The Stitch-Ripper for Your Life

A stitch ripper is a hand device that people who sew use. People who are learning to sew use it a lot. There are several different styles, but the idea is the same–you use it to cut the threads in a line of sewing that need to be taken out. They are also called seam rippers.

Dritz makes this popular seam ripper.

After ripping out the stitches from the front, I learned that if you flip the project over and pull out the bobbin stitching, you do a lot less damage to the fabric and make the sewing thread come out in longer pieces, making opening a mistake faster.

And then, because I wonder about odd things, I wondered if it wouldn’t be a great idea to have a stitch-ripper for your life. Don’t like the way a project at work is turning out? Flip over your whole team and pull the thread that holds together poor thinking and wrong conclusions.

Don’t like the plot line in your story? Flip it over and find out what emotional stitching got tangled up in the logic thread and pull it out.

Unhappy with the direction your relationship is heading? Look at the other side carefully and see if the ideas, goals, dreams you both share are lined up right, There might be a wrinkle in the relationship that sounds similar to, “I’d really love that person if only s/he would change for me.” Time for the seam ripper.

I hate making mistakes, and I hate using the seam ripper, because undoing work isn’t fun and the stitch ripper requires some skill in itself–you can’t be too fast or vicious with it. But knowing that no emotion is final helps me open the old to make room for something fresh and different.

–Quinn McDonald doesn’t sew, so she has to know how to use a stitch ripper.

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16 thoughts on “The Stitch-Ripper for Your Life

  1. I’m a little confused. The last thing I remember is wondering whether taking that job in the insurance industry was a good decision. This is, by the way, the nicest computer I’ve ever seen; it’s much better than the Commodore 64 that was just introduced last month. Also I have this weird little thing in my pocket that’s vibrating; it seems to be some really fancy kind of pager or something but’s missing all the buttons but one. Something unusual must have just happened but I’ll be darned if I can remember what it was…

  2. I’d rather have to take out a seam than to be too scared to make one – and sometimes it takes a while to get things right. It’s a little less complicated an ordinary seam on a regular sewing machine, at worst you might see a line of holes where a seam had been let out – on my overlocker, it’s not so easy because the you can only take the seam in as there’s no excess fabric left behind to let a garment out.
    I made a lined, boned, strapless wedding dress a while back as a promise I’m made to a little girl who live next door to me. First there was the pattern making from careful measurements, then the toile, that mock-up to check the fit was perfect. Several fittings later the bride had a dress she wore for 12 hours and didn’t have to hitch up once!
    I approach some decisions with much more preparation and caution.

  3. If I didn’t have a seam ripper, my life fabric would be balled up in a huge knotted mess, not functional, and certainly not a pretty sight. Thank goodness there are the equivalents of seam rippers for living. A

    nd I love embellishingbliss’s comment on how the new stitches are better, because you’ve learned what not to do. Wonder if I can consider the new stitches, not only a repair but also an embellishment?

  4. Ripped the seam right out,am packing today to start a new life in a new house tomorrow,your posts always hit the spot. Will definatley be more careful where I put my stiches in the future. If I was ever faced with undoing its right now….15 years of relationship,2 kids under 12 ,a foreign country. Need my future stiches to be less complicated because you are right,undoing is NO fun. But hopefully the space created will bring new life and energy to something that is not right. I am working on the Wise woman concept, some wonderful things have crossed my path in past few days. Will send some pics in once I am settled and got a table set up for art work. It’s given me a great focus while all this other mayhem is going on. You are my cyberspace wise woman!!

    • Thanks, I am figuring it out as I go along myself. You sound like you have quite a lot on your plate. Which has it’s good and bad points–but yep, keep it simple and don’t be afraid to start over. Much strength as you go through the move.

  5. Quinn:
    I am a fiber artist, so you post today hit home with me. Some people call using the seam ripper – “Un-sewing” The good news is that when you “Re-sew” you tend to do it a little more carefully so that you get it right. If you take your time, the new sewing is better than the original and you learned what not to do in the process. Guess that is sort of like life!

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