How to Use a Seam Ripper

Hey, you!

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if life came with an undo tool?!

Maybe a wand we could wave after every stupid, ignorant mistake we’ve ever made. And presto, gone! Just like that!

Mm… sounds lovely, right?!

Okay, enough with the unrealistic dreams about life and let’s get back to sewing.

Here’s the thing…

It has happened to me. It has happened to the best tailors and dressmakers in the world. And, my friend, it will happen to you.

Yes, there will come a time when you will have to undo a stitching line or seam that just isn’t quite right.

And while life doesn’t give us undos, a seam ripper does.

In this article, you will learn the anatomy of a seam ripper and the easiest way to properly undo a stitching line without making holes in your fabric or shedding tears.

Now, let’s learn how to undo…

NOTE: If you’re ready to begin this journey and would like to buy my recommended tools and supplies, please click HERE!

Rules of Ripping Out a Seam

Rule #1: Relax and slow down, please. Rushing may just lead to tears if you end up with an ugly hole in your fabric.

Rule #2: Always unpick from the wrong side (WS) of the fabric.

Rule #3: Lay your fabric flat on a surface. Yes, you should!

The Anatomy of a Seam Ripper

A seam ripper is a very simple tool!

It has…

  • a point to lift the stitch;
  • a point with a red ball that protects your fabric; and
  • a u-shaped blade that slices the stitch.

anatomy of a seam ripper

How to Use a Seam Ripper

The seam ripper is a super easy tool to use too!

Here’s how to CTRL-Z, or undo, stitches…

seam ripper: snipped stitches

  1. First, turn your project to its WS with the needle thread side up, and then lay it flat on a surface. Laying it flat reduces the likelihood that you will damage your fabric!
  2. Then, carefully, unpick the backstitching at both ends of the stitching line.
  3. Next, carefully, slip the seam ripper under every fifth stitch or so, cutting the stitches with the u-shaped blade. If the stitch length is very short, then unpick every other stitch.
  4. Once you’ve done this down the entire length of the stitching line, turn your project over and use the point of the seam ripper to gently lift–not tug–the bobbin thread away from the fabric.

seam ripper: bobbin thread removed to undo stitching line

Once you’ve completed the steps above…

  1. Turn it over to the needle size and remove the snipped threads. And if you’ve taken my very good advice and bought yourself a hulk of a seam ripper, you can just “erase” them away with the white rubber end. And you’re done!

seam fix seam ripper

But if you don’t have the hulk of a seam ripper, you can remove pesky threads with a strip of Scotch tape.

Now, how simple was that?!

Sew easy tip #1: If you’re having problems seeing the threads in dark fabric, mark the seam line with dustless chalk to bring those stitches out of hiding.

Sew easy tip #2: Seam rippers dull with use. And they cannot be sharpened. So replace periodically!

The End

Ripping out a seam or stitching line is inevitable and super easy!

Show your seam ripper some love and it will love you right back by allowing you to undo mistakes fast and easy.

And remember:

Life is the ultimate red carpet event. Dress for it!

RELATED: Click HERE to learn why you about the lowly seam ripper and other essential cutting tools!

RELATED: Click HERE to learn the basic sewing skills you need to sew insanely gorgeous garments!

RELATED: Click HERE if you’re ready to begin this journey and would like to buy my recommended tools and supplies!

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