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  1. Excellent advice. I would add that a person who wants an even more durable repair with straps or leather could use wire to as the binding material. Stronger and if the holes are pre-drilled, don’t even require a needle to thread though them. A small pair of jewelry pliers does make this much easier to accomplish.

    Thanks for the article.

  2. Good stuff. And it’s important to start sewing by hand or treadle machine now if you don’t have experience.
    We have lived in our bug out location for 3 years using everyday the skills we’ve learned. My wife has used only a treadle machine for two years. She’s gotten pretty good.

  3. Every Sewing Kit should include a Sewing Awl https://www.amazon.com/AWL-SEWING-KIT-STEWART-MfrPartNo/dp/B0049W6XRE/ref=sr_1_1?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1510929614&sr=8-1&keywords=SEW110-BRK/?tag=survivalcom-20 It’s the easiest and fastest way for small repairs on leather, tarp, and other heavy material. Every family member above the age of ten should learn how to sew with an awl. Young teens really enjoy mastering this skill. Sewing awls have even been used by DIY veterinarians to stitch up cuts on cattle and horses.

  4. If you want your original pattern to last, buy tracing paper and copy pattern to it. You may have to tape several pieces together of the tracing paper. lay tracing paper on top and copy all to the tracing paper. And it stores easier than paper, but don’t give the paper up.
    Make sleeve garters. It will help keep sleeve up even when rolled.
    Learn all the hand sewing you can. As the ones on a low income budget can’t afford a treadle. French seems will be time well taken up to make a garment stronger.
    Do not loan your scissors out. Others, even good friends, do not take the same care as you do.
    collect as much as you can now.

  5. Great advice!! I buy a lot of my sewing stockpile from a store similar to Goodwill. I have found bags of zippers for $1, lots of partially used thread spools, needles, etc., for pennies. Also consider fabric glue!

    1. For heavier fabrics like canvas a sailors palm is invaluable,you can’t be strong enough to sew through multiple layers without one(sailed on a sail training ship that hand sewed all the sails,work was inpossible without one).

  6. I would like to play devils advocate when it comes to things like clothing. One only has to visit their local thrift shop to get a picture of the over consumption in our Country. I believe that coupled with the mass die off that inevitability will happen, there wont be any shortages of clothing, blankets, housewares, outdated electronics or children’s toys. They may not be the latest and greatest, or made of your favorite fabric, But you can be sure there will be mountains of outdated and discarded items, and with thinning crowds, the selection goes up.

    We live are a consuming society. and an unhealthy population. when we all start dying off, the selection will go up. yes its a bit of a morbid thought, But I think people will be focused on food, clean water, medical and energy.. the rest is low hanging fruit.

  7. With all the emphasis on high tech this, and night vision that, in the prepper community, it’s almost funny to point out that one of the mandatory components in every soldiers ruck sack, is a small sewing kit.

    We used them often. Even older winter BDU’s would get ripped on woodland patrols, and I can’t imagine how often such a kit would be needed now that much of our clothing and gear is being made in China at the lowest possible price point. Just having a small sewing kit with you might end up being priceless.

  8. I couldn’t agree more: Learn to sew then stock buttons, zippers, scissors, modern thread (not old cotton thread on wooden spools, it will rot), metal snaps and hooks and eyes, bias tape, etc. Browse a fabric store to get an idea of what are needful things. Someone in your group must know how to sew.

    A few years ago, I read the question: Which will last longer after 50 years? A pair of new boots that is saved and stored away or a pair worn frequently, cleaned, taken care of? The answer is neither, they both will rot out or be unwearable due to heat, cold, humidity, bugs, rodents, whatever.

    Maybe we should be growing flax for linen, cotton, raising sheep, learning to tan hides. In 50 years, the survivors will need more fabric.

  9. Two things. First – I repeat the recommendation for a sewing awl. You can do a lot more with one than you might think – just not as fast as a good machine. Second – I was shocked when I recently hit the local Hobby Lobby to get some “carpet thread” and nobody – even the supposed manager for that section – had never heard of it and had no idea what I meant, even after I explained that I needed to repair some gear. I ended up with the strongest thread they had, but it wasn’t carpet thread or anything close. If you find what you need, buy plenty.

  10. I do not like the modern sewing machines that are made of plastic and have a billion stitch options loaded into an internal computer. I shop thrift stores for the old metal machines and take them to a local repairman, which are getting harder and harder to find. I may need to learn how to repair them myself. The old metal machines may or may not even have a zig zag, but they are work horses. They will last for a very long time and take lots of abuse. I even have a treadle machine. I also know how to hand sew and have the materials to do so.

  11. Good stuff. Suggestion: keep a supply of 4″ high quality Zip-ties (aka Cable-ties) in your home maintenance/ repair kit and elsewhere, as an alternative or addition to the wire suggested by “anonymous”. Especially when time is limited, by using the awl you suggested to open or widen holes for the zip-tie to pass through you can make sturdy, long-lasting repairs in just moments. They might not make for the most beautiful or artistic repairs, but zip-ties work well and are relatively quite strong. A supply of 1000 of the 4″ black ones costs under $10 on Amazon, that’s about a penny apiece, and you’ll think they’re priceless when you need them. Stash a dozen of them in your sewing kit and wherever else you think you might need to effect a temporary repair.

  12. Mom, I just posted this on my facebook and added that if it wasn’t for my required 8th grade Home Economics class I would never have started sewing. That wonderful lady was Mrs. Cleaver. My second teacher was the Marine Corps and having to fix uniform blow outs and gear hiccups. Love this article and wish the link for part 2 did not take me back to part one.!!

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