Do you unsew? Or unstitch? Or rip seams? Or pick out threads? That thing we do when the needle and thread went the wrong way or did something we didn't intend? It probably has other names, too.
My father had a watch repair business in our home (in addition to his regular job). When people came to drop off or pick up watches they came in through our front door, walked through a section of our living room, and into the room where my father worked.
Once when I was still new to sewing I was sitting in our living room unsewing another button when a man came to pick up his timepiece. He greeted me, stopped to watch me, squatted, then asked what I was doing. I explained that I needed to get the needle and thread back through the hole. He laughed. He told me it wasn't possible, that I would need to cut the thread and begin again. Unfortunately, he left before I succeeded at my task or he would have learned that it was, indeed, possible. Not easy, but possible.
My mother used a needle to unpick threads until she became acquainted with a seam ripper. She once used it unwisely and ripped not just the threads in the seam but the fabric on one side of the seam. Knowing the power of a seam ripper, she was much more careful from then on.
Now I have a new unsewing tool, recently introduced to me by Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville. I was watching Bonnie on Quiltcam one evening when she was ripping out a seam. I can't remember if another viewer asked her what she was using or if she instinctively knew that some would want to know. She turned to the camera and explained that she was using an eyebrow shaper: not too sharp but sharp enough to cut the threads without cutting the fabric. She told us that they came three to a pack for under $3.00. At Wal-Mart, in the cosmetics area.
I like tools as much as the next gal so when on an errand at Wal-Mart I went over to the cosmetics area and found them. I would have preferred to buy just one until I knew if I liked them, but the eyebrow shapers came three to a pack, so three I bought. I wasn't sure I liked them until I realized it takes a one way sawing motion - downward only, for me at least. Perhaps they work differently for different people. They're very effective and, I think, less risky than a seam ripper.
I'm pleased to have one more tool in my arsenal of unsewing equipment. The less I need to use any of them, though, the better.
Do you unsew? What tools do you use?