Use your seam ripper tool correctly – Sew Daily

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Seam rippers are that tool that is used with every project, but it can be frustrating when the ripping doesn't go smoothly. Whether your fabric is delicate or your blade isn't sharp, a session with your seam ripper can make or break a project. Since a seam ripper tool is a necessary evil in your sewing space, why not use it properly to take the stress out of removing a project? It's this month's best kept secret!

This brings me to the magic of the little red ball on a seam ripper. Did you know it actually has a purpose? Or are you like me and always wondered why it was there?

As with many sewing tools, you can research how to use them, or you can be a willy-nilly seamstress like me and just dive in and hope you use it correctly 🤞. The problem with my strategy is that I haven't used this tool to its best potential all these years. But that is changing now.

Grab a drink, an item of clothing that needs ripping at the seams, and your favorite seam ripper (mine is the Dritz Correction), and join me in looking to improve your mining game.

Let's start with the anatomy of a seam ripper tool.

Most seam rippers consist of three parts: the tip, the blade and the safety ball.

The tip is slipped under the stitches to remove it.

The blade cuts the points.

The safety ball protects the points while cutting with the blade.

An example of when these different parts come into play is when opening a topstitched seam. You first use the tip to remove the topstitching by easily sliding it under the stitches and cutting the stitch with the blade or a thread cutter.

With the topstitching removed, the red ball and blade come into play. Until recently, I inserted the blade between the stitches and pushed the seam ripper along the seam. This step was always stressful because I was afraid the fabric would cut, forcing me to go slowly.

Even stock footage shows this step to be wrong!

What you should really do when opening a seam is insert the ball between the layers of fabric so that it can slide along the fabric with the blade cutting the stitches instead of piercing your fabric. Here's how to do it!

It's so much better, isn't it? Here’s to making seam ripping easier!


Want more best-kept secrets?

Check out our sewing secrets page to discover all of our best kept secrets to date. If you have one to share, email us at [email protected]!

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