If you wish to start at the beginning of this series, go here.
What if you found yourself in a situation of need to sew something as an emergency repair, a patch or even in the act of making something? “Oh, I would get my electric sewing machine out” you say. But what if there is no electric power available, whether through temporary outage, circuit failure within the home or out in the grid? “Well, then I would use my treadle sewing machine” you say. Oh, come on, you don’t really have a treadle sewing machine do you? And even if you did, it has also been destroyed by something more serious like it is buried under the wreckage of your home following a tornado, tsunami, superstorm, fire, flood, earthquake or volcanic activity. So, what now do you do?
I will tell you. You retrieve from your readiness storage or emergency bag, your SPEEDY STITCHER Sewing Awl, and get straight to work because you were prepared for just such an eventuality. Well done!
With your sewing awl, which takes up very little space and is quite light in weight, you can perform construction, repair, patching and strengthening on materials both light and probably heavier than your electric machine would not even have been able to touch, using a genuine lock-stitch action.
This is an American product with a vintage dating back to 1909 but it is also available in Australia and I expect most other countries through outlets like eBay and Amazon. I bought mine (and a number of other useful gadgets which I propose to reveal here) from a local online shop called Fusion Gear. I think it was about A$22 but you may be able to find cheaper elsewhere. I bought parts from a couple of sites because I found that the kits for sale did not always contain identical components so shop around until you like what you see.
The kit I bought came with a couple of different size needles and a full spool of white thread which appears to be unwaxed and therefore of not mush use for outside tasks. To enhance the usefulness and resilience of this product I also opted to purchase an additional set of six different size needles and an extra spool of tan coloured waxed thread.
This is a very useful tool for emergencies such as tent repairs, tarps, outdoor clothing, or for regular but heavy duty work at home.
The thread spools are the bulkiest part of the kit but you may find that you can leave them at home base when traveling on short journeys. There should be enough thread on the internal spool inside the wooden handle for most emergency repairs. Or you may have a spare spool laying around that you could fill up or maybe use just a small length of dowel.
I keep my extra needles wrapped in a small snap-lock plastic bag rolled up and inserted inside the centre tube of the extra thread I bought. Know where they are and shouldn’t lose them from there.
The actual awl fits nicely inside the other thread spool which is one of the tapered variety and hides the nasty sharp end of the needle, meaning that the awl can be safely stored ready for immediate action.
Just suppose… you find a need for a length of strong waxed thread. With this kit in your readiness store, that is another problem already solved. “Why would I need a piece of strong waxed thread”? How about to tie around your finger to remind you to buy more thread (or anything else). Or, as I did the other day, to create a nocking point on my bow string for correct arrow positioning (but that’s another story).
Note: This is an example of how I intend to work on this series from now on. See a problem, find a solution, where possible, and give advice, if able.