Tip for “Unsewing”

When you have to “unsew” a seam, (and lets face it, we all have to do that at some point, unfortunately), are you in the camp that snips every third stitch on one side, and then pulls the thread out from the other side, or do you remove the thread from one side, unsewing with the seam ripper every two or three stitches? I’m of the second camp, since I really hate having to remove all the little leftover bits of thread that remain in the fabric if I use the first method.

Also, I discovered quite by accident that when you have to “unsew” a seam it’s generally easier to take the stitches out in the same direction they were sewn in. In other words, begin ripping at the beginning of the seam line where you started sewing, and work toward the end when you have to take stitches out. I start at the end, and slide the seam ripper under the third stitch from the end and pull the thread out, then go back another two or three stitches. When the removed thread has enough length to grab easily, I use the seam ripper to cut a stitch 8-10 stitches back, and pull the thread out from that section.

The thread seems to slide out of the fabric and out of the loops of the other thread easier that way. It may have something to do with the twist of the thread, or the way the machine twists the threads when they are sewn in. I get fewer stubborn knots this way, and the job gets done quicker, and there are no little “bits” of thread to remove after! Maybe it’s a silly thing to spend so much time figuring out, but then what else do you do while you rip seams, except think about what you’re doing? And anything that makes this onerous job easier is a winner in my book!