Christine Carson | Date posted: November 21st, 2011
I am one of those people who have tons of ideas. I have notebooks full of great plans. I have found over time that making mistakes and rethinking my approach goes hand in hand with trying these new ideas and plans, and sewing is no exception to this. I rarely follow pattern directions exactly—I tend to see them more as “suggestions.” This sometimes leads me to the unique results I envision, but other times I end up with a hot mess! This is when I reach for my trusty sidekick: the seam ripper.
The seam ripper is used to unpick stitches and seams giving you a chance to try again, as though the mistake never happened! A seam ripper is a simple and inexpensive sewing notion featuring a handle and a forked end with two shaped tips. Generally, one tip is longer with thin pointed end, the other side is shorter with a nib to protect fabric from being accidentally torn when a stitch is removed.
Thankfully, a seam ripper is an easy tool to use. Simply slide the blade tip under the thread you want to remove. As you gently push the ripper forward the thread slides down into the U-shaped part of the forked end, where this is a small blade. When the ripper is puled upward the tread is cut. The seam ripper can be used to undo a single stitch or an entire seam. I prefer using a seam ripper to scissors due to the large number of slips and rips that I have experienced when using scissors to tear open a seam.
While a seam ripper can erase many stitch mistakes, there are some fabrics including acetate, polished cotton, velvet, silk, satin, leather and weatherproof fabrics that will show pin holes and any removed stiches. When using these fabrics and others like them it is best to measure twice and stitch once.
Sewing has always been a part of Christine's life, One of her earliest & fondest memories is that of her mother sewing in the family room. Christine started making doll clothes by hand at a...