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Tips & Techniques > Trimming with Pinking Shears

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Posted by: KarmenG

About KarmenG starstar
MA United States
Member since: 1/3/03
Reviews: 62 (tips: 8)
Skill level:Advanced
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Posted on: 4/16/05 10:41 AM
Review Rating: Helpful by 4 people   Very Helpful by 14 people   
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I have no idea if this is widely done so I thought I'd toss this out as a tip. When I trim various seams and inner construciton, I frequently use my Pinking Shears rather than Straight Shears to remove excess fabric. I recently made a tailored jacket using a light weight wool (similar to wool crepe) and this method helped a lot. All the edges of welt pockets, bound buttonholes, collar seams were done using the Pinking Shears. This method softens the edges and eliminates a straight line impression should you over-press or if your fabric is somewhat sheer. I also "pink' the edges of interfacing pieces fused undeneath pockets and buttonholes, just to be sure it doesn't show through as a rectangle to the right side.

Another benefit is the elimination of clipping little wedges or clip-lines, to ease pieces into a tight area such as a neckline. The zig-zag edge allows you to spread the piece without making all those little clips, which I think sometimes show through to the right side.

Pinking Shears are made to cut one layer only (or they will go out of alignment) so be sure to follow that rule. Try this method - I think you will like it!

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cindyann said... (1/16/08 8:31 AM) Reply
I'm glad someone posted this tip. I use mine PS alot to trim seams. You're so right, it really helps soften the edges.
DedeDinah said... (3/20/06 1:12 PM) Reply
Good tip. I think I will be pinking a lot more often. I was just working on a bedspread and wishing I had pinked the seam edge of my corded piping.
appy said... (6/1/05 8:47 PM) Reply
Loved the pinking shears tip, just got some, good to learn this before using them
Jerry P said... (5/1/05 10:39 PM) Reply
Thank you for the great tip, I will be using my pinking shears a lot more now.
KarmenG said... (4/20/05 8:55 AM) Reply
Clev - I don't think those rotatary blades with curves would do what I'm talking about, because I typically hold the garment in my hands and clip the extra off with the shears. And I wouldn't want to cut out fabric with them either, as the edges wouldn't be straight enough for an accurate stitch guide. If it were me I'l leave those blades for other hobbies. I don't see a use for them in sewing - other than decorative edges.
appleC said... (4/19/05 10:00 AM) Reply
Thank you for reminding me of my pinking shears :) It's a great idea to use it in curvy areas that require clips. I recently found a line impression in the zipper flyer because of the stabilzer. I'll try my pinking shears next time and see if it helps. Thanks.
Clev said... (4/18/05 4:28 PM) Reply
I've been wondering if the rotary cutter that is wavy vs. straight would serve as a pinking treatment?? If any one has tried it let me know before I buy one.
Liana said... (4/17/05 8:26 AM) Reply
I love my pinking shears too, but rarely hear of anyone else using them anymore. Glad to know about the 1-layer rule too! That's news to me, and maybe why I've sometimes had problems.....
Stitchology said... (4/16/05 10:03 PM) Reply
Yep, I use them all the time for this reason and for cutting out ravelly things so they won't shred too much before I get to finish the edges.
dreamsofthetime said... (4/16/05 6:00 PM) Reply
I'll be digging out my pinking shears more often. Your comment that the shears are only meant to cut one layer reminded me that my mother always cut out her garment pieces with pinking shears (and she never cut out the pattern paper first so it got pinked too!). I can only remember her having the one pair. Amazing that they lasted. She refused to teach me to sew... thank goodness. :)
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