Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sewing Scissors

Scissor Group

Today we are going to talk about sewing scissors! I think that having the right tool for the job is really important. It can mean the difference between enjoying something and getting completely frustrated with it and never wanting to do it again!

Dressmaker's Shears

Shears

These 8" shears have a bent handle which allows the lower blade to stay flat on a cutting surface. They're most commonly used for cutting out fabric and patterns, but PLEASE for the love of everything holy don't use the same pair of scissors to cut your patterns and your fabric. I have a similarly shaped orange handled pair of Fiskars for cutting pattern paper. If I'm being honest, my good shears are probably my least used pair of scissors because I prefer to use a rotary cutter and mat for cutting out. When I first moved here I was stuck without them and missed them, so they do have their uses.


Tailor Points

Tailor Points

These little guys are about 5" long and are a pretty versatile. They are nice and sharp so you can cut through several layers, and they're smaller than the shears which makes them more useful and less unruly for trimming and clipping seams. It also works well for buttonholes (though if you're as completely clumsy as me you might just want to use a seam ripper for that).


Applique (Pelican) Scissors

Applique (Pelican) Scissors)

You can probably see why these are sometimes called Pelican-bill scissors. Strictly speaking, these aren't a MUST HAVE for your sewing box, but they are incredibly useful for appliqué and grading seams. The wide bill of the scissors slides along the layer(s) below and holds it down so it doesn't get snipped. Plus, everytime you look in your scissor drawer you can giggle a little since they're so funny looking.


Thread Nippers (Snips)

Thread Nippers

The next funny looking pair of scissors are my thread nippers. When I was growing up I felt like these were the most useless scissors my mother owned. They were awkward and as far as I could tell the tailor points were much more useful for trimming threads. Until... I realized... that I'd NEVER actually used them right! My mom showed me how they were supposed to be held and I was a convert!

Thread Nippers

Don't put your thumb through the loop. They're designed to put your middle finger through the loop but I have giganto hands and find it slightly more comfy to put my ring finger in the loop. Then put the blades between your thumb and index finger and snip away. Complete time saver, and if you have a billion threads to clip at the end of a long project your hands will likely thank you later (at least mine do... I find the snips to be easier on my hands than normal scissors for a lot of really little snips).


Embroidery Scissors

Embroidery Scissors

Embroider scissors are pretty self explanatory I would guess. They're very sharp and pointy so you can trim up close with great accuracy. Gingher advertises their brand as being built more strongly so you can also snip thicker yarns and trim up fabrics.


Rag Snips

Rag Snips

Have you ever made a rag quilt and then wanted to cut off your hands because they were so cramped from sniping a thousand billion tiny little snips into the seams? Well, this solves that problem. They're spring loaded and the blades are just the right size for snipping into the quilt seams. My grandpa discovered that tin snips will also work marvelously for this purpose!


You might notice that I haven't included pinking shears in this list. I don't own pinking shears because I don't find them to actually be all that useful. I have a pinking blade for my rotary cutter that I use if I need to pink something. There are also scissors specifically made for cutting buttonholes but I don't find myself making so many buttonholes that I need them.

Can you think of any others I may have missed?

*****


I'm participating in Mrs. Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday! Click the link below to see what sort of other splendid and spectacular things people have posted about.


Jenny Matlock

29 comments:

Amy said...

I love that you posted about sewing scissors! I really needed the lesson in them. Especially since I am trying to learn to sew. But I may give it up soon due to lack of time and patience. However, since I now know the uses of the different scissors, it may become easier... thanks!

Mary said...

"The right tool for the right job"... yikes - I don't even know where the scissors are half the time and end up using a knife, my teeth, what ever I can improvise with because the darn scissors is always missing! You have given me a whole new respect for scissors!

Maggie B said...

I'm learning so much about scissors today, Sarah @ Hyacinths for the Soul wrote about hers too.
~Maggie~

4 Lettre Words said...

I've never seen the applique scissors. Very cool!

Oh, and here's another "never"...Never use your fabric scissors to cut hair! :o)

Mary said...

I had no idea there was such a thing as Pelican-bill scissors~ sew interesting ;-)

Cheryl said...

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Now I know exactly what to buy my mom and my sister! Two people I can never figure out how to gift!

Awesome awesome post.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I didn't realize there were so many different kinds of scissors.

Tina said...

What a great lesson! I'm not a sewer, but now I know better the purposes of the scissors my grandmother left me in the antique sewing box that I adore. Great post! And thanks for visiting at Life is Good!

laterg8r said...

i had no idea there were so many types of scissors :D

Wizardress said...

and here I thought all scissors were created equally :) Kidding- although I don't own any of the ones you have .. you can tell I don't sew :)

baukje said...

Great post, I did not know all that, although I am a sewer.....Could you tell me where I could buy these ? I am Dutch, live in France but twice a year I go to Holland, so the addresses could be in Hollnd.

GardenofDaisies said...

LOL! that is funny about holding the snips upside down! :-)

H said...

I had absolutely no idea that there were so many types of scissors!! Very informative. Thank you :)

Viki said...

This was very interesting. I love the pelican scissors, they are very cute LOL. I don't think I ever saw the thread nippers either but that's probably because I don't cut fabric really. Great S post.

GFDINER - Kathy said...

Thanks for teaching me so much. I have been sewing and quilting for 30 plus years, but don't know most of these. I just started making rag quilts, so can't wait to get the right scissors for that. Have a great weekend.

Nadeen said...

Well, by golly, I want to know where to get the rag scissors. Or are those tin snips? I want to spit nails when snipping my rag quilts. I work as hard to open the snippers after snipping than to snip. They're sticky and they're Fiskars.

Sarah said...

Loved reading your post on scissors. I featured just my stork scissors, but originally had planned to share others from my collection. Most of my scissors are small scissors for handwork. I've quite a few that I've collected through the years. I've long been fascinated with the intricate design that are on the handles. Some time in the future I'm going to share photos of others. Thanks for sharing this great information. I learned a lot. ~ Sarah

criticalcrass said...

my mama used to get SO mad at me when i would cut paper with her sewing scissors.

From Tracie said...

I'm not much of a sewer, but I remember growing up that my mom had little ribbons on the handles of all her sewing scissors so that everyone knew not to touch them! I don't think she had as many as you do, though.

Mrs.4444 sent me here to say hi! Have a wonderful weekend!

Pondside said...

Wow - what a lot of interesting scissors!
When I was a little girl my mother had a leather case for her nursing scissors - they were special, and engraved with her initials.

mrs. c said...

I do not have as many pairs of sewing scissors as you but I do have several of the ones you listed. What is so upsetting is when I "catch" someone getting ready to cook paper with my "good scissors". It drives me crazy! thanks for the great photos!

Jenny said...

Think of some you missed? I didn't even know there were that many kinds.

I do have pinking shears but I use them only for paper crafts.

The pelican scissors made me laugh. I think you should put some eyes on there with a sharpie or a dot of nail polish!

Thanks for a really interesting and fun stop on our little journey through Alphabe-Thursday's Letter "S"!

You are really splendid!

A+

Jo said...

I agree ... the right tools make all of the difference! i do love the pair of pelican scissors ... i have never seen them before!

Terra said...

very cool, reminded me of my mom - she is a quilter and her scissors are very important to her!

Christy said...

I don't sew - sadly because I am short and it would be so helpful. Not for lack of trying - took lessons 3x, just isn't a talent of mine. I had NO idea there were so many different kinds. Maybe I could sew if I had the right tools?!

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

great scissor descriptions! I never saw a pelican scissor... how cool! haha

I enjoy sewing and am a novice quilter. Thanks for sharing this info with us :o)

Blessings & Aloha!

Zair said...

I guess I always found sewing scissors interesting

...and slightly scary for some reason...

Noodle said...

Love this post!!! I almost never use my gingher dress making shears because as a child I got in troble so much for using my moms... I still feel like I'm going to get scoled if I even look at them...

Melinda Cornish said...

I bow to you oh scissor queen.......I need to get some little thread nippers......

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