Elusive Seam Rippers

Oh where, oh where has my seam ripper gone? Or, more correctly, where have my seam rippers gone? I know I have more than one. I have no idea how many seam rippers I actually own.

Working in a fabric store, you realize fast that all sewers frequently lose seam rippers. About half the little gadgets sold are seam rippers, and people tell various tales of losing them in their homes. When you need one, you need one, scissors or pins are not particularly good substitutions.

I needed one last night, and did eventually dig one out from the back of a sewing room drawer. Not a good one, it was not sharp and the handle broke off! But I got the block unassembled and reassembled. So this, of course, made me wonder about seam rippers.

I found dozens of patents for seam rippers, and references to them back well into the sixteenth century, but no written history of this nifty tool. This morning I asked my two of my sewing neighbors just how many seam rippers they thought they had purchased over the years. We wound up with a collective case of the giggles.

How about all you readers out there? How many seam rippers do you think you have ferreted away in your various sewing supplies? What other small but useful sewing or quilting items do you find hard to control? Perhaps they slip away in the middle of the night, not happy with the working conditions we subject them too. Perhaps they ran off with the lint rollers and thimbles. Please share a story today and take the poll. We all need to giggle more!

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About thecuriousquilter

Quilter, sewer, writer, gardener, mother, sister, friend, always learning, always curious.
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7 Responses to Elusive Seam Rippers

  1. Although I have 4 seam rippers (all named Jack, you know!), I have just one seam ripper that I consistently use. It’s not the sharpest and the blade isn’t the skinniest so why do I use it? Cuz it was my Mom’s. She died 12 years ago and I still miss her. Every time I use her seam ripper, I feel connected. I honestly feel alarmed when it gets misplaced. 🙂

    Anyone know how to sharpen a seam ripper? Because I’d really like to get Mom’s back to fighting form. 🙂

    • I have heard of using the small grinding attachment on a Dremel multi-tool. Would love to hear other ideas. And the ripper in the pciture was MY mom’s, who has been gone over 20 years.

  2. well, *dang*! Precisely after I confirmed my comment, I realized that the *reason* I wanted to comment on your post was the picture of the seam ripper you showed .. and I hadn’t mentioned it! That one *IS* my Mom’s seam ripper! How on earth did you get it?? No, wait .. Mom’s seam ripper is right here on my sewing machine cabinet.

    OH MY GOSH … are we sisters, separated at birth? 🙂 Mom always told me that *I* was her favorite daughter! LOL!

  3. Janet says:

    I have two that I use all the time. One lives by my sewing machine, the other by my iron and cutting board. They go in one special drawer if I ever put them away. They are both Clover brand white ones. The best seam rippers I’ve ever known. I have several others that I ignore. I get upset if I can’t find my white ones.

    Now my quilting gloves are another matter. I lost a pair of them in my sewing room about four months ago and I’ve never found them. Now quilting gloves are not my idea of a “little” item. How could they have disappeared?

  4. Sue says:

    I think they all end up in the same black hole as the sock that is lost in the washing machine.

  5. Elaine Adair says:

    3 in my collection, but I prefer only one — it is sharp, has a good large handle that does not get lost in my ‘stuff’

    I have two other favorite tools – one is my “pointy thing”! Made up from high school biology class, for dissecting frogs probably. I added a handle made from an anniversary champagne bottle, and then wound a rubber band around that to keep it from rolling off the table.

    The other tool is a long tweezers – heaven help the day it ever disappears. GREAT for machine quilting, and for paper piecing, grabbing that ittle bit of bobbin thread poking out of the hole. My most frequent tools are kept on a tray with various other must-have junk. Less-used tools are kept in a large coffee cup.

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