Sewing tips needed

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#1
I am in the process of making some officer coats and I seem to be having a hard time with the shoulder insignia on the union coats. The insignia is so thick and imbedded with adhesive that its almost impossible to pass a needle through them. I know they make clothing adhesive in order to glue things on but I really wanted to attach them with thread. Any ideas?
 

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#4
I am in the process of making some officer coats and I seem to be having a hard time with the shoulder insignia on the union coats.
I've run into the same problem with an Indian Wars era uniform... try using an awl to 'pre-punch' the stitch holes along the edges of the shoulder board. I found it works quite well.

Good Luck!
I think it's fantastic that you make your own uniforms. I'm wildly impressed. It doesn't look easy at all.

JoeWheeler. My idea is for you to get a very understanding and talented wife to do the sewing for you. Why should you struggle? (Calm Down ladies, especially Eleanor and Lori Ann, I'm just kidding) L.O.L. :frantic:David.
I just happened to be in this thread when you typed this reply. :D *folds arms, taps toe, and tries to look stern*
❤️
 
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#6
JoeWheeler. My idea is for you to get a very understanding and talented wife to do the sewing for you. Why should you struggle? (Calm Down ladies, especially Eleanor and Lori Ann, I'm just kidding) L.O.L. :frantic:David.
Being a bachelor till the ripe old age of 35 I had to learn to sew very early. My wife, who I love very much, is wonderfully talented in many ways but sewing is not one of them. When she needs sewing done she brings it to me. When the mail lady delivered a new Singer to our front door last December she made the comment to my wife of how lucky she was to be getting it. My wife pointed to me standing behind her and said " It's not mine it's his." I'm 5'11" and weigh 270 with arms like Popeye and hands like a mule skinner so to say she look surprised is an understatement.:smile:
 
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#7
I used to make all my own uniforms. I learned to sew from my dad. He had been a career Navy chief, and he learned to sew as a necessity. So I picked it up myself. I was never much of a machine sewer, but an old pedal type machine is good for uniforms, they can still be had cheaply if one looks around.
 
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#8
Being a bachelor till the ripe old age of 35 I had to learn to sew very early. My wife, who I love very much, is wonderfully talented in many ways but sewing is not one of them. When she needs sewing done she brings it to me. When the mail lady delivered a new Singer to our front door last December she made the comment to my wife of how lucky she was to be getting it. My wife pointed to me standing behind her and said " It's not mine it's his." I'm 5'11" and weigh 270 with arms like Popeye and hands like a mule skinner so to say she look surprised is an understatement.:smile:
That's fantastic!

I've always thought that guys would dig a sewing machine, if only just for the "machine" nature of it. Both my father and my husband have requested to have a turn at my sewing machine at one time, and I think they were both simply curious about how it worked. Plus my husband loves to hear the hum of it while I'm working (it's much quieter than his workshop tools, that's for sure).

I've never had a Singer. Do you like yours? I'm a Janome girl. Because ya know...Janome is to love me. Har har.

:rolleyes:

*heads back to her personal spot in Bad Joke Corner*
 

captaindrew

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#9
I can sew a little, kind of a necessity for reenactors. I have a housewife (period sewing kit) in my haversack and I bet it comes out at every event for either me or help someone else with a button, blownout seem, or a small patch. Don't know how to use a machine. My sewing doesn't exactly look professional but it will work, I'd imagine would be the same for guys in the field at the time.
 
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#10
That's fantastic!

I've always thought that guys would dig a sewing machine, if only just for the "machine" nature of it. Both my father and my husband have requested to have a turn at my sewing machine at one time, and I think they were both simply curious about how it worked. Plus my husband loves to hear the hum of it while I'm working (it's much quieter than his workshop tools, that's for sure).

I've never had a Singer. Do you like yours? I'm a Janome girl. Because ya know...Janome is to love me. Har har.

:rolleyes:

*heads back to her personal spot in Bad Joke Corner*
I have a old Singer cabinet model (No foot pedal. I'm not that old) that I inherited from my mother-in-law and the new Singer. I like them both and have had good service out of them. I use the old one for the heavy stuff and the new one for the fancy stuff like buttonholes and embroidery. I made my own custom shirts for work by putting the company logo and name on them with the new machine. By the way, I liked your sewing machine joke.:smile: You should hear some of the bad ones I tell. S0metimes their so bad their good. Like why don't they play poker in the jungle? Too many Cheetahs.:bounce:
 
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#11
I made my own custom shirts for work by putting the company logo and name on them with the new machine.
Nice! I have yet to try making a shirt. And embroidered yet! I continue to be impressed.

That older Singer will probably just keep on truckin'. I've heard those were built to last.

Like why don't they play poker in the jungle? Too many Cheetahs.:bounce:
I see we're going to be Bad Joke Corner buddies. :laugh:
 
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#12
I can sew a little, kind of a necessity for reenactors. I have a housewife (period sewing kit) in my haversack and I bet it comes out at every event for either me or help someone else with a button, blownout seem, or a small patch. Don't know how to use a machine. My sewing doesn't exactly look professional but it will work, I'd imagine would be the same for guys in the field at the time.
I bet you would like the way the sewing machine works. It's pretty cool.

I started out quilting entirely by hand, piecing everything with a small sewing needle and thread. While it was relaxing and lovely and traditional and all, when I finally learned to use a machine, it was like someone just showered me with rainbows, glitter, and doughnuts. It was so flippin' fast, and I was over-the-moon happy.

That lovely visual from my brain aside *unicorn flies by* , I agree that rough hand sewing in the field is probably as authentic as it gets.
 
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#14
That is just about the mostest worstest joke I ever heard. Debating if I should borrow it from you.
Speaking of Bad Joke Corner buddy. :D You've got the bad joke thing pretty sewn up, don't you?

:nerd:

I'll just get some comfy recliners for Bad Joke Corner and order us all a couple of pizzas.
 

Mrs. V

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#15
I am in the process of making some officer coats and I seem to be having a hard time with the shoulder insignia on the union coats. The insignia is so thick and imbedded with adhesive that its almost impossible to pass a needle through them. I know they make clothing adhesive in order to glue things on but I really wanted to attach them with thread. Any ideas?
Wax your thread. That is how I do hand stitching on brocaded cloth.
 
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#17
Tailors in the Civil War era were very reluctant to use sewing machines. Therefore, officer coats (normally ordered from a tailor) should be hand sewn. If you don't care about authenticity, machine sewing would be OK for hidden seams. On the other hand, enlisted men's uniforms were mostly machine-sewn. The same is true for women's dresses. The long seams (joining the panels on the skirt, for example) might be done by the young girls in the family, though. Buttonholes should always be hand-sewn. Also, most early machines were straight-stitch only, so no zigzag, serving, or even backstitching to anchor the thread (tie a knot by hand instead). Hand techniques for gathering/gauging are far more efficient and can gather a lot more material than trying to gather via machine.

I wouldn't try to sew on those shoulder boards by machine. For one thing, they would have been sewn on by hand after promotions in the field. For another, the ones described above would break the sewing machine needle. No substitute for the awl!
 
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#20
Also, most early machines were straight-stitch only, so no zigzag, serving, or even backstitching to anchor the thread (tie a knot by hand instead).
That's interesting! How well does the knot work? Does the seam hold pretty well?
I've never found where serging has EVER served me well!:bounce:
I've not learned how to use a serger yet. I have to watch more demonstration videos on them to see if it's something I want to invest in. The end results look so neat, but they also look so...final.
 

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