Oliver + S

Unserging in Six Easy Steps

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    BeckyinFL @BeckyinFL

    Okay, I lied. It’s not easy like eating ice cream. It’s more like swallowing pills — easy enough, but somewhat distasteful.

    So, I got up early this morning to whip out a little Seashore Sundress. This will be the third time I’ve made up this cute pattern, so I guess I’m getting careless. Long story short, I sewed the pocket wrong-side-up. Not only that, but I serged it, too. Didn’t notice this until I was about to gather the pocket/skirt to attach it to the bodice. Duh moment.

    The question was whether to throw out the pocket/skirt units and start over or attempt a fix. I’d never ripped out serging before. I decided to try it in a spirit of educational inquiry. Although this is cheap fabric, and I have lots of it, the next time I may be using nice fabric and have little of it, so let’s see how it goes.

    It went better than I expected. Here’s what I did (corresponding to numbered photos):
    1. The problem.
    2. Cut every 5th or 6th stitch on one side of the stitching.
    3. Pull away the thread from the other side.
    4. Pulling the pieces apart, nick the serged threads with a rotary cutter. You need a good light for this. If you pull on the fabric, the threads will be on top. You sort of stroke them with the blade. There are two serger rows to cut, and it worked out best to do them at the same time.
    5. Clean up the thread bits with masking tape rolled around a couple fingers.
    6. The result. Not bad!

    (Note: the last two photos are in the first reply below. Couldn’t attach more than 4 photos to this post.)

    I know that some of you may have different, even better ways to cope, but maybe some will benefit from this post. Considering that makes me almost glad it happened. Almost.

    BeckyinFL @BeckyinFL

    Here are the last two photos. For some reason, the photos in the original post aren’t in the right order. Sorry!

    • This reply was modified 9 years ago by BeckyinFL.
    Sarvi @Sarvi

    Oooh, rotary blades are so super sharp, please do be very careful. I just use a seam ripper for everything. It’s a bit slower than ripping out an ordinary seam as there’s more thread, but it’s still just thread loops so the concept is the same. Have you got one of these things?


    IKEA lint roller. 99 cents, and does a pretty good job.

    BeckyinFL @BeckyinFL

    Thanks for the word of caution, Sarvi. I completely agree about being careful around that very sharp blade! I tighten the blade when I use it in this way, so it does not rotate. It’s a sort of sideways scrape over the stitches. My fingers aren’t near, and I’m applying very little pressure. But I do always bear in mind how dangerous they are, and I pay close attention when I use them.

    Good tip about the lint roller.

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