Knowing how to sew is a vital skill for preppers. We all know the basics: tear your pants after the SHTF and you can repair them if there’s no way to buy more. But, it goes beyond that!
Let’s say you tear your pants beyond repair. Should you just throw them away? Maybe right now. But not if you are in a situation that’s requiring you to use what you have (grid down, low or no income, etc.). Not to mention, sewing can be fun and it’s a hobby for so many. I know my mom would make quilts all day if she could!
Something to consider is the ease of sewing if the power goes out. Sewing machines are nice, but won’t work well if there is no electricity. For this, get a treadle sewing machine like this one. This is a machine that is powered by the users’ foot. A foot pedal is pushed back and forth by the operator’s foot to move the needle up and down. They are not necessarily affordable or easy to find. BUT, I was able to find an article by Mother Earth News detailing how to make your own treadle sewing machine. To read that article, please click here! Alternatively, you can look for antique Singer sewing machines that can be operated off the grid when at estate sales, on Craigslist, or Etsy.
Fewer and fewer children grow up learning to sew. Because of that, many could use their skills if they learn to sew to provide services to others if need be once the SHTF. These skills can be used in a number of ways too that don’t involve making clothes. Such as:
- If someone has an open wound, a sterilized needle and thread can stitch them back up.
- Used blankets and sleeping bags easily wear and tear. Sewing skills can help preserve the bedding and keep it warm.
- Sewing skills can fix a tent or shelter if it rips. Stitching helps a shelter to stay shut during stormy weather and prevents leaks.
- There will always be a need for mending material. Seamstresses can barter their sewing skills for other supplies or money.
- Sewing enables clothing to last twice as long. Holes or tears can be easily mended.
If you don’t have a sewing kit, grab a few items and at least have them laying around so you can learn when the time is right. Here’s what to get:
- 5–10 different colors of thread (get black and white first)
- 5–10 needles that vary in length
- 10 safety pins
- 5–10 straight pins
- Scissors or a tool to cut the thread (most multi-tools include a scissors function)
But how do you start if you’ve never sewn anything before? Perhaps just find something you’d like to try, and pick it up as a hobby. Who knows! You may love it! Maybe the store doesn’t have a blanket or quilt you like or that speaks to you. So read up on quilting, grab some fabric and try it!
If you already like crafts and creative projects, a transition to sewing will be easy. Even if you are more practically minded, you should see the benefits of learning this skill. If you just have a simple small emergency kit, try taking it out and creating something.
The basics of sewing can be put into effect right now too! The first step is to just try it. It’ll take practice, but as the saying goes: practice makes perfect.