Last week I was working on a sewing project using a very lightweight, sheer, silky type of fabric. I have one, very old, pair of scissors that will cut that kind of fabric ... and you guessed it, they broke. Every other pair of scissors I tried would not work - either the fabric slipped or the fabric was chopped into ragged hunks.
I have looked all over the broken scissors for a brand name, but cannot find one. If there was a name stamped on them, it has worn away.
I have looked online, and all the scissors that claim they can cut sheer fabric are very expensive - and I hate to spend that much money and then the scissors won’t work properly. Anyone have recommendations for scissors that will cut very lightweight fabrics?
I have a spring loaded pair of Fiskars and a pair of regular Ginghers. I use the Fiskars more because I have arthritis in my right hand but the Ginghers are razor sharp. I bought them at one of Hancock Fabrics 50% off notions sales.
If you have the money to invest (and a quality pair of sewing shears IS an investment which should outlast you- IF taken care of properly) it's hard to go wrong with Ginghers. JoAnn fabrics often has 50% off coupons (sign up at a local store and/or online) and that brings them down to a somewhat reasonable price for many people.
If not, the Fiskars (NOT the "spring loaded" type... at least under somewhat steady use, I find they don't hold up at all well, and I simply do not like them... I do a LOT of cutting and sewing) have a good edge and they sell a sharpener (well under $10) which will put them back in alignment and put the edge back on them easily.
Or, I've actually been quite impressed with these "cheapies"... I'm not sure how long they'll hold up under heavy use, and I go back to my Ginghers, but I bought them for when I'm cutting a pattern AND fabric... because, believe it or not, cutting pattern tissue paper dulls very sharp shears!
BUT... this is the real point. If you do invest in a great pair of shears, ONLY CUT FABRIC with them!! (and yarn or thread). NOTHING else. No paper, string, twine. plastic... NOTHING. At best it will dull them. At worst, it can knock them out of alignment or actually ding the cutting surface. After that, nothing short of a professional repair/sharpening (which is going to cost you more than a cheap pair of scissors) will work.
Keep them in a case of some kind when not using them, put a drop of light machine oil at the bolt/junction once in awhile, and they'll do everything you could want.
Thanks everybody! I don’t mind investing in a pair of quality scissors, but I am going to wait until Sunday, when all the fabric and craft stores have 40% and 50% off coupons in the Sunday paper. No sense in spending more than you have to.
Yesterday, I cut out some medium weight cotton, with a pair of 50˘ scissors (2 pair of scissors on a card for $1.00) from the dollar store. The cheap scissors cut the cotton just fine, but would not cut the lightweight fabric - you just never know.
For sheer fabric, in a pinch, I used hair scissors, the kind hairdressers (or dog groomers) use and they were NOT expensive either, did a good job. However now most of my cutting is done with rotary cutters like the quilters use.
Have several cutters in different sizes, if using a pattern, I use weights instead of pins to hold the layers together. When possible I use various sizes of quilting guides for straight edges and for curves I have found I can use a draftsman's French Curve tool and the smallest diameter rotary cutter I can find - I have one about 1 inch diameter and can cut almost anything with them. For internal corners that I can't get a good rotary cut, that is where I use the hair scissors.
I gave up on scissors years ago since I am left handed and to get quality sewing scissors which are REALLY for leftys (blades reversed, not just the finger hole size) cost a king's ransom. So I went to the Adapt and Overcome mode. I use nothing but the fiscar style stainless scissors and have a sharpener. You can also get sharpeners for the rotary blades as long as they are smooth edged. Haven't found a solution to sharpening the pinking blades.
The only problem learning to use the rotary cutter is to remember to keep the fingers of the holding hand WELL AWAY from the blade. They now make cut proof gloves - definitely worth the expense and time to put them on. Shaving a hunk off of your thumb or finger with the rotary cutter will make you a believer on some sort of protection after the first time your finger gets in the cutting line. Messes up the hand and the fabric about equally. BTDT!
The problem is that people keep screaming:"The wolf is coming, the wolf is coming!" so often that we never notice the coyote that is running off with the chickens.
My mom is as close to a professional semstress as it gets. Right now her passion is quilting but from the time she was a little girl she sewed her own clothes and until I got into highschool most of my major wardrobe components were sewn by either her or me. Yes, I can sew, I just don't have the time for it now though all of my kids wore handmade clothes until they were about five or six.
You know what I got for my wedding gift from my parents? A new singer sewing machine. LOL! I still have it and it has never given me a bit of trouble. I also have a serger.
One of the absolute best gifts Mom and Dad ever gave me was a good pair of Ginghers scissors. I keep them in the box they came in and everyone knows that if you touch those scissors you might as well have signed a warrant for some serious trouble. I'll use Fiskars for everyday fabric but for anything else I use my ginghers. They are over twenty years old and are still as sharp as the day they were purchases.
In a pinch for small pieces of very sheer and/or silky material like ribbon I will use a pair of professional quality mustache scissors. I got them at a hair salon.
Had the wonderful gold handled Ginghers in a wooden padded case for $16 a pair!! I promptly bought them for her for her birthday. I had been to her house helping with a new baby, and had discovered they literally didn't have a decent pair of scissors in the house! Talk about frustrating... she wanted help making some pillows for her couch, and I ended up cutting the fabric with my jackknife! LOL!
And yes, the biggest problem in a house with kids is keeping their sticky fingers off the GOOD scissors!! I have a pair of big Fiskar dressmaker's shears we use for everything now... they still say (in sharpie) "FABRIC only!! Do not use or DIE!" on their handles! LOL!... The problem is, one of the teenage boys decided that the fiberglass fabric he was using to repair a snowmobile should qualify...sigh. That was the end of them being precision silk scissors.
Using sales and coupons, I ended up with three new scissors! I got a pair of Mundial, a pair of Ginghers and a pair of Fiskars. I got the Ginhgers and Fiskers on everyone’s recommendations. I tried the Mundial scissors in the store and liked the way they fit my hand, so I got them too. As much as I sew, I consider them an investment.
One mistake I made, was using my good sewing scissors for cutting everything but fabric. My new ones are put away so I won’t be tempted to do that anymore. I keep the 50˘ scissors around for cutting other things.
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