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


Saddle seam: This vertical joint is stronger, more waterproof and lasts longer than a butt seam.


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.

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