Men's Day-To-Day Sewing Tips Survival Guide

This day-to-day survival guide to sewing for men shares sewing tips featuring the five specialized sewing needles needed for repairs.

| July/August 1971

  • 010-056-01_02
    Saddle seam: This vertical joint is stronger, more waterproof and lasts longer than a butt seam.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 010-056-01_01
    Types Of Seams: For all practical purposes there are only three major types of seams found in garments and footwear. Types Of Stitches: It stands to reason you can't be too fancy when you're using a big needle and heavy thread. These four, basic, simple stitches are all you'll need.Butt seam: Two pieces of material meet head-on.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 010-055-01_01
    The five essential sewing needles for sewing survival: bookbinders needle, packing needle, carpet needle, sailmakers needle, and curved needle. 
    ILLUSTRATION: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 010-056-01_03
    Lap seam: In fabric, two pieces of cloth merely overlap. For footwear, the overlapping pieces of leather are often tapered for a better-looking fit.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 010-056-01a_02
    Crossover stitch: Simplest stitch of all and useful in any recycling sewing.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 010-056-01a_01
    Straight stitch: Suitable only for lightweight fabrics, this stitch is fairly weak and not very permanent.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 010-056-01a_03
    Cross stitch: Good for light leather and virtually any fabric. Great holding strength.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 010-056-01a_04
    Blanket stitch: Each stitch is "locked" by a semi-knot. Thus, the seam can break or come apart only one stitch at a time. An excellent stitch for any material
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 010-057-01_01
    Parts of a shoe, areas for repair using specialized sewing needles.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 010-059-01_01
    Step-by-step instructions on constructing an awl.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 010-058-01
    A step-by-step method for sewing on new leather half-soles.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

  • 010-056-01_02
  • 010-056-01_01
  • 010-055-01_01
  • 010-056-01_03
  • 010-056-01a_02
  • 010-056-01a_01
  • 010-056-01a_03
  • 010-056-01a_04
  • 010-057-01_01
  • 010-059-01_01
  • 010-058-01

Possibly the greatest "tool" buy in the world today is an old-timey bargain package of five strange-looking needles. You can find this packet in most dime or drug stores—Singer calls the assortment their "5 hand sewing needles"—and it sells for just thirty cents.

These man-sized instruments (at 3 to 4 inches in length, they're twice the size of regular sewing needles) can make virtually anyone an expert in the repair and recycling of worn and discarded gloves, shoes, jackets, blankets, mats, belts, knapsacks, heavy pants and shirts.

The kit contains (according to Singer) a bookbinder's needle, packing needle, carpet needle, sailmakers needle and curved needle. Armed with this assortment and the proper thread, any man should be capable of repairing and recycling a good 90% or more of any damaged, worn or weatherbeaten leather and heavy fabric goods that he'll ever own.

You'll also find that trashmongering takes on another wonderful dimension once you've mastered these five needles. Suddenly, you're able to resew and reuse all those discarded leather and heavy fabric items—even odd gloves, shoes and boots—that you've been passing by.



Basic survival sewing, as I practice it, breaks down into three classifications: [I] Items in which a needle can make new holes (lighter leathers, fabrics, vinyls, etc.), [2] Items in which the needle uses holes already made (heavy fabrics, heavy leather and shoes) and [3] Items in which new holes are made with an awl (some fabrics, leathers and many types of shoe repair).

Lightweight Sewing

For years, I've used Coats & Clark's button and carpet extra strong thread for lightweight sewing. It's twice as strong and durable as the thread normally used to sew jeans, levis and most types of jackets.





Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).


Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters