Author Topic: After all years sewing. Which part do you still hate/suck in doing  (Read 790 times)

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TuffPossumGear

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Re: After all years sewing. Which part do you still hate/suck in doing
« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2018, 04:42:49 AM »
YES!!!! putting zippers on coil. Not fun.


Cutting days aren't my favorite that is for sure.

Build yourself a zipper fork. (Or pay $40 for a bent piece of metal) It's life changing if you're doing a lot of zippers. Heck, even if you only do them occasionally. I used to spend 5min to get one pull on sometimes. And now it's effortless with a fork.

Oh, my. Looks like I am going to be taking a hacksaw and file to some aluminum bar stock. Thank you!!!

essal

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Re: After all years sewing. Which part do you still hate/suck in doing
« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2018, 08:26:14 AM »
I'm surprised that so many of you struggle with zippers... I do it pretty much every day, in all kinds of sizes from #3 to #10, in regular, reversed, reversed coated, invisible and with locking and non-locking sliders in various combos up to 4 sliders per zipper and while at times it can be fiddly, but it's not the part that sucks or eats time in my world.

Hate:
- Repairs/Modifications. The client has 0 idea about the stuff involved in repairs or modification, so you can't make money on it. And it sucks to pop out year old dirty thread. But I don't do repairs or modifications because I hate it.
- Cutting. Holy fucking hell cutting by hand sucks. Especially for bigger projects or batch cutting. Everything sucks to cut in it's own way, but light fabrics that fray in the wind are the absolute worst.
- Production sewing. Unless you have a crew of friends and tons of beer, anything more than a batch of 2 drives me crazy.

Suck at:
- Coverstitching without spending a lot of time preparing it. If you miss the edge that is supposed to be covered, the only way to make it nice is to start over.
- Threading flatlock machines.
- Work at home on my own projects after a day at work.
Nora Tactical
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GoBliNuke

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Re: After all years sewing. Which part do you still hate/suck in doing
« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2018, 10:39:05 AM »
All routine things make me feel blue. Maybe even deep blue, hihi. PALs stitiching, long stitches, adjusting part one to another. But perhaps it is so just because sewing is a hobby for me, and I'm trying to keep it in status of hobby. The greatest point in sewing is a moment of creation, or oeuvre. All moments distant from creation is boring.

Gear Dynamics

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Re: After all years sewing. Which part do you still hate/suck in doing
« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2018, 03:59:23 PM »
This thread is making me depressed  :-\

Hate:

- Sewing repetitive batches. 2,3,4 is fine, but over 20 sucks. I find music and good preparation/organization to be helpful. Timing yourself/setting goals also keeps it more interesting. You really find out which designs have too many assembly steps!

- Cutting fabric/webbing by hand. For one or two items itís no problem, but production cutting needs to be done by machines. Laser for fabrics, especially complex shapes, and auto webbing cutter for narrow materials.

Suck at:

- Allocating product development time. Every small business needs to manage time effectively, but I find itís hard to set enough aside specifically for perusing new ideas. Often the process of developing a new product takes a tremendous amount of time and effort, with very little short-term return. Rushing the process can lead to substandard products and potential issues in the long run.

Bootcat

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Re: After all years sewing. Which part do you still hate/suck in doing
« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2018, 10:53:53 PM »
Sewing old stuff designed before the laser cutter arrived.. but I can see how much progress I've made design-wise since then. Still it feels embarassing.

SunriseTacticalGear

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Re: After all years sewing. Which part do you still hate/suck in doing
« Reply #20 on: June 08, 2018, 07:11:23 AM »
On my list of things I donít like to do:

Top stitching after turning right side out, it can be a pain to get the fabric to fold next to the seam line when using 1,000d with 1,000 d. I currently use a long flat screwdriver shoved in the product to coax the seam out.

Repairing old gear, because of ripping old dirty stitches out and then trying to put it back together when the binding feels like it either grew or shrunk. Also because the customer has no idea how much time it takes to modify their gear, for that reason I rarely do these jobs and when I do, itís only only for family or close friends. (Which further reduces my chance of getting paid). LOL

Cutting intricate parts out of fabric, pre-laser. After the laser purchase it was the time consuming part of learning CAD and replicating my existing patterns.

I have a love/hate relationship for repetitive jobs. I time myself for each operation to help stay motivated because a simple one minute operation on a 300 piece order is five hours. Which I recently came to realize while working on my largest order to date.
Scott

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Re: After all years sewing. Which part do you still hate/suck in doing
« Reply #21 on: June 08, 2018, 09:16:10 PM »
Scott,

When it comes to turning and topstitching, try using a seam ripper to "pull" out the seam. I find pulling out around 6" at a time, then pressing the seam flat, then topstitching works quite well.

I can shoot a video and post on YT if anyone would be interested in this.

-Dan

stimpy

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Re: After all years sewing. Which part do you still hate/suck in doing
« Reply #22 on: June 09, 2018, 09:31:40 AM »
If you have the time for it, why not.
It could always benefit someone. If not now, maybe in the future

Stone

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Re: After all years sewing. Which part do you still hate/suck in doing
« Reply #23 on: June 10, 2018, 06:49:52 PM »

SunriseTacticalGear

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Re: After all years sewing. Which part do you still hate/suck in doing
« Reply #24 on: June 10, 2018, 11:00:27 PM »
Thanks Dan,
I will try this in the future.
Scott

bravodelta

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Re: After all years sewing. Which part do you still hate/suck in doing
« Reply #25 on: June 11, 2018, 04:53:45 PM »
hate:
I hate sewing molle...I dont have a bartac so it all triple stitch and is just too time consuming with setting everything up, keeping it aligned and then cutting all the thread..hate it

suck at:
tape...still going it by hand :(
As a sysadmin my next project is to network my sewing machine.

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ultimind

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Re: After all years sewing. Which part do you still hate/suck in doing
« Reply #26 on: June 11, 2018, 08:59:17 PM »
hate:
I hate sewing molle...I dont have a bartac so it all triple stitch and is just too time consuming with setting everything up, keeping it aligned and then cutting all the thread..hate it

suck at:
tape...still going it by hand :(

Even a cheap $20 ebay binding attachment will be a godsend over doing it by hand. Still no replacement for a proper setup but it'll get the job done especially if you're not doing any curves.

Corvus

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Re: After all years sewing. Which part do you still hate/suck in doing
« Reply #27 on: June 21, 2018, 03:30:13 PM »
I'm surprised that so many of you struggle with zippers... I do it pretty much every day, in all kinds of sizes from #3 to #10, in regular, reversed, reversed coated, invisible and with locking and non-locking sliders in various combos up to 4 sliders per zipper and while at times it can be fiddly, but it's not the part that sucks or eats time in my world.

Hate:
- Repairs/Modifications. The client has 0 idea about the stuff involved in repairs or modification, so you can't make money on it. And it sucks to pop out year old dirty thread. But I don't do repairs or modifications because I hate it.
- Cutting. Holy fucking hell cutting by hand sucks. Especially for bigger projects or batch cutting. Everything sucks to cut in it's own way, but light fabrics that fray in the wind are the absolute worst.
- Production sewing. Unless you have a crew of friends and tons of beer, anything more than a batch of 2 drives me crazy.

Suck at:
- Coverstitching without spending a lot of time preparing it. If you miss the edge that is supposed to be covered, the only way to make it nice is to start over.
- Threading flatlock machines.
- Work at home on my own projects after a day at work.


I do a lot of zipper slider replacements and also find them to be pretty straight forward. I've looked at the jigs a bit and just can't bring myself to pay that much for something I can do easily by hand. May have to explore making one though.

Your observations about doing repairs are accurate except for not being able to make money off of it.

Customers definitely don't know what it takes to repair stuff - often it requires almost complete deconstruction and rebuilding. To mitigate that naivety, I often provide a brief description of the process in my estimate something along the lines of:
 
"I've inspected your pack for repair and will be able to repair the shoulder strap for $100. This will include removing the internal binding tape, removing main structural stitching for all layers of the pack around the repair, removing the shoulder strap from the pack, adding new reinforcing material to the strap, reinserting the strap and aligning all layers, restitching all layers and applying new binding tape. I will be able to complete the repairs and will return them to you (or one of my drop off locations) on XX date. Please let me know if you approve these repairs and I will get them started. Thanks."

I've had really good success with this type of communication.

I also find that people balk when I provide an estimate for alterations to high end technical gear. One guy said to me that he could by a new pair of pants with the features he wanted for close to my estimate and the cost of the pants needing alteration or modification. I told him that makes sense due to differences in wages, overhead and cost savings that come with offshore, high quantity production. He is paying me for American labor and overhead, figuring out the design considerations and process for the one off modification and taking the risk of cutting up a $400 pair of pants. I totally understand if he wants to go buy the pair of pants that have the features he wanted in the first place.
From my end, the margin I would make on this type of work is likely small due to the fully custom nature and having no reference for time estimates.

The key to making money on repairs is, like production work, knowing the time it takes for each process, having systems and tooling to increase efficiency, and knowing what your time is worth or what you need to make to operate a profitable business. Being able to do repairs that are low cost (in time and materials) but high value is a huge benefit. saving someones $500 goretex jacket for $20 with a new zipper slider that took five minutes to install with a $0.15 cent slider seams like a deal to the customer, and the margin is quite good. The same is true for seam taping tears on goretex, with the right tools it is a huge margin and incredible value to the customer. It also appears you have magical skills for something that is a low skill process. Ultimately knowing what time it will take you to do the repairs comes from doing a lot of the same type of repairs, so it makes total sense that if you aren't doing them a lot, you might under quote or bill and have a harder time estimating.

There is a pretty large community of outdoor gear repair companies, many small, but a number of larger operations that are thriving across North America currently. I stopped production work because I was making more revenue doing repairs, and while my repair business is young and I am currently doing a lot of reinvestment in the company, I am confident that the numbers play out for a profitable business. For example I am currently on track to double last years revenue.

Just another perspective I guess.



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