Technique: How To Sew With An Awl

Patagonia Sponsored

Patagonia Sponsored

Patagonia and iFixit are collaborating to provide guides for Patagonia's most popular apparel repairs.

Learn to sew with an awl.

So you've got your Patagonia Expedition Sewing Kit and you're ready to hit the trail. But before you go, how about getting to know the tools you're taking along on your adventure?

You never know when you're going to need a repair in the rain, at night, at 10,000 feet.

An awl is a tool that allows you to sew through very thick materials. It takes a bit of practice to master, but once you have it down you'll be ready to repair boots, webbing, and packs on the fly.

Tools
Relevant Parts

Edit Step 1 How To Sew With An Awl  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 1 How To Sew With An Awl  ¶ 

  • Loosen the awl by holding the smooth end and twisting the ridged piece counterclockwise.

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Insert the needle into the ridged end of the awl, with the eye facing outward.

  • Retighten the awl by holding the smooth end and twisting the ridged end clockwise.

  • Insert the cotter pin into the hole in the smooth end.

    • The cotter pin provides a nice handle for working with the awl.

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • Thread the needle with very thick thread.

  • Align your material. In this case we are resewing the webbing holding a buckle in place.

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Stab the threaded needle of the awl through all the layers of fabric you are sewing.

  • Thick material is very hard to puncture. Be careful not to puncture yourself in the process.

  • If you are having difficulty puncturing the material, you can use a vice to hold the material in place, or place something on the backside of the material to puncture into. A rubber eraser works great.

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Pull the short end of the thread through the material, so that it dangles free on the other side of the material.

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • While holding on to the short, free end of the thread, carefully pull the awl back through the material.

  • The short, free end of the thread should stay on the other side of the material.

  • Continue holding the short, free thread, and puncture the material again a short distance away, moving along the material you are sewing.

  • This distance will become a stitch. Try to keep your stitch length short and even.

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Pull the thread from the eye of the needle, creating a loop.

  • Put the short, free end of the thread through the loop you just created in the thread.

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Holding the short, free end of the thread taught, pull the awl back out through the material.

  • Pull both ends of the thread taught.

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Continue reinserting the awl, creating a loop of thread from the eye of the needle, threading the short, free end, and removing the awl to create your stitches.

  • While you are getting the hang of it, refer back to steps 6-9 of this guide.

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • When you come to the end of your material, take one last stitch.

  • Clip the end of the thread that runs through the needle, leaving enough length to tie a couple of knots.

  • Remove the awl.

Edit Step 11  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Tie an overhand knot with the two ends of the thread.

  • Pull taught.

  • Tie another knot or two to secure the stitching.

Edit Step 12  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Clip the threads, and admire your handiwork.

For more information, check out the Clothing device page.

Popular Products

iPhone 4S Blank Rear Glass Panel

$14.95 · 50+ In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$9.95 · 50+ In stock

Heavy-Duty Suction Cups (Pair)

$14.95 · 50+ In stock

TR8 Torx Security Screwdriver

$4.95 · 50+ In stock

Comments Comments are onturn off

No comments.

View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 0

Past 7 Days: 9

Past 30 Days: 94

All Time: 1,050