How To Unpick A Seam
There is nothing I hate more than when bad things happen to a good seam!
Sometimes the stitching line is wonky, the tension is suddenly way off or even the fabrics have somehow twisted themselves into the wrong position – wrong side out or upside down.
Yes, it’s annoying. Yes, it’s a set back. But, let me tell you it’s not the end of the world! While my first reaction when something go wrong used to be to scream, cry, declare that I shall never return to the sewing machine again, I’ve learnt that taking a little time – and using the right tools – a seam can be neatly unpicked without damaging the fabrics, ready for a second (hopefully more successful) attempt. Here’s how to unpick a seam!
Grab your supplies…
With your wonky and wrong seam to hand, locate your seam ripper. Now, I for one know that in the heat of the moment, it is all too tempting to grab for the nearest pair of scissors and quickly snip away the stitches. This is risky business my friend. Scissors, with their long sharp blades are great for cutting the threads, but they are also great for cutting fabrics and it is all too easy to accidentally snip the fabrics.
A seam ripper is the perfect tool for the job because, well, it’s designed for this specific task. make sure that the tiny blade inside the curve is sharp – if when this gets dull, more pressure will need to be applied and this can result in damaging the fabric. I like to use this Hemline Seam-Fix – stick with me on this and you’ll see why.
With the seam to be unpicked placed facing upwards, slide the tip of the unpicker between the fabric and the stitch and gently push. This will slice the thread of the stitch. Move the blade a couple of stitches lower and repeat to cut the stitching line again. Continue working down the seam, slicing the threads untill the whole length of the seam has been cut.
Now that the threads that make up the stitches are cut they can be easily pulled away from the fabric. Now, here’s where things get fancy! The Hemline Seam-Fix has a funny beehive-shaped silicon tip on the lid, now this isn’t just a cute little design feature, this has a great function. When gently swiped over the cut threads the silicon surface draws the threads out of the stitching line and away from the fabric – neat huh?
Not only does the silicone tipped lid remove all the stray threads, when moved gently across the surface of the fabric, it gently ease the fibres on the stitching line and helps to reduce the size of those pesky little holes that are the telltale sign of the previous stitchy disaster.
With all the threads removed, and the fabric neatened, you can go on are rework the seam – the right way this time!
I used to think that one day would come when I would no longer make silly stitching mistakes, and that day I would be able to call myself a ‘proper seamstress’, but you know what I’ve realised? A ‘proper seamstress’ still makes mistakes, it’s just she knows better how to fix them so you’ll never know! I guess I’ve learnt a lot about sewing from making mistakes, doing things wrong and discovering how to fix them – what’s the best sewing lesson that you’ve learnt from a stitchy disaster?
♥ – ♥ – ♥
Hemline Seam-Fix, £4.99, for stockist: 01453 883581 or email@example.com