ok......"LADIES"........help "Clueless" males select a Basic Sewing Kit for SHTF

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Sourdough

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Guess we should call this the BSK for (basic sewing "kit").
I had no idea that Amazon.com offered so many sewing kits.....and they are cheap.
Amazon.com : sewing kit for adults
 

Grimm

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I have been building sewing kits from scratch for the girls over the course of several years. Depending on what you what to repair or sew your supplies will vary.

Here is what I have in my home hand sewing kit and the girls' kits...

  • Darning egg or mushroom (good for fixing socks or curves/rounded clothing)
  • Needles of all sizes and thicknesses (for the beginner get a pack of high quality all purpose and a pack of high quality glove/sail needles) I recommend gold eye needles by Clover
  • Various thread types in a plethora of colors (For a JustInCase kit upholstery thread and a good all purpose thread are all you need)
  • Scissors or thread snips I recommend a high quality pair like Ginghers if you can afford them or Fiskars for a sharp pair just for sewing
  • Straight pins or brass safety pins - Brass safety pins since they are normally made from cheap metal that rusts fasts. Sewing straight pins are of a better metal but the better quality and the sharper they are the less pronounced the holes will be once removed.
  • Emery pincushion to sharpen needles and pins
  • Magnetic pin dish to prevent your pins from going everywhere when dropped or bumped (Yes, you can use the cheap magnetic parts dish from Harbor Freight. I do!)
  • Cloth tape measure
  • Tailor chalk for marking patterns or areas that need to be repaired
  • Heat adhesive patches (These are good for fixing jeans without putting a rainbow unicorn patch over the hole 🤪 )
 

Grimm

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  • Needle threaders of various types and LOTS of them if they are the wire variety- they break easy!
 

backlash

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OK, I'm not a lady but I'll give you my thoughts.
Like a lot of premade kits for anything, they are probably not stocked with useful stuff.
Most of the stuff will be of poor quality and there will be a lot of things you won't use.
I would get a military sewing kit.
That should cover 99% of your needs in a SHTF situation.
I wouldn't worry about getting all the colors. Black, brown, and white should cover it. Buttons, a good pair of scissors, and a needle threader will be handy for folks with old eyes.
I have used staples and duct tape in a pinch. Just don't staple a pair of dress white trousers and expect to pass an inspection. The inspecting officer was not amused and the guy that tried it stood a lot of surprise inspections. It was NOT me.
 

Neb

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Did I miss a mention of curved needles?

Larger one to sew a rug or a tear in a tent wall. Smaller one if you have to close a wound.

Ben
 

Sourdough

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Did I miss a mention of curved needles?
There was also no mention of a sweet "Seventy'something" female master seamstress, with a burning desire to to reside in Alaska wilderness.
 

Rebecca

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My 2 cents even though it's been well covered above. This is for real basic shtf clothing repair..its not to make things pretty.

Needles...and not the tiny tiny ones. And a few bigger ones like upholstery needles

Thread..not the cheapest stuff that will break just by looking at it. As mentioned above just a few colors. Black, beige, dark green for example. Personally I won't don't see much need for pink etc if we are talking SHTF. Also remember you can be creative with thread. I have used thin fishing line to repair a canvas bag that kept pulling apart. It ain't pretty but it did a fine job.

A thimble or 10

A needle threader or 10. Forget old eyes..mine don't like threading tiny needles either.

Pins..again not the cheap nasty ones. They will bend, break or rust just by looking at them.

Buttons and velcro.

Very sharp scissors

If you are only planning repairs you could get away with just this or make a much better kit like Grimm outlined. If you want to make clothing from bolts of cloth you will need other things like tape measures and chalk etc.
 

Grimm

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There was also no mention of a sweet "Seventy'something" female master seamstress, with a burning desire to to reside in Alaska wilderness.
Sail or glove needles are curved.

I am 41 and come with 2 daughters...and a husband! ;)

Remember I am a costumer and can hand sew better than most and machine sew fast.
 

Grimm

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jazzy

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ill tell you what i did, i went to amazon and got a few medium size travel sewing kits , the kind that zipper up. at ;east as big as my hand then i fixed them the way i needed.

i dont need fancy color thread, and i actually prefer the stronger stuff--i t used to be called 'carpet thread', i added oner light and one dark. then some Big Eye needles that i can work with cause i have to use these ugly bug eye magnifier glasses--i need big eye needles. then i put in 5-6 big diaper pins----the colored tops help me see them--but you can just get some safety pins. very handy to have to hold things together til one can take some time later to make repairs. i added one of those lighted tweezers with a magnifier on it and tossed in a leather thimble. i used to quilt years ago and found them easy to work with when needing to shove a needle thru some tough fabric.

then i added in one of those little tubes they call 'eye glass repair kit'. and a large stainless steel toe nail clipper, the kind with the swing out file. i dont need fancy stuff, i want simple.

i made up a few of these packs to have extra.
 

LadyLocust

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I agree with the others - the first thing I would probably do is pull the thread out and put it in the donation box. A few basic colors of good quality thread. Not sure what's in the military sewing kit, but I'd guess pretty basic and effective.
 

Sourdough

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Sourdough

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I would get one of these.
Upholstery Repair Kit, Leather Sewing Repair Kit
I agree.........for my needs and my applications, that is a better choice. I will hope you and others can open this link Amazon.com : leather upholstery repair kit and give some advice on which to choose.

At 75 y/o and going blind, it is highly unlikely I'll ever need a sewing kit, beyond the ones I currently own. I "LOATH" money. I crave and cherish being in possession of things I might someday need or use. Wealth to me is things I can See or Touch or Sleep Inside Of.........and even better yet if it is eatable.
 

Sourdough

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$7.88 for this Amazon.com: HONG 111 Leather Craft Repair Kit 29-Pack, Upholstery Repair Tool Kit Leather Hand Sewing Needles Canvas Thread and Needles Tape Measure Large-Eye Stitching Needles for Leather Repair

Delivered to the bottom of my mountain in Alaska for $7.88
Talk about something to own 3 or 5 of for trading post SHTF.

So.........I just ordered (2) Two sets and I can cache one set and have one at the cabin. Cost me .99 cents with using some points............. Item(s) Subtotal:$15.76Shipping & Handling:$0.00 -----Total before tax:$15.76Estimated tax to be collected:$0.48Rewards Points:-$15.25 -----Grand Total:$0.99

Others may Loath Amazon.com but they don't live in wilderness Alaska. I think this is just insane to get two of these kits delivered for that price. I would bet that in Anchorage, Alaska those same kits would be "about" $19.99 "EACH".
 
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Weedygarden

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There are many great suggestions here. I would like to add a couple.
I have done lots of sewing in my life. Needles disappear, no matter how hard you try to keep track of them. I think in the olden days, a single needle was kept for years. My grandmother would probably be shocked at how many needles I've gone through in my life. There are kits of sewing needles. I am not talking about the specialized needles that have been talked about for leather, etc. I have seen these needle kits at Walmart for around $1 and the same kind of kit is more around $4 at Joanes Fabric stores.

Grim mentioned needle threaders. I used to thread my grandmothers needles and now I understand why. There are the needle threaders that are thin wires and they do break easily. In the last few years there is a newer kind that is much sturdier. I have a couple and like them.assorted-sewing-needle-set-heirloom-quality-original-imafbq9rhhm6zgcd.jpegneedle threader.jpg
 

Sourdough

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You don't need a 70 something yr old seamstress. I thought you were moving out of Alaska.
"I AIN"T NEVER EVER MOVING OUT of ALASKA"...........Hoping to move off this mountain but not out of Alaska.
 

Peanut

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I agree.........for my needs and my applications, that is a better choice. I will hope you and others can open this link Amazon.com : leather upholstery repair kit and give some advice on which to choose.
On the same page as your link is an awl, needles are stored in the handle... I've have mine many years, used it a few times on thin leather or a rip in a tarp.

It looks like this... also, I added a couple more spools of waxed thread/twine to my kit. Even more, I bought a set of curved needles for upholstery .

Awl_v1a.jpg
 

Peanut

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It was also brought up to get "good thread". If I walk into WM tomorrow, go to the arts and craft section... How do I know if I'm buy good thread? As opposed to crappy thread?

What keys are there for knowing good thread on the store shelf? Brand name?
 

Woody

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The awl is a good idea. Do not have a lot of use for it, but would come in handy for heavier jobs, thank you.

My bachelor kit is basic. I keep it in a small plastic box that seems to be old school plastic from the 70’s and has withstood the test of time.

“Button and Carpet thread”, two spools, one black, one white. If the item is not white, it gets the black thread. If I take the time to throw stitches into something, the thread is not going to be the weak point. Seven large safety pins. Had them forever, likely 1950’s vintage and two have a big pink plastic ‘baby head’ on them, for cloth diapers. Bunch of straight pins. Maybe 30 or so just accumulated from buying shirts and stuff. Two thimbles. I - ~2” x 2” piece of leather cut from an old boot. Several needle threaders for the reason listed above. I will have to look into them new fangled ones though! Needles. I have the plastic ‘wheel’ thing with an assortment, but only use the large ones. It is just a nice way to keep them, for me anyway. I have a few cardboard packages of new ‘larger’ needles of the size for the button and carpet thread as backups. Buttons, there is an assortment of random buttons in the box. Maybe 20 or so, a few of different sizes from shirts, pants, coat. “patches” I cut from the box of old clothes that sits in the closet, jeans, shits, khakies, towels… That is all I have ever needed to take care of any sewing job.
 

UrbanHunter

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Did I miss a mention of curved needles?

Larger one to sew a rug or a tear in a tent wall. Smaller one if you have to close a wound.

Ben
I agree, I have used a number of "sail makers" needles for upholstery and canvas repair with good results, I think if they make a real fine one, I could use it do do wound closure on myself if necessary. I would definitely want them in my kits, both sewing and first aid....
 

Peanut

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One thing that became apparent to me long ago... needles, needles and more needles. They are cheap, pennies for 50 or 100cnt pkgs and take up almost no space. You have to have needles to sew.

You can use anything for thread, fishing line or unravel the ugly christmas sweater you're never going to wear. But you can't sew without needles.

Curved needles and heavy duty quilt making needles are a nice add to any kit.

(a good resource for thread, feed bags for livestock or pets. It has heavy duty thread on the ends).
 

DrPrepper

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Don't waste money on "easy to thread" needles- they don't work well and often, the thread comes off. As for "good" thread in Walmart, get Coats and Clark all purpose thread and upholstery thread. Personally, I use isacord thread, but that's for my quilting. Coats and Clark is plenty good for emergency repairs. I also recommend an assortment of safety pins, a few hook and eyes, and a couple of snaps. Extra buttons in standard sizes might also be helpful (look at the size buttons you have on most of your work shirts, jeans, etc). If you are a really lousy sewer, you might also want to keep some iron on hem tape- good for ironing quick hems and minor rips. You may also want a seam ripper - especially if in an emergency you need to repurpose something, it makes it easier to take a garment apart.

Of course, a treadle sewing machine is helpful, too..... but then, I am getting carried away....... 🙂
 

Alaskajohn

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Sorry that I can't contribute to this thread, but trust me, I am following this closely! Very good, practical and important information! Keep it coming!
 

joel

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I have a a military sewing kit.
A automatic awl #413 with two needles & thread.
Four sewing machines, do not know if they will work without power.
 

Sourdough

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Follow-up on this thread........."BACKLASH" I ordered the "Type Kit" you suggested, and you are correct it is going to be perfect for my "Crude" sewing repair needs. The kits arrived yesterday, and they are a hell'ofa good deal. Thanks to everyone for helping.


I would get one of these.
Upholstery Repair Kit, Leather Sewing Repair Kit
I still can't post links to web pages and I have no idea why. I can't seem to get the problem fixed.


I have several spools of upholstery thread and it is far better than regular sewing thread.
$7.88 for this Amazon.com: HONG 111 Leather Craft Repair Kit 29-Pack, Upholstery Repair Tool Kit Leather Hand Sewing Needles Canvas Thread and Needles Tape Measure Large-Eye Stitching Needles for Leather Repair

Delivered to the bottom of my mountain in Alaska for $7.88
Talk about something to own 3 or 5 of for trading post SHTF.

So.........I just ordered (2) Two sets and I can cache one set and have one at the cabin. Cost me .99 cents with using some points............. Item(s) Subtotal:$15.76Shipping & Handling:$0.00 -----Total before tax:$15.76Estimated tax to be collected:$0.48Rewards Points:-$15.25 -----Grand Total:$0.99

Others may Loath Amazon.com but they don't live in wilderness Alaska. I think this is just insane to get two of these kits delivered for that price. I would bet that in Anchorage, Alaska those same kits would be "about" $19.99 "EACH".
 

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