Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sewing Gadgets: Scissors

Every seamstress needs a reliable pair of scissors, maybe two.

My mom taught me very early in life the value of sewing shears. The wonderful, orange Fiskars in her sewing box were to be respected, used with care, never dropped or pointed at an enemy and NEVER to be used for anything but fabric. Because her careful instructions were followed, the scissors served her well for many years...until the day that my brother just younger than me had a bright idea to use them on wire. Wire?? What was he thinking??!!! I don't think I'll ever understand what was going on in his teenage brain.

Anyway, by this time this terrible atrocity had occurred, I had my own pair of sewing shears.

My first pair were lightweight Fiskars with a comfort grip on both sides. This was crucial because I am left-handed and using my mom's right-handed shears always left my wrist aching. For the first time, I was in heaven. I cut fabric with ease and without turning my elbow out awkwardly.

I fell in love again in college, when I purchased a pair of Gingher shears. Gingher gives discounts to students in sewing classes so I got mine for 40-50% off the normal price. Gingher has a lot of different kinds of shears and happened to have a left-handed version of their 8" dressmaker's shears.

I absolutely love them. They stay sharper than my Fiskars, and cut through more layers of fabric with ease. Believe me, cutting through two layers of thick wool is no picnic but is SO much easier with Gingher scissors. I especially like that the edge is pointed and super sharp.

Gingher shears come with a lifetime warranty. Five or so years ago I accidentally cut over a pin while cutting out some pattern pieces, leaving an annoying nick in the blade. A few months later I dropped my beautiful shears on the floor. They were just bent enough that they wouldn't open and close. I was crushed. I decided to wait to get them fixed until it became absolutely necessary, a choice I regretted. Last summer, my Fiskars became dull from use. It was time to revive my lefties so I sent them back to the factory with $7.50, the price for repair. They came back as good as new a few weeks later and good ol' Gingher and I have been cutting fabric together ever since. I still use my Fiskars, but mainly for cutting thread, because they're lighter in my hand.

So, if you are on the hunt for some good shears here are some guidelines:

1. Choose a brand you know and trust. If you're worried about cost,
use your 40% off coupon at Joann's.
2. Make sure they do the job and fit comfortably your hand.
3. Keep them in a protective sheath when not being used.
4. Get them sharpened as needed. Don't procrastinate like I did!!

Note: If you choose cheaper shears, plan on paying to get them sharpened more often. Many fabric stores have in-store sharpening services or have someone they recommend.

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