Friday, March 7, 2014

Eureka! Unstitching made simple


Every Friday in our Practical Stitching month, we'll be sharing a personal 'Eureka' moment! Something simple that could help you to make your stitching even more enjoyable. Or unstitching, which is never fun but can be made easier by using a seam ripper.

It's quite possible that I unstitch more than I stitch. I often want to change a colour in the piece I'm working on or try a different stitch, re-stitch a wonky line etc etc. Usually I use my smallest, sharpest pair of embroidery scissors to carefully snip the threads and then unpick further with the point of a needle. A little while ago I was about to unpick a poorly executed row of stitches when my eye fell on my seam ripper. I regularly use it to undo stitching on my sewing or quilt projects but I  thought it would be perfect to unpick embroidery stitches too. And it is! 


Just like snipping threads with your scissors, you have to be careful when you use the seam ripper. It's sharp and it's easy to undo more stitches than you originally planned for, or even worse: damage the fabric. Seam rippers generally are quite cheap and you can buy them in different sizes. For embroidery a small one is probably best. 

How do you unstitch? Do you use scissors, tweezers, a seam ripper or some tool we don't know about? Let us know!

What are you (un)stitching? Please share in the &Stitches Flickr group. We'd love to see it!


  1. oh, I do love this piece and I know what you mean about 'unstitching' ~ tend to do it too much. I usually use a seam ripper and then tweezers to get all the unwanted thread out.

  2. Is 'unstitching' a strange word? It does sound a bit like Alice in Wonderland's 'unbirthday' (every day that isn't a birthday) doesn't it? :)

  3. "Unstitching" sounds much less tedious than taking stitches out or undoing. Sort of a positive action versus a negative one. I use the seem ripper too, but just to sever the old stitches. Then I use the eye end of a needle to lift the stitches out of the fabric, so I don't do any damage with the seem ripper. It's easier for me, as I don't have to be so focused on caution.

  4. I also do a lot of unstitching (I've struggled with Alice's face in this series), and I always have my seam ripper and tweezers nearby.

  5. I recently started using a seam ripper and it's so much easier than scissors! It happens far more than I'd like, no one ever likes taking out the work they've done!


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