The right tool for the job- sewing edition

My mother used to describe house work she hated to do in toilet cleaning units. So cleaning the oven,  in pre self cleaning oven days, was equivalent to cleaning ten toilets.  Washing the living room windows was five toilets.

I still think of some jobs in terms of their toilet value. A few years back I was asked to make fundraising calls  for my son’s school by a professional fundraiser. I told her that I would happily clean all of the school’s toilets instead. No, I didn’t have to clean the school’s toilets, but i also didn't have to make the phone calls.

Un-sewing, or undoing sewing is a job I hate. The only thing worse than undoing regular machine sewing is un-sewing a serged seam. In my impatience in sewing the borders on the photo challa cover I serged the borders on crooked. definitely a three toilet kind of a job. I procrastinated.
I couldn’t put it off any longer and pulled out my favorite seam ripper, an X-acto knife. It was slow going . So, I pulled out a razor blade. Not to slit my wrists, but to cut through the 4 threads making up the seam.  That razor blade cut through the serged seam  “ Like butta “.  Hurrah for the right tool!!!


  1. Even easier (because you don't have to pick out the tiny pieces of thread left behind) is to pull out the needle threads and take off the looper threads. I usually use a stileto and pull the needle threads a section at a time (they will break every few inches, or you can snip them in several places) and then wind the looper threads off onto my hands. No risk of cutting the wrong thing, either!

  2. Good idea Karen, but i used masking tape to get reid of al of the thread pieces. i think that i picked up that hint from Sue Ann Nivens on the Mary Tyler Moore Show.

  3. Karen Minturn BrownMarch 2, 2011 at 9:01 PM

    I can't seem to get the masking tape trick to work - I still end up pulling out tiny pieces of thread. Since I hate doing that, I usually pull out the needle threads instead.

  4. What ever long as it does work.


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