Well I have a strange compulsion to repair my clothing with metallic trinkets which usually means a few million safety pins that always fall off, well not any more, this instructable shall show ye, the uneducated masses how to use steel wire as thread, or any other reasonably sturdy wire for that matter...
Step 1: Tools and Materials...
- Wire cutters or like me the monster pliers, using the usual cutter on small pliers is frustrating and slow
- Fabric in need of metal stitches
- Steel or any other wire you feel necessary
As additions, I would suggest, a big needle for thinner gauges, the stuff I'm using goes straight through the denim, also some good music depending on the method used, well the preferred end result, mine involves leaving a gap so it's a bit slower...
Step 2: Starting the Stitching...
Figuring out how much wire you need.
If you want a gap, take the width of the gap involved, double it and add the length of the edges to be connected.
For no gap you'll need about one and a half times the length of the connecting edges.
For quick and easy measuring line the wire up beside the edge.
now fold it over again and cut at halfway.
For the other you'll need to fold say three times depending on the lengths involved, work it out the proper way for large things, you don't wanna start all over or have separate threading...
Step 3: Starting.
- Take the top end and put through with a bit of length.
- Double over and put through again
- Use pliers to twist in and make sure the sharp ends are well managed
The photos are in order all the way through, like below, to help show you how to do it visually...
Step 4: The Sewing Bit.
I'd say you could use most stitches if you wanted to.
- Put wire through and pull through, leaving desired gap if necessary.
- Turn wire back over and put through on the way back
Make the stitches move in shallow angled diagonal strips for good progress but keeping strength, remember the fabric will simply get ripped through if too much strain is placed on individual stitches, with is why they can 'unzip' if ripped apart.
Step 5: Variations
You double the length of each stitch, or keep it the same and double the amount of wire.
Now stitch on down as normal, when you get to the end, turn back, put the new stitches through the middle of the original set, so they're half out of line with eachother...
Techies - If this was a waveform they'd be 180o out of sync with one another.
- Double either wire length or stitch length (techies - wavelength)
- Stitch down as normal until the bottom
- Turn around and stitch up the way putting each stitch halfway through the first set
Step 6: Finishing Up.
What you do is:
- Make the last stitch, double it up and create a knot or small wire ball, make sure the sharp ends are not exposed.
- Cut off any excess wire.
- For the second stitch method, do your double stitch but combine the end knot with the first one, again being careful to avoid exposed ends.
Step 7: Some Extra Tips and Roundup.
Bear in mind this is the second time I've done such a thing...
- Cut the ends of the wire at a sharp angle with the cutters before stitching with them, that way they go through the fabric much more easily
- Flatten out any small kinks with pliers before continuing, this makes the process go far quicker
- use your fingers to mould the shape of the stitch if you're making spaces as you pull it through, this helps the space stay in place on the stitch before and makes the next one easier too
- If you're using steel like me make sure it's stainless or galvanised, rust makes permanent marks on clothes and if they get wet they're likely to end up having big orange bits on them...
Well the reason I did this is because I like having odd things on my clothes but also because:
- The wire could come in handy
- It's better than safety pins
- It looks pretty sweet
- I was pretty bored when I came up with this idea...