A couple of people commented on the last Skill Building post about the “correct” way to rip seams, so here’s a quick little extra skill builder. I don’t think there’s only one correct way, so I’m showing several options. Keep in mind that I’m left handed, so the pictures may look backward to you.
My mom taught me to rip seams by separating the two layers of fabric and cutting the thread between them, then pulling the two pieces apart until they wouldn’t go any further, cutting again, pulling, etc. This would probably work well with the curved blade seam ripper as well, although I’d be concerned about maintaining control of it. I imagine you could do the same thing very easily with scissors.
When I took a quilting class, the instructor told us to use the seam ripper to cut every third stitch on one side of the fabric, then pull the pieces apart. This works well with traditional seam rippers as well as the curved blade type. You can also use a very sharply pointed pair of scissors to snip the stitches.
You can also flip it over to the back and pull the long thread.
This leaves a lot of little pieces of thread that I find really annoying to deal with. The way I usually rip seams takes a little longer, but is easier to clean up because the thread pieces are larger. I pick out the seams on one side, sliding the dull edge of the seam ripper into the stitch and pushing it away from me. I pick six or seven stitches so I have a tail that I can grasp, then cut the seam several stitches back. I pull on the tail, sliding the thread out, and repeat.
Sometimes it’s easier for me to start in the middle and work backward.
So how do you rip your seams?