I've been using the Speedy Stitcher this weekend. One thing I can say is that it's not such a speedy device, making one stitch at a time. But it works and works well.
The first thing to note it that the needles supplied with it are huge and the waxed thread pretty thick. More suited to huge canvas sails I think. So I used the polyester thread I've been using and sewing machine needles. They're not the strongest, but they work. I've also found that leather needles work better on several layers of sailcloth with the Speedy Stitcher than the denim jeans needles I've been using previously.
I've been using zig-zag stitching. Not so tidily when I have to stitch a new row, but when re-using existing stitching rows and holes, the results are excellent.
Here's how it works:
First push the needle with thread through the fabric.
Then pull the needle back slightly. The thread makes a loop. Use something to catch the thread and withdraw the needle. Then pull enough thread on the opposite side of the fabric to the stitcher to run the length of stitching you are doing. If you are zig-zag stitching then add a fair bit more length of thread:
Now push the needle through the next hole:
Withdraw the needle slightly so the thread makes a loop:
Now pass the long thread through the loop:
Now pull the needle back out while keeping tension on the thread below.
The thread below should not be pulled to the top so keep tension on it while you pull the stitcher back to tension the top thread:
Repeat ad nauseum until the stitching is complete. As you can see its easy to make tidy stitching when following previous stitching holes. Not so good when you freestyle like the zig-zags in the stitching above.
But the speedy stitcher works surprisingly well even with thin thread. It's a handy little tool if you are required to fix your own sails and you don't own an industrial sewing machine. But it's really only for small jobs.
But the jib is now well on the way to completion. After finishing the head of the sail, I stitched the bottom UV strip along the foot of the sail today. All that's needed now is to finish off the ends.