Ripping Stitches and Beyond

So I’m working on Marcy Tilton’s t-shirt (V8497-see Laurel’s version in January Club Garments post) and I think I’ll be clever and use my new roll of one inch fusible interfacing (a Sewing and Quilting purchase) to mark the hem and give it more stability. Well, I kept getting puckers on the right side fabric of the hem. Did I mention I’m using my Babylock coverstitch? I tried using the differential feed but that didn’t help. As I’m ripping out the hem stitches for the third time, I decide to look in some of my serger books to see if there’s an easy way to rip coverstitch. To quote Singer Sewing With Your Serger, “Remove cover-stitch threads just as you would remove chainstitch threads. With a seam ripper or a straight pin, remover the last two or three stitches formed by each of the needle threads. Turn over the fabric and gently pull on the looper thread until all the stitches unravel. Remove the loose needle threads.”

I tried. It didn’t work. Several times, I tried. I’m wondering if the Babylock stitch formation is different? I settled on this method: Slide seam ripper between needle threads and under looper stitches on the wrong side. Pull needle threads out-they should come easily in one piece. Use your serger tweezers to pull out small pieces of looper stitch to save your fingers and get a few more at a time.

Getting back to the hem-I removed the fusible interfacing from my hem and the problem went away. Maybe the puckers wouldn’t have happened if I had applied the interfacing at the 1″ hemline and above but then it wouldn’t have saved the measuring. Or if I stitched the hem with the hem allowance/interfacing next to the presser foot, would that have helped? But then I’d have the looper side of the coverstitch showing on the right side.

Any suggestions? Ripping out coverstitch or turning up a hem with fusible interfacing strips are the challenges for today.

Looking for fashion forward events?

U of M’s Design Department has its senior student style show, Insight, this Saturday, Feb. 6 at 5:30 and 8. Tickets are $15 purchased online.

Fashion Sewing Club meets next week-Tuesday, Feb. 9, at Treadle Yard Goods in St. Paul and Thursday and Saturday, Feb. 11 and 13 at Associated Sewing in Bloomington.

Dress Your Best is Saturday, Mar. 6. Pick up fashion, makeup and image tips from several speakers.

Christopher Straub from Project Runway, Season 6, will speak at The Sampler in Chanhassen on Friday evening, Mar. 12. Call to reserve your $30 ticket-952-934-5307. At last look, it wasn’t on their website.

4 thoughts on “Ripping Stitches and Beyond

  1. Thanks for the great tip on how to remove coverstitch stiches. I have been patiently trying to conquer my coverstitch machine for a while. I dont have alot of tips and you probably have found an answer to your dilemna by now. But I found, instead of using stabilizer for the hem, armholes or neck, that if I serge the raw edge once , twice for the hem, it adds stablility and stretch. Once, I even added of thin strip of the actual knit I was using and serged that inside, and trimmed close. Then ironed my hem and used the coverstitch to finish the hem.
    I love your site, thanks!


  2. A slightly easier way: rip out the top stitches (one or two, depending on serger) with a seam ripper just as you would with a straight stitch. Then, from the back side you can just pull the looper theads and they will unravel in one long piece. Ta-da!


  3. I used the technique you described and it worked. The trick is to rip in the right direction: hold a section of the hem with the stitches running away from you like a train track. Have the right edge of the hem facing to the right, and rip toward you. This is the first time I have done this and it works. I think with a chain stitch it is the opposite, but don’t quote me.


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