Thursday, April 22, 2010

10 Reasons To Love Your Seam Ripper

Hullo - we're LiEr's seam rippers aka unpickers.
We're doing tonight's post.

We'd first like to say that we have a very close
relationship with LiEr. Snigger. She makes a lot of
sewing mistakes, and boy are some of them dumb!
Like that time she sewed a sleeve onto the neckline
of some garment. And the other time when she
sewed her own finger. And
(Alright, guys,
that's enough. Move along, now.)

Look, everyone. Seam rippers everywhere have a
terrible reputation. And whose fault? You sewing
people, that's whose. You're the ones who sew bad
seams and we're the ones who make them go
away - but then you hush it all up like we're taboo.
So anyway, we went and told LiEr we want credit for
all our other amazing feats.
Credit! Yes!
So LiEr said, "Fine. Alright, go ahead and do
tonight's post. Show off if you must. Just make
sure there are lots of photos.
Sewing people don't read text so well."

Ahem. So here we are- and look what we can do!

1 Turn out tiny corners

2 Turn out skinny tubes

LiEr (the fool) sometimes uses long-nosed pliers or a dowel/chopstick or a needle threaded with thread that has a big knot.

LiEr: Can I explain? I'd like to go on record that I don't let these guys do this to my chiffon or silk or any of my other pretty stuff.

3 Transfer carbon lines onto fabric

4 Cut open buttonholes

5 Poke neat holes in fabric to insert prongs of fasteners

6 Tuck in seam/hem allowances (or anything)

7 Open seams for top-stitching or pressing -

especially wiggly seams:

Before - ugh!

Us at work

After - mmmmmmm...

We'd like to share that LiEr uses us a lot for this because
she'd rather eat nutella than get the ironing board out

8 Make pleats

9 Ease a stretched edge into a seam or match uneven seam allowances.
Did you know you can sew over us? Whoo!

Before - check out that extra bulgy bit that's destined to end up a gather! Ick!

Watch us make it go away

After - no ugly gathers!

10 Ease in a set-in sleeve

That sleeve is about 1/4" bigger than the armscye - that's a good difference for easing in. Check out that wavy seam allowance after basting!

We're doing the same stuff as in Amazing Feat #9, but along a curve. Dang, we're versatile.

11 And (yawn - boring) ripping seams.

See? Told you we were amazing. Now, we're planning to petition to have our name changed to Miracle Sewing Tool That Has Multiple Functions And Is Cheap To Buy And Sometimes Even Comes Free With Your New Sewing Machine But Is Invaluable To Own. Catchy, isn't it? So much more accurate than Seam Ripper, which we think is degrading, narrow, and very discriminatorily task-ist. You can help us by spreading the word and linking and telling everyone our new name.

*Been There, Done That

LiEr: Phew. Rude bunch, aren't they? And they can't even count. I insisted they let everyone also know the other tools that can do what they do, just so they don't get too full of themselves. I'm all for workers' rights and all that, but can you believe their petition?! Get outta here!


  1. Rude, indeed!! Too funny! :) And I can relate to all of those uses (the dumb mistakes, too)... except the wiggly seam one... but then maybe I've never done such a wiggly seam as that... yet. :) There are no doubt other uses, too... but let's not tell them that or they'll get even bigger heads.

    Now I must get back to putting my own "Miracle Sewing Tool That Has Multiple Functions And Is Cheap To Buy And Sometimes Even Comes Free With Your New Sewing Machine But Is Invaluable To Own" back to use on your chickens! :)

  2. Love you guys! Mine get a good work out as well, but you've opened my eyes for some other uses. Cheers!

  3. I read this while hiding in my closet for fear that my "Miracle Sewing Tool That Has Multiple Functions And Is Cheap To Buy And Sometimes Even Comes Free With Your New Sewing Machine But Is Invaluable To Own" would see this post and start thinking it too could be mouthy and rude to me.

    Dear God, please don't ever let the Seam Rippers revolt against us! We need them to calm silent workers, because as you know, we are not.

  4. They ARE a feisty bunch of self-important tools, aren't they!

    Thanks for the roundup of uses for seam rippers -- can't wait for the opportunity to give them a try!

  5. At last i find some one like me , i really adore my seam ripper tool, and i dont imagin working without it, and when i tell someone about it they feel like some sort of geek or something, thanks dear for talking about, overall i am not the only geek here ^.^

  6. Delightful bunch aren't they! I love my seam ripper-must buy more :) I think mine is lonely.

  7. Too funny! I think I need to get myself one of those amazing Miracle Tools - clearly it will make my sewing life so much easier!

  8. Wow. Those Seam Rippers are quite a bunch, aren't they?! I've yet to remember to bring one home; this makes me want to be sure I only take one home, so there's no possibility of multiplying & planning take-overs! =D

  9. That's really funniy ! And true...

  10. Your seam rippers are quite cheeky, and excellent comedians. I've never heard of half the uses you just detailed, I wish I could see them demonstrated in person - but excellent photographs!

  11. Love this post - very funn! Just today I said to my seam ripper, "I love you!" after unpicking the stitching from the zipper I'm trying to sew on for the 8th time! Newbie sewer here, so enough said :D

  12. Thank you for the summary and for the laughs. I'm now glad I snuck into the office on my way to bed.

  13. That was great! Thanks for the info and especially for the laugh I needed.

  14. I knew all of them but number 9 which also would be number ten since they were one in the same sort of way. I am not sure how you are doing that even with the pics tho. Maybe a tute holding our hands or a little video on youtube? I just made 3 buttercup bags from Raes pattern for my daughter and I and three "zippy pouches" by Anna. My Miracle sewing tool came in very handy!

  15. I think they forgot to mention that you can use them for all these wonderful tasks...IF you can find them first :P

  16. LOL this really made my day. Thanks for highlighting all the different uses.

  17. Ha! Yeah, they may be rude, but I sure can't live without my crew of rippers!

  18. Hello all - I for one am going to continue referring to them as Seam Rippers, not that ridiculously pompous name they want.

    Anna: No videos - they'll think they are movie stars. and we don't want that to happen! I asked them about tutes and they were very rude, so I won't repeat what they said here. The gist of it was that they just like showing off but they don't want to help anyone learn anything. Insufferable know-it-alls. Sorry. I think your best bet is to ask your own Seam Rippers to teach you and see if they are any nicer than mine. Good luck.

  19. No wonder my seam ripper was so crabby when I bought a bamboo pointer. He could have just done all those jobs too!

  20. Truly fantastic post! So funny! Lucy x

  21. Oh, this was SO fun!!! Any more guest posts coming up???? :-)

  22. love it!

    and I think you may have just saved me from re-sewing a whole project. xx

  23. great post!
    I learn a lot!
    Thank you!!

  24. i have always called my seam ripper my 'best friend' She is always loyal, ready to work and NEVER complains or makes fun of what she has to unpick. I love her.

  25. I have a dozen seam rippers, in 3 different sizes. Keep one in my purse. Never leave home without one. I could probably add some uses to your list...

  26. Those lovely little tools are also great for non-sewing purposes. Like a MUCH cheaper alternative to piercing tools for scrapbooking!

  27. LOVE this post! So hilarious!
    But also informative - I hadn't thought of half those uses for my clever-not-a-seam-ripper-tool ;)

  28. I call mine my "reverse stitching tool".

  29. So clever!
    But I really want to know exactly how to open out the seams to press before topstitching. That always makes me swear when I try to do it - it looks like you're doing it from the right side. How?

  30. Thanks for your tips - I will be using my seam ripper in a more versatile fashion!

  31. Ooooh......rude. So rude. But...sometimes, when you're right? You can get away with it. (Ask my husband. LOL)

    Thank you!

  32. This is such a funny post! Thanks, I didn't realize all those little miracle tools could do!

  33. This was completely enlightening for me . . . I seriously had NO idea I could do all those things with my seam ripper! Thanks so much!

  34. Oh my gosh, do you know how many times I've need you guys? Pleeeease come to my house. Like silly LiEr, I find myself using chopsticks and pins. I need you!

  35. LOL! I love my seam rippers! I use them way more than I want to admit...for ripping. I didn't even think how useful they could be for so many other things!

  36. rofl! I laughed the entire time I was reading your post! Thanks to Craft Gossip for letting me find your blog! I have a very special relationship with my own seam ripper, but I don't think mine has quite the personalities as yours!

  37. Oh, thank you for your lesson!
    I knew just one reason.

  38. Hi there :)
    I just wanted to let you know that I blogged about your fantastic patterns for the pig and chicken! :) Oh, and one more of your dresses :)

    Have a nice weekend!

  39. ooh nice, I love it when I learn something. I was here for the smocking post but got distracted. :)

  40. You know what else they're good for? Getting hair out of the vacuum roller. Turn the vacuum over (unplug, of course!) and slit the hair that is wrapped around the roller-brushy thing. It's not a sewing use, but I still have the seam ripper that my mom gave me when I was learning to sew at age ten (1980!) and it has saved many a vacuum as well as many a failed seam.

  41. My best friend is the seam ripper, and you are so right, it is such a versatile tool. You have stated it so eloquently. I also use mine for cleaning the hair out of my cat's hair brush, it gets deep into the bristles and pulls them all out.

  42. New comment for an old post.

    Non sewing use.

    Cutting itty bitty rubber bands out of children's hair (like the ones used for cornrows, like 500 of them cost $1.) Pointy bit to pull up a loop of the elastic and just slide it on down and voila, you can pull one side to get it out of the hair and leave the hair attached to the kids head.

  43. Tell them to grow a handle. So many great tips, if only I could hold on to them. Arthritis can be challenging


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