I recently picked up a Speedy Sritcher sewing awl + an extra no. 4 needle. Mainly to allow me to sew thick material by hand, but I've already used it to repair a torn pair of Boulder x, modify a back back and repair a belt. I doubt it's design has changed in 80 year's (or when ever it was first made).
It seems strange to me that such cheap and simple tools aren't more common place, have we just been brainwashed into being mindless consumers in a throw-away society?
No brainwashing on the whole, but I think there are less of the skills being learned/passed on. I'd love to learn sewing and machining skills to tinker with and make gear. My other half is handy with a machine and needle thanks to her mother and then some sewing classes. She's made some cracking dresses and lovely coats. I'll pester her for lessons one day.
A sewing machine is on my to buy list tbh, I have a growing pile a repairable clothes just waiting for the day.
A mate of mine has just repaired a great pair of haglofs trousers. I was going to turn them into shorts but he's managed to do a perfect repair on a knee tear. If only there was more time for such things.
I am also lucky that my lady is handy with a sewing machine. It's helpful for repairing old equipment. For example my old BD Polar Icon head torch... the 3 piece strap died of old age and they don't make a new one.
20 mins on the machine with some elastic material and voila!
Get an old singer, they see through anything, I’ve made my own rucksack tarp and bivvy bag with a singer - careful though it’s an addictive hobby!
I have put on a new zipper on my softshell, repaired the ripped-off corners of my camp chairs, sewn and seam-sealed holes in my hardshell pants, melted loose threads, lubed zippers, fixed the plastic bits on my Moka pot, etc, etc.
A little sewing, superglue, seam sealer, zip ties, epoxy, lube, etc are great stuff to make your kit last longer. My favorite summer/indoor climbing pants are 90's milliary ones I got for free, shorten to 3/4 length, and repaired a few times.
A sewing machine seems to take a lot of space in my tiny apartment so I haven't bought one. Occasionally looking at a used one, but never buy one because of space.