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Tips & Techniques > seam-ripping serged seams

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Posted by: AnneM
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About AnneM starstar
Member since: 7/30/02
Reviews: 69 (tips: 5)
Skill level:Intermediate
Favored by: 48 people
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Posted on: 5/22/04 7:18 PM
Last Updated: 1/6/06 7:02 AM
Review Rating: Very Helpful by 9 people   
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I was recently faced with undoing some LONG seams that I had serged. After sweating about this for a little, I thought of an easy way to do it. It is easier if you haven't finished the ends, but can be done regardless.

With your seam-ripper, carefully pick out the needle thread(s) from the end of the seam. Note that they will be more accessible from one side than the other. When you have enough to grip, pull the thread out of of your material, as you would when pulling out basting stitches. If the seam is long, cut the needle threads part-way to make it easier. Once this is done, the looper threads easily pull out.

update: I've found in some fabrics the threads don't pull easily. In those cases, I've taken to creating an opening in the seam from the inside, then from the right side I can get to to needle thread(s) and pick them out without simply cutting and leaving lots of thread bits. The looper threads just fall off afterwards. This is slower than being able to pull out the needle thread, but still faster than other methods I've tried.

And yes, I do end up ripping my serged seams that often. :o

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KathySews said... (8/6/09 11:26 AM) Reply
Thanks so much. I had this issue today and sure enough there was a tip.
Topstitcher said... (1/5/06 8:31 PM) Reply
This hint looked so easy I just had to try it. I used a test scrap I'd made and cut the needle thread every few inches. Then I could just pull it out and the rest fell apart. This is by far the easiest way to rip a searged seam. Thank you for a great time saver!
Asa Hagstrom said... (10/10/04 11:43 AM) Reply
Thank you so much for this tip! This afternoon, I was in a hurry to rip a serged seam, and being new to serging this was a first. I came straight here because I remembered seeing your tip before - it worked great!
nasfanman said... (6/12/04 10:38 PM) Reply
What a neat Idea. I'll use this baby for sure.
Londa Rohlfing said... (5/23/04 7:23 PM) Reply
Abssolutely positively correct - in serging, it is the needle(s) that hold the looper threads, so pulling the needle thread(s) will indead allow all else to fall off.
PVA said... (5/22/04 10:36 PM) Reply
Hey AnnM, this is a real winner! I certainly plan to use this one, since I seem to believe every sewing session calls for at least one episode of "unsewing"! Thanks for this review.
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