Author Topic: Sewing seeds of FI  (Read 984 times)

ontheheel

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Sewing seeds of FI
« on: August 29, 2017, 04:12:12 PM »
That's not a typo in the subject line.

A few years ago, I needed to have a patch sewn onto one of my uniforms, and I was fed up paying $4 per patch to have someone else do it and waiting 3-5 days to get it back. My wife had a starter sewing machine that she's never used, and I was determined to do it myself. I figured if YouTube could teach me to fix my car, it could teach me to sew!

That first experiment was a little messy, but I got the hang of it. Feeling my head grow 3x too big, I immediately took on making an ultralight down sleeping bag, which I still have, use, and love to this day. Over the years, more outdoor gear has been constructed from my own two hands, and all of my name tapes, rank insignia, and miscellaneous patches have been sewn onto my uniforms by myself.

I just spent a couple of weeks in the field with my battalion, and during the op, I accidentally cut a giant hole in the crotch of my trousers (way too close for comfort). Not wanting to show off my junk to an entire battalion of Marines, and unable to find my field sewing kit, I stapled my pants together...which lasted all of five minutes. I finally found a corpsman with a sewing kit who was generous enough to let me borrow it, and I did the best hand-stitched job I could on a high-stress area of the pants. It mostly held up through the rest of the op - didn't look pretty by the end, but was better than giving the world a peep show.

Once I got home, I whipped out the sewing machine, and stitched a tight seam that will endure for many years to come. It's not noticeable unless someone just happens to be closely staring at and studying my crotch...which would be pretty awkward.

End result? I spent $0, and about 10 minutes of my time vs. spending $45 for new trousers, $4 for a nametape, and $4 to have it sewn on, plus the time to drive to the PX to buy the pants, then another time to pick them up after having the tape sewn on. That nets about $53, plus the cost of gas and inconvenience of two hours of driving. Bonus: my sons (6 and 3) watched me do it and asked questions the whole time, getting a head start on learning a new skill.

Capt j-rod

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 161
Re: Sewing seeds of FI
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2017, 04:32:01 PM »
my buddy does upholstery work. I get to be the grunt. I tear it apart, pull staples, pattern and trace and cut out the new. I can sew good enough for me, but not to his standards. I'm getting there. We use it for a side gig. He does very well and has a pretty good back log. Saves me a ton on little jobs. I make bags and covers for all of my stuff. Everyone asks where I get them and can't believe I sew them myself.

nouveauRiche

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 304
  • Location: HCOL - USA
Re: Sewing seeds of FI
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2017, 11:51:09 AM »
This is so cool.  It's a great skill to have!

I love sewing but now only seem to have time for patching and fixing.

socaso

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 405
Re: Sewing seeds of FI
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2017, 03:18:23 PM »
I have been sewing over 20 years and my degree is related to sewing so I have a lot of experience. In my opinion is is very similar to woodworking in that you can achieve a very high level of skill that lots of people don't care to attain but EVERYONE should learn how hammer in a nail and do a few other basics. Bare minimum everyone should know how to sew on a button and fix a hem. The camping gear you mention is  a great example. Right now I have a tent waiting for a small repair and my husband's hiking shorts need a small repair in the seam

soccerluvof4

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2567
  • Location: Artic Midwest
  • Retired at 50
Re: Sewing seeds of FI
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2017, 04:39:38 AM »
I have been sewing over 20 years and my degree is related to sewing so I have a lot of experience. In my opinion is is very similar to woodworking in that you can achieve a very high level of skill that lots of people don't care to attain but EVERYONE should learn how hammer in a nail and do a few other basics. Bare minimum everyone should know how to sew on a button and fix a hem. The camping gear you mention is  a great example. Right now I have a tent waiting for a small repair and my husband's hiking shorts need a small repair in the seam




To your point my stepfather when I was growing up (German vs me being Italian) and i point that out because they had to learn trades not only was a carpenter but also sewed all the time. He mad half of my moms clothes growing up.  I missed out on those skills big time even though I helped him all the time. He was so talented and a great guy! The more of those things though you can learn the better.
" In life you don't get what you deserve you get what you negotiate"