room to carry a jacket, binocs, notebook, field guide, and a snack in case I wanted to go on a side hike without carrying the big pack. It turned out pretty well and was a fun exercise in layout and design.

Come on down to Iowa and I'll send you home with a couple sewing machines and enough cloth to make all kinds of fancy stuff (and a lot of toques). Actually, I'd probably find a lot more than that to send you home with. Bring the truck.

Alan
 
Lol, Alan, you never do anything half way. I do hope to make a tour of the States in the future, I'll trade you a bolonie cake for your sewing machines.
 
Here's sort of an atypical sewing project, an observation blind I sewed and placed 100 feet up in a tree to observe nesting owls (great gray owl sitting on nest in lower right). I sewed it out of retired waterproofed canvas--I don't advise that if you value your sewing machine. Lots of gunk sifting into the inner workings.
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^ So, how did you get up there? What are the dimensions of the blind?
 
I had a climbing rope--jumared up (mechanical ascenders that grip the rope) and rappelled down. The blind was about 40" square, a bit taller.
 
^ So, how did you get up there? What are the dimensions of the blind?
I had a climbing rope--jumared up (mechanical ascenders that grip the rope) and rappelled down. The blind was about 40" square, a bit taller.
 
The last things I sewed were 8 pair of bike shorts.
I had purchased a few yards of Coolmax, just before we sold our house. Last winter I stitched up 7 pair of shorts and one pair of longs.
Breathable and durable, with no padding (I prefer to develop calluses). If I bought these same shorts they would have cost $75 each, and had a pad that I wouldn’t want. Material was about $35.
I used to make my own outfits for actions figures (they’re NOT dolls) when I was a kid, didn’t have money to buy such things.
In years past I’ve sewn jackets, anoraks, saddlebags for the motorcycle.
 
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I sewed it out of retired waterproofed canvas--I don't advise that if you value your sewing machine. Lots of gunk sifting into the inner workings.
Thanks for the warning! I have a number of old no longer waterproof items waiting to be used for something else - hadn't thought about sewing machine consequences.
 
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