09 July 2010

Sewing 101 with Jessica, Fixing Mistakes

Today we welcome another friend from SYTYC.  
Hello!  I'm Jessica from Running With Scissors!  It's just my personal blog to document my projects I'm working on; mainly sewing, crafting, painting and more recently furniture building, furniture re-finishing, thrift store make-overs, and decor, as we just bought our first house and I'm working on making it home.

I was excited to be involved with this Sewing 101, I'm not an expert seamstress by any means, which is why I chose a tip I have loads of experience in--unpicking. 
A mistake you have to unpick is enough to throw your project in a pile and never pick it up again (I would know).  So hopefully this will make your unpicking easier and not let a mistake ruin a whole project.
I actually learned this tip from my little sister, Lynette who is a professional seamstress/ tailor/ designer and owns her own shop.  So from the pro who unpicks other people's clothes all day long, here's the big secret:
Throw your seam ripper away and get straight razor blades!
{I keep mine under all my pins on my magnetic pin holder
*another favorite sewing gadget of mine*}

Here are the advantages:
-Razors are cheap!
I buy them in the paint section and a package of 10 is usually around $1.00
-Razors are sharp!
More often than not, it seems seam rippers require a lot of pull before it will cut the thread (or worse just break it), damaging your fabric and stretching it, leaving evidence of the old seam.  Razors will cut right through, leaving your fabric unscathed.
-Razors save time! 
You can cut through a lot of sewing in one motion, rather than pulling a seam out stitch by stitch.
It's not that different to unpick with a razor blade.
Just hold your seam open with one hand, and maneuver the razor through the stitching with your other hand, obviously making sure to not slice the fabric on either side.

To confess, I actually do keep a seam ripper around...somewhere.  Occasionally I need to use it to pop the first few threads to get the seam started before I can use the razor blade.

Hopefully this tip is helpful, but hopefully you won't have to use it much--since I'm sure, like me, we all loathe unpicking!

If you have time, Chris asked to list a few of our favorite projects.
Here are my favorite sewing projects I've made:
You can tell I'm really into freezer paper stenciling, applique, and kid's items

Thank you so much. Jessica.  I'd never considered using a razor blade before...what a great tip.  Please be sure to catch up on the amazing decorating projects Jess has recently completed.  I love what she's done...and she shows you  how to do it yourself.  Genius.  

11 happy thoughts:

Caroline said...

That was so helpful! Thanks!

. said...

Hi! I'm stopping by via New Friend Friday! Wow, may I call you Martha? I don't know how to sew, I would like to learn one day.
I admire your talents, adorable clothes you created, and its always great to meet people who use their talents!

~jenna said...


Ann @ makethebestofthings said...

Good idea on the razor, why didn't I think of it? I have plenty of them that I use for other things...scraping paint, trimming edges of hot glue, descaling windows....I'll just have to skew my thinking! Thanks for the kick in the pants. I've loathed ripping out seams since I put in my very first zipper lo these many years ago. My mom made me redo it four times! Following you, aye.

Larissa@Just Another Day in Paradise said...

Jessica, you are so smart!!!

Chris, thanks for linking up your ornaments to my linky party. They are so pretty, and what a great gift idea.

Just Another Day in Paradise

Unknown said...

Great tip! But I've developed such a bond with my seam ripper lately...

Kristin said...

Why I have I never thought of that???? I love it!

Design Esquire said...

What a great idea! I just had an experience with a seam ripper this last weekend - I wish I would have read this before.

Jessica said...

I have used a razor blade for as long as I can remember since I tend to get impatient with my seam ripper. Another option to use instead of an exposed razor blade (that I tend to cut myself with) is to use the blades that are enclosed with a handle. You can find them at the dollar store or walmart (by the auto stuff or tools usually.) They are normally used by guys to cut a variety of materials but they work great for slicing seams!

A.S.U. said...

I do the same thing with my rotary cutter - use it the same way you use the razor blade!

Christine said...

Rather than having to deal with a razor blade, you can always get a good seam ripper with an exposed blade and a good handle. http://www.leevalley.com/en/garden/page.aspx?p=58722&cat=2,40725,62560

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