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How to Use a Seam Ripper Properly Full Guide of 2023

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Marilyn Monroe sang “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friends” and over the years it became a common phrase. When the girl sews, it’s a seam ripper! I originally wrote this jazz song for the Broadway musical’Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. While I don’t really like the phrase as it is slightly offensie, I hae used it to emphasize my loe for seam rippers. It is a small sewing accessory that is often underestimated. In a perfect world, you don’t een need one. We want to sew and create, not tear and destroy. But’the only man who neer makes a mistake is the man who does nothing.“This isn’t me, it’s Theodore Rooseelt as you probably know.

So you sew and you make mistakes. In those awful moments when you find out you hae to remoe the stitches and start all oer again, who comes to sae the day? Yes, it is a seam ripper. Nobody likes to use it because it means you made a mistake. But it is a natural and unaoidable part of sewing. If you are new to the sewing world, you may think that experience teaches you to aoid mistakes. Well, think again! Een the master seamstresses make mistakes, changes and adjustments ery often. That’s why a seam ripper is your best friend. It always comes to the rescue. And there is another saying: “A friend in need is indeed a friend!” How appropriate, isn’t it?

Een though it is a small and simple tool, many new seamstresses do not know how to make the most of it. So I’ll show you eerything you need to know about seam rippers and how to use them properly.

Seam Ripper – What It Is Used For

A seam ripper is a small cutting tool. Howeer, it is a specific tool for cutting wires. It is used to remoe stitches and open seams. Some people also use it to open buttonholes, while others recommend other tools such as a buttonhole knife or cloth knife and cutting mat. They designed it to be secure and help you pull out the stitches more easily.

A conentional seam ripper comprises a handle and a shaft ending in a “ u ” -shaped head. One point is longer than the other. The longer tip is sharp so you can get under the stitches. I equipped the short tip with a ballpoint for safety reasons. It preents possible injuries and allows safer cutting without damaging the fabric. The innermost cure of the “ u ” shape is a groundbreaking that does the job.

There are seeral styles and sizes of seam rippers. But most are essentially the same. While handles can be of original design and length, they all do the same job according to the same principles. Howeer, there are some specific types of seam rippers, such as embroidery, sewing board and surgical seam rippers. These types , and when people talk about seam rippers, they almost always refer to conentional “ u ” -shaped seam rippers.

How to use the seam Ripper

Een though this tool is small and simple, there are seeral ways to use it. The first way is the most obious. You can use a seam ripper to loosen the stitches one at a time. It’s the slowest and most tedious way to do it. It one by one honoring stitches is the only way to open a seam. So this is how it goes.

One by one

You should always start at the end of the seam or hem that you want to open. Insert the sharp point of the seam ripper under the stitch, between the thread and the fabric. Now you can gently pull the seam ripper up and forward so that the knife cuts the thread. Continue with the next stitch and repeat the procedure. And that’s about it. Howeer, this can take foreer and you will also hae to clean up a lot of small pieces of wire. Some tightly stitched seams always had to be selected one by one. So, is there a faster way?

Skip a few stitches with Seam Ripper

Fortunately, there are seeral ways to undo the stitches much faster to make. Howeer, you need to be more careful, especially when working on delicate fabrics. The easiest way to speed up the process is to cut eery fourth or fifth stitch. It depends on how long and how tight the stitches are. Either way, cut a stitch, skip a few, cut another, then skip, and so on. Do this on one side of the fabric and turn the fabric oer to the other side after cutting seeral stitches. Now you can simply pull out the wire on the other side. Use a lint roller or something similar to clean up small pieces of thread that are left behind.


seam ripper preview

Image by madam

If you skip a few stitches, you hae some time to spare, but there is an een faster way. And many seamstresses know nothing about it. Again, pick out seeral stitches one by one to get started. Then place the seam ripper between the fabrics with the red ballpoint pen under the thread and the sharp point aboe the thread. Now you can slide the seam ripper and cut almost all the way through. Then you choose the last stitches one by one and viola! You did it like this.

It is the red ballpoint pen that allows you to use this technique safely. Howeer, be careful. It should be really easy to do it with three hands. Two hands to keep the fabric straight and straight, and the third to cut. It’s easy to do it with just two hands, but it takes some practice to gain confidence.

Opening Buttonholes

Some seamstresses prefer not to use buttonholes on buttonholes and instead opt for other tools. They say it’s easy to cut more threads than you want. Howeer, there are a few tricks to make it safe. You can use pins to set the limits and aoid cutting the wire ends. Another way is to use the sharp point of the seam ripper to pierce the fabric at one end of the buttonhole. Then prick the fabric back up at the other end of the buttonhole and cut. If the buttonhole is too long for this, do it step by step.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.