How to Use a Seam Ripper

I know, I know, we all know how to do it, right? Well, there is a more efficient way to use it if you know how. And I did it less efficiently for a long long time. So, let's see if maybe I can help some more people out.

How to Use a Seam Ripper

What is a seam ripper?

There are lots of reasons we might need a seam ripper. Ever sewed the wrong pieces together? Sewed a seam too soon? Added a sleeve on backward? I've been guilty of all of that (and more!) during my sewing career.

I've used a LOT of seam rippers in my day. And there are SO many different kinds of seam rippers out there! But they all have a few things in common. They all have a pointy end that curves into a (hopefully) sharp blade for cutting threads. Your ideal seam ripper should always be comfortable to hold in your hand, so keep that in mind.

Using your seam ripper.

Always cut stitches from the top side of your work. I promise, it matters. Ideally, you will cut through your back stitches at the beginning and end of the seam and then cut a stitch every inch or so. This is particularly useful information if you are cutting long sections of straight stitches.

With that done, you can typically flip your fabric over and pull on the bobbin thread, releasing the whole row. It isn't always going to be that easy though. With stretch and zigzag stitches, you'll have to cut almost all of the stitches individually, unfortunately. The upside is, you'll get to know your seam ripper really well!

What NOT to do.

There are a couple of things you will want to avoid doing in order to preserve your project. First, do not try to just pull on a thread without cutting stitches. You'll only gather the fabric up and make the stitches harder to get out. Second, under no circumstances should you try to just yank the fabric pieces apart by sheer force. This will likely only cause you to rip your fabric, rendering it useless.\

The super secret method.

Check out this video. But before you try it, keep in mind your seam ripper needs to be REALLY sharp. And it will ONLY work on woven fabrics, so don't try it with knits.

If you follow these tips, you should be able to correct any sewing mistakes relatively quickly and painlessly. I hope this helps someone out there! And we hope to see you over in our Facebook group for fun and friendships!
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