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#194505 - 03/24/16 05:52 PM Sewing help!!!! Backpack project not going well
jrigg Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/08/16
Posts: 11
Loc: Indiana
I know I posted on this a little while back, but any help would be great.

Im working on a backpack project using older tent nylon with really no luck. As of now I am taking a bit of a break. I have been trouble shooting and testing all day and it took me all day to get one good decent stitch. I finally folded tissue paper inside my hem just to get it to be thick enough to help me fold and hem a edge.

so, I have tried the tissue paper trick, not so great for me. I also bought some really light weight batting and its too light weight I think to work with. Just to help sew the nylon together.

I don't understand what I am missing! I see guys on youtube making quilts and hammocks with material way thinner than mine with no hassel what so ever. I turnd down my presser foot tension, and it does not seem to help. The nylon is just too thin. But I can create a perfect stitch just.

So I am thinking about heading to walmart and geting some craft foam for some of the project. It is super light weight and it may give me a decent, or a better bating, or maybe some felt material to just help me form a hem. My machine is a little on the older side, but only used a few times, and it is pretty basic. ANy how, anyone use any batting out there for their projects. I was trying to avoid using it so save weight. < but its not working. I mya ring try the tissue paper again here in a few to see in smaller samples to see if I can use it and tear it away better.

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#194508 - 03/24/16 06:14 PM Re: Sewing help!!!! Backpack project not going well [Re: jrigg]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1733
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
It may be the fabric you are trying to use. A lot of aged coated nylon can get gummy and gummy, sticky fabric can be nearly impossible to sew because it drags on the thread and needle. Try sewing some non-coated fabric (like an old sheet). If your machine can handle this then your trouble is likely with the old tent fabric. You may need to rethink the economy of repurposing an old tent.
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#194509 - 03/24/16 06:27 PM Re: Sewing help!!!! Backpack project not going well [Re: Pika]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6391
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I agree--urethane-coated nylon deteriorates relatively quickly. I suspect it's gumming up your needle. IMHO, using cheap (or free) fabric usually comes back to bite you. When you consider the blood, toil, tears, and sweat that go into a DIY project, it's worth using fabric that will last, not fabric that's undoubtedly on the verge of deteriorating if it hasn't already.

I also recommend making up a "rough draft" of the pack in a cheap material (cheap muslin or, as Pika suggested, old sheet). That way you know it's what you want and, especially, that it fits. Then go out and buy some good stuff, like Dyneema, that will last long enough to make the effort you're spending on the project worth while. I've been through this with clothing.

While at Walmart, look for a small remnant of nylon ripstop (I've been told they carry it) to practice. If your machine works on that (with a new needle), you'll definitely know it's the old urethane coating.

As I stated in response to your previous post, don't forget to change your sewing machine needle frequently, like every 4-5 hours, when sewing nylon! Nylon, polyester and other silk-like fabrics (as well as silk) dull a needle really fast!

Good luck!



Edited by OregonMouse (03/24/16 06:30 PM)
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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#194510 - 03/24/16 06:59 PM Re: Sewing help!!!! Backpack project not going well [Re: OregonMouse]
jrigg Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/08/16
Posts: 11
Loc: Indiana
Has anyone tried to make anything out of a old tarp material. Like the woven kind. I have a tarp here I can do some tests with. Before I go and spend extra $$$$$ on fabric. I am trying to think of lighter weight materials that are easy to obtain and make things from. I have even her people use feed sacks for super ultra light stuff.

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#194512 - 03/24/16 07:20 PM Re: Sewing help!!!! Backpack project not going well [Re: jrigg]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6391
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
If the old tarp is urethane coated nylon, which it probably is, you'll have eactly the same problem with deteriorating coating.

Cheap muslin (bleached or unbleached, doesn't matter) runs $2 per yard at JoAnn's and you can usually find a 40% off coupon. You shouldn't need more than 2 yards to make a mockup of your pack to test for fit.

A small remnant of ripstop nylon (just enough to test your machine) shouldn't cost more than $2. You only need a small piece, enough to test stitch on your machine.

Again, with the amount of work you put into a project, it's worth getting good fabric so that your many hours of work aren't down the tubes in a year or two. It's still a lot cheaper than buying a new pack.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#194513 - 03/24/16 07:42 PM Re: Sewing help!!!! Backpack project not going well [Re: jrigg]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 640
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
If you haven't already, try the following.

*Re-thread the machine top and bottom.
*Change the needle.
*Clean and oil the machine.
*Check the tension on the bobbin. There should be a small adjustment screw.

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#194523 - 03/25/16 01:00 PM Re: Sewing help!!!! Backpack project not going well [Re: jrigg]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3570
Loc: Texas
Ironing the hem before sewing makes all the difference. Don't try to fold and sew in one motion...if it works at all, it will be uneven.
I use a Eurosteam steamer/iron that won't harm ANY fabrics, but makes a nice sharp crease in the hem.
A normal steam iron works fine, just make sure the setting is on low, and only iron the hem, no more. Test on scrap to make sure of heat range. You are only ironing no more than the seam allowance on your fabric. Keep the iron off the main body of the fabric...it can damage some coatings, but doesn't matter on the hem.

Try ironing your hems/seams before sewing. I think you'll be happier camper. grin


Edited by Dryer (03/25/16 01:01 PM)
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#194524 - 03/25/16 01:41 PM Re: Sewing help!!!! Backpack project not going well [Re: Dryer]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6391
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Sorry I didn't think of that! A Dritz seam guide (metal plate with measurements for both straight and curved surfaces) is a big help, or make your own out of pasteboard. Actually, the pasteboard version might be better as the metal can overheat.

Better to press (up and down motion only, no sideways) than iron. Ironing (moving the iron sideways) can distort the fabric.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#194525 - 03/25/16 01:58 PM Re: Sewing help!!!! Backpack project not going well [Re: OregonMouse]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3570
Loc: Texas
"Better to press (up and down motion only, no sideways) than iron. Ironing (moving the iron sideways) can distort the fabric."

Semantics. LOL grin That's the point I was trying to make...stay on the seam allowance only!!
I will say, after 40 years of sewing using a normal steam iron, the Eurosteam has been a gift from heaven. Stretchy synthetics that normally won't take a set, make sharp creases under the steam press.
That and heat tacking (instantaneous and no pins or pin holes!) have sped things up enormously.
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

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#194527 - 03/25/16 03:43 PM Re: Sewing help!!!! Backpack project not going well [Re: Dryer]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6391
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I know, it's semantics, but it's something I recently learned the hard way!
lol
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#194543 - 03/26/16 01:27 PM Re: Sewing help!!!! Backpack project not going well [Re: jrigg]
jagertruppen Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/26/16
Posts: 1
why not buy a military issued light weight backpack
it will outlast the nylon cheaply made junk at walmart

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#194565 - 03/27/16 04:45 PM Re: Sewing help!!!! Backpack project not going well [Re: jagertruppen]
prussicnot Offline
member

Registered: 05/06/03
Posts: 124
Loc: Lynchburg, VA
I'm pretty successful sewing, and I rely on fabric glue and proper attachments for the machine. Glue can supposedly gum up the needle and other works, but I haven't had a problem. Glue those seams! And setting the crease with heat does help a lot.
_________________________
"Progress might have been all right once, but it has gone on too long." Ogden Nash

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#194637 - 03/30/16 09:42 AM Re: Sewing help!!!! Backpack project not going well [Re: jagertruppen]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Originally Posted By jagertruppen
why not buy a military issued light weight backpack
it will outlast the nylon cheaply made junk at walmart


Because there is no such thing as a lightweight military issue pack.
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I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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