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Thread: Seam Ripping How-To?

  1. #1
    TX_Cutie's Avatar
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    Do any of you have a special technique for ripping seams?

    I'm always frustrated by trying to hold open the fabric with my left hand while maneuvering the ripper with my right hand. I feel like I need a third hand to help me stabilize everything. I tend to rip the stitches between the two fabric pieces rather than just ripping them out on one side.

    I've seen tabletop seam rippers in the store and the idea interests me. Does anyone have one of these or know if they work on ripping out quilt seams?

    Also, I tend to be ripping a big seam, it's going nice and quick, and then booom! it goes right thru the fabric.

  2. #2
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    I never use a seam ripper. Ever. I use a pair of small scissors with a fine point and cut the thread on the top about every 5 to 8 stitches. The fabrics will just pull apart then. The biggest advantage is there are half the tiny threads left to pick out since you only cut one side.

  3. #3
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen
    I use a pair of small scissors with a fine point and cut the thread on the top about every 5 to 8 stitches.
    I do that with a seam ripper.

  4. #4
    Banned
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    I get my husband to do it :) Seriously, he enjoys ripping seams.

  5. #5
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I use my rotary cutter more than my seam ripper. It's faster and I have never nicked my fabric. I hold taunt one side of the seam with my thumb and two last fingers and the other side of the seam with my index and middle finger. Sew a practice seam and use the rotary cutter. I think you'll love it.

  6. #6
    Super Member Maride's Avatar
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    I have a little thingy that looks like a paper weight with a hole in the center. You put the seam ripper on it with the blade standing up and you have both hands available to hold the fabric. I use it often.

    Maria

  7. #7
    Power Poster sewnsewer2's Avatar
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    I use a razor blade.

  8. #8
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    I usually use tiny manicure scissors and cut the stitches apart. The blades are so small one could also just nip the threads every so often (if the stitches aren't too small)

    Works much better than a seam ripper. Of course, seam rippers also get old and dull, so a "fresh" and sharp one makes the process go better.

  9. #9
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    I don't cut the stitches between the layers of fabric. Why risk stretching the edges? I lift the stitches from one side with the point of a seam ripper until the thread starts to drag, usually a couple inches worth. Then I snip that thread with small scissors and start over again. The bottom thread comes off in one piece at the end and there are no small pieces of thread to clean up. I actually never use the cutting part of the seam ripper at all. Works for me!

  10. #10
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    Alex Anderson showed cutting every third stitch on the bobin side with a seam ripper and then pulling on the top thread. It works well and doesn't stretch the fabric. It is also possible to use a "mustasch" trimmer to gently touch the stitches in a held open seam. It takes a little practice but works well especially on long seams. The trick is to hold the shaver with wrong side down. The opposite way you would use it as a shaver.

  11. #11
    Super Member joeyoz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TX_Cutie
    Do any of you have a special technique for ripping seams?

    I'm always frustrated by trying to hold open the fabric with my left hand while maneuvering the ripper with my right hand. I feel like I need a third hand to help me stabilize everything. I tend to rip the stitches between the two fabric pieces rather than just ripping them out on one side.

    I've seen tabletop seam rippers in the store and the idea interests me. Does anyone have one of these or know if they work on ripping out quilt seams?

    Also, I tend to be ripping a big seam, it's going nice and quick, and then booom! it goes right thru the fabric.
    I learned to do it on the seam itself. Look at the seam you have just sewn. Now, "rip" about every fourth stitch with your seam ripper. After you have done a few, turn it over and you should be able to pull the bottom thread off in one piece. You should never hold the seams open and "rip". You stretch the fabric that way. (And sometimes end up ripping the fabric.)

    I hope that made sense.

  12. #12
    Dix
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    Senior Member Dix's Avatar
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    I want the new Gingher ripper! As soon as I find a JoAnns Coupon. I tell DH that I want to invent a little attachment for a machine that will backup and take out all the stitches you want to remove. He laughs at me alot too!!!

  13. #13
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    I use a seam ripper to snip the thread on the bobbin side. I then pull a few stitches through the loops. Move farther down and snip the thread again. Wrap the tail I've pulled through around my finger and pull. Voila! a great big chunk of seam pulls right out.

    Every time I try to rip a seam by pulling the fabric apart I make a mess.

  14. #14
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    Who would've thought there would be so many ways to tear out a seam?

  15. #15
    Hunnib's Avatar
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    I was getting ready to say the very same thing, Lisa_wanna_b_quilter!

    I normally just lay the fabric across my lap, snip every fourth or fifth thread on the backside with my small embroidery scissors and pull the top thread. Its fairly quick to do and unfortunately a necessary evil of sewing no matter how careful we try to be.

  16. #16
    Senior Member foxxigrani's Avatar
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    Depends on how much of a hurry I am in. I use both methods. Ripping and pulling the thread, also the scissors. Both methods work very well. But no one should be without a good seam ripper. :D :roll:

    Rita

  17. #17
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    I use four fingers on my right hand to hold the fabric taught, (I'm left-handed) and poke at the stitches with ripper in my left. I have to take it slowly because this procedure tires my muscles quickly.

  18. #18
    Super Member joeyoz's Avatar
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    This is what is referred to as "un-sewing". Unfortunately, a necessary evil we all have to do at one time or another. :evil: :evil: :evil:

  19. #19
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    if i'm doing a long seam, i use the Eleanor Burns method of using my rotary cutter. i start the seam by clipping with scissor if necessary, hold in my left hand one side and the other in the right with the rotary cutter pointing downward, handle upwards in right hand also. works well.

  20. #20
    Super Member KarenBarnes's Avatar
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    There are also a pair of scissors used in counted cross stitch for ripping out stitches. It has a little dip in one side and they work great for detailed removal!

  21. #21
    Super Member eparys's Avatar
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    I use the Havels ultra pro seam ripper - almost looks like a curved and pointed Xacto blade. Easy to pick at one stitch and sharp enough to rip long seams (not that I EVER have to do that)

    It is pricey but worth it.

  22. #22
    Georgia Peach's Avatar
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    I have the table top seam ripper and it's great for cutting the chain stitching between sewing quilting pieces. It's weighted and with the straight standing ripper on top, it's great for this purpose.

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