In sewing, eventually you are going to have to remove some stitches. While a seam ripper is often people’s go-to tool for this task, it isn’t the only one. ZJ Humbach talks about several different ways to remove stitches when needed.
How to Remove Sewing Stitches
The Rip Method:
ZJ begins by showing the most literal way to rip out stitches, which is to hold the pieces of fabric that you want to remove the stitching from and rip them apart. While it is a fairly efficient method, you end up with lots of needle and bobbin thread on both pieces of fabric that you then need to go back and pick out. Also, depending on the fabric that was being sewn and the thread used, you could permanently distort the fabric using this method.
ZJ then shows a seam ripper, which is one of the most commonly used tools when removing sewing stitches. She shows the proper way to use the tool and how to ensure that the tool is only cutting the sewing thread and does not damage the fibers of the fabric.
The Scissors Method:
The final method, and her preferred method, is to use a small pair of scissors or snips to remove the stitches. She shows how she does this by clipping a thread every few stitches and then pulling out the thread. Not only does this method not damage your fabric, but it can allow you to remove the stitching in long lengths of thread at a time so there is less that you need to go back and pick out.
While some of these methods are great for removing sewing stitches, they can also be helpful when wanting to learn how to easily remove serger stitches. And, if after ripping out your seams you decide that you don’t want to re- sew something, learn how you can go about using fusible hem tape in place of stitching.