Darlene's Thread: Choosing the Right Scissors to Make the Cut

by Partner DarleneCahill on ‎08-27-2010 12:42 PM (78 Views)

As long as the fabric gets cut, it doesn’t really matter what kind of scissors you use, right?
In short, NO! There is a bountiful cornucopia of cutting tools that are available for your use.  Using the right tool for the job can reduce the labor you put into the project  and will increase the professionalism and flair of your final product.  It’s a step well worth taking  to grab the attention of an admiring eye!
Let’s begin with the most commonly used cutting tool:

The “scissors” that most people think of are actually called Shears. Shears are at least six inches long and are used to cut fabric or thread.  They have a small finger-hole for the thumb and a larger finger-hole for the rest of the fingers, and the body of the tool is slightly angled to permit easier cutting against a flat surface.

Pinking Shears are shears that are used to finish an edge of raw fabric.  They have a unique cut-out edge on the blade, and they cut in a stylized finish like as a zig-zag, scallop, or other fanciful design.  Aside from the fun factor, fabric that is cut in an uneven manner has the benefit of not unraveling as easily as fabric cut in a straight line, and pinking shears are fantastic when creating a sturdy or stylized edge to fabric, especially unwoven.

Genuine Scissors have straight blades, straight bodies, and uniform finger holes, as opposed to the bent angles and different handles on shears.  Scissors are used for detail work, like cutting off hems or seam allowances, whereas shears are used for cutting large amounts of fabric.  In more recent years, brands like Fiskar have begun to make scissors spring-loaded; all you have to do is squeeze the handle and the scissors practically operate themselves!
These new versions also allow for a cleaner cut than hand-operated scissors.  Electric scissors are available on the market as well, and deliver a clean cut with minimal mechanical effort on your part.

Sewing Scissors are used (again, as the name implies) for sewing.  These are strong enough to cut most light fabrics, but slender enough to be proficient in thread-cutting as well.  They range in size from 3 to 6 inches, and are a staple in any seamstress’s arsenal.

Appliqué Scissors, as the name suggests, are primarily used when working with appliqués.  They are distinct in that while one blade is straight and knifelike, the other is wide and rounded – when in use, the rounded (often termed 'duckbill' ) blade helps to protect the adjacent or underneath fabric while the straight blade does the snipping.  The curve of the handle also allows the user to snip threads close to the surface in an embroidery hoop without damaging the fabric or appliqué itself.
Under-Trimmer Scissors are used to trim threads from underneath a presser  foot or embroidery hoop.  The unique 90-degree angle of the finger-holes and blade allows for easy cutting despite the obstacle of a square, immobile embroidery frame.
Curved Embroidery Scissors may seem a bit strange if you’ve never encountered them before, but their design is nothing short of genius.  The blade of curved embroidery scissors is curved upwards, against the flat of the blade.  The reason for this is that when you need  to cut a jump thread on an embroidery design, the angular nature of these scissors allows a precise cut on only the thread that you  intended.  Rather than struggling with straight sewing scissors or thread trimmers while trying to avoid snipping portions of your embroidery , the curved variety will help you to keep the already sewn portions of your embroidery design intact.

In most sewing kits, a set of tiny scissors is included.  These mini-scissors are called Snips, and they are used to cut threads while sewing.  Because of their small size (2 to 3 inches in length), snips are structurally weak, and are not designed to cut fabric.  The blade may either be slightly rounded or tapered with huge finger-holes, for easier grasping.  The finger-holes are usually the most notable feature of snip, as they can occupy up to 50 or 60% of the scissors’ design.  Some snips are decorated to look like storks in a manner similar to embroidery scissors, but most are small, streamlined, and simple.

Blade Snips are devoid of any finger-holes whatsoever – instead, they function similar to tweezers, snipping away with a light squeeze.  Because there are no bulky metal rings to maneuver around or get caught, blade snips can go places that normal scissors can’t, like into the recesses of a serger to remove a thread tangle.  If there’s a snaggle in your work that no other tool can reach, you can count on blade snips to get rid of it!

Embroidery Scissors range from functional to ornate, though all makes and models are small and delicate.  If decorated, embroidery scissors are traditionally embellished with a stork in such a manner as to integrate the blades into the design of the bird’s beak.  The basic design is a refined version of snips – the alignment of the blade and finger holes are straight, with a tiny blade to allow for as much precision as possible.
To help keep your scissors or shears in tip-top shape, don’t use them on anything that they weren’t designed for – that is, use them only on thread and fabric.  Clean them off after every project to remove any fabric, thread fuzz, or dust that may have accumulated.  If your scissors or shears begin to dull, do not try to sharpen them yourself unless you know what you’re doing.  Have them sharpened by a trained professional – you’ll get a finished edge on your fabrics and threads, your scissors will last a lifetime, and you will keep all ten fingers intact for many more years of sewing!
Tune in these dates and times for the September shows:

  • Thu 9/2 @ 9 A.M. and 3 P.M. featuring Brother
  • Sat 9/2 @ 10 A.M. and 4 P.M. featuring Singer
  • Thu 9/9 @ 6 A.M. and 2 P.M. featuring Singer
  • Mon 9/13 @ 10 A.M. featuring Singer Iron
  • Tue 9/14 @ 1 P.M., 3 P.M. and 8 P.M. featuring Singer
  • Sat 9/25 @ 2 P.M. and 7 P.M. featuring Singer
  • Mon 9/27 @ 10 A.M. feat. Brother and 2 P.M. feat. Singer

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by mawmawbobbie on ‎08-30-2010 09:13 PM

i have a euro-por x sergrer and i meed a users manuel do you know where i can get one i bought it here on hsn

by aamiller on ‎08-31-2010 05:30 PM

You can access the manuals for most Europro products at euro-pro.com. There is a spot at the bottom of their homepage for manual requests. You will want to have your model number handy. I hope this helps!

by Ginger12357 on ‎09-02-2010 08:46 PM

Darlene could you add the serger pillow you showed on this mornings show to your projects either on the HSN website or your Darlene cahill website?

by BETH797 on ‎09-03-2010 12:44 PM

Hey Darlene ~ Loved the shows this week!I have both the Brother 294 Stitch sew mach.& Brother 770 Emb.only mach. which you featured. They are both GREAt!I have become spoiled by the knee lifter on 294. I encourage anyone to purchase these machines. I also love my singers,esp.the new Singer Quantum L-500! OMGoodness! >>>BTW--Darlene: Would you please clarify the SEPTEMBER DATES for us?? On your schedule, the Day" doesn't match the "Date". I always put reminders on my calendar. Thanks :smileyhappy: jm

by foxylady1957 on ‎09-03-2010 08:53 PM

Hi Darlene I loved the pink blouse with the pink bows all around the neck line. It was beautiful. I have a special event coming up and i would love to be able to make that blouse. I just purchased the surger because of that blouse. Can you tell me how to get a pattern for it. Keep bring wonderful products to us!!!

by SewThankful on ‎09-04-2010 11:11 AM

HI Ginger 12357,
So glad to hear that you liked my serged pinweaving pillow sample. I would be happy to post it next week so be sure to check back. Basically it is serged narrow strips using different threads and settings in similar colors. Thanks for watching our airings. We'll connect with a pillow recipe soon~~~

by SewThankful on ‎09-04-2010 11:15 AM

Beth 797,
Thanks for catching the times glitch. I'm on Today 9/4 Saturday at 10am and 4pm and then Thursday the 9th and so on. I think the rest is corrrect. Some times are for a new Singer iron only so it appears in a Home Solutions mixed show. Happy for you and your machine collection! You are a very wise shopper!!!See you on air!

by SewThankful on ‎09-04-2010 11:23 AM

foxylady1957 (it was a very good year!)
Delighted to hear that you liked my pink cotton blouse! That puppy cost less than $12.00 to make and i saw one similar in white for $300.00 in Las Vegas!!! I used a princess style dress pattern/cut off the skirt part/ faced the neckline after I deleted the collar/ Serged strips and cut an inverted V in the ends/ tied bows/tacked them all along the neckline and around the cuffs to desired fullness. I'll post a photo on FB so you can see up close.

by crafty11 on ‎09-04-2010 01:48 PM

I would like to see if you can get the value pkg of feet for the Quantum L-500 by Singer. I purchased this machine from hsn but didn't receive the value feet pkg. They gave me $50 off but you can't replace the feet for this price. I will give the $50 back for the feet. Any help would be appreciated. I went through customer support but was told they couldn't get the feet. I talked a friend into getting the machine too and she received her feet.

by foxylady1957 on ‎09-04-2010 07:34 PM

THANKS!!! I know this may seem like a crazy question but do I look at facebook here on HSN for the picture or yours? I can't wait to see the picture of the blouse. I thank you for responding to my questions.

by SewThankful on ‎09-05-2010 10:36 AM

Hi Crafty11,
So sorry to hear about the preser foot glitch. HSN CS doesn't stock feet. Have you tried calling 1-800-4-SINGER or an e-mail to Singer's customer service at talktous@singerco.com? It's not easy to track down that particular foot package because the feet are extra wide to accomodate the 9mm stitch width and many of them have an indent in the back for the integrated dual fee. Keep trying. I'm sure that Singer will make things right for you. The machine is a keeper! Many Thanks!

by SewThankful on ‎09-05-2010 10:39 AM

Hi Foxylady,

I don't know what FB here at HSN is, I meant to say that I have a personal FB page so let's be friends and I'll post the picture for you to see today! Happy Labor Day Weekened!

by SewThankful on ‎09-05-2010 10:41 AM

Thanks so much for the quick answer to mawmawbobbie. It's women like you that make our HSN sewing community great!
Wishing you a Great Sewing Month!

by Admirer 2 sewingaddict Admirer 2 on ‎09-05-2010 09:14 PM

I just noticed that the Singer Quantum L-500 looks exactly like the new Pfaff Smarter machine. Aren't you all glad we got ours here at HSN for a fraction of the price these will be selling!?

by Terrie89 on ‎09-06-2010 04:21 AM

Dear Sothankful,
I own many Storybook Knits sweaters. I have lost some weight and the sweaters are a little big. I would like to know if the Singer Quantum Stylist that I bought last month can be used to take in the sweaters and what foot and size thread would I use? What are your suggestions for these beautiful Storybook Knits? They need to be taken in about an inch on each side and there is plenty of room on each side seam without disturbing pockets and decorations

by SewThankful on ‎09-08-2010 07:37 PM

HI Sothankful,
Yes, there are many ways to cook a potato so in the world of sewing are there many ways to take in a Storybook knit! In short, put on the sweater inside out and carefully pin exactly where you would like the new seam to be. Baste seam. Snap on your overcasting foot and program an overcasting stitch 7mm wide and 3.5-4.0mm long. Use Polyester thread for strength and no shrinkage. Trim excess seam allowance close to where you stitched being careful not to clip the stitching.

by SewThankful on ‎09-08-2010 07:38 PM

OK Foxylady,
I'm posting the photo on my personal FB page right now---sorry about the delay. Hope this helps. Let us know how yours comes out!!!

by JulieMO_1 on ‎09-09-2010 01:04 PM

Hi Darlene, I'm confused about the date for the next Brother presentation. It says Thursday, the 27th, but that is a Monday. I think at least one other day or date is wrong,too. Thanks for your help.

by BEACHGIRL01 on ‎09-10-2010 11:00 AM

I love the pink blouse also. One of the reply said that you was going to post the picture and instructions but I can't find it either. Where do I need to go to find this. I love it!!!!
It's very classy. You do such wonderful work. I also have a special event and would love to have this blouse made in the pink.
Many blessings to you. :smileyhappy:

by Solid on ‎09-13-2010 03:19 PM

HI Darlene,
Is there any way to print the designs from the Embroidery Design Collection CD (2,600 premier images) on paper. I did it with my 3900 design CD but cannot find a way to do it with this new Cd. Thanks in advance!

by SewThankful on ‎09-13-2010 04:24 PM

HI Juliemo,
I just sent an e-mail to the dot com team to make the correction. Thanks for the call-out! It should say Saturday the 25th and Moday the 27th. Thanks so much for your comment and for watching our shows.
Happy Sewing~

by SewThankful on ‎09-13-2010 04:27 PM

I posted the blouse last week on my personal "Darlene Cary Cahill" facebook page. Take a look and friend me so you can receive projects, photos and sewing info as it happens! Let me know how your blouse turns out~

by SewThankful on ‎09-13-2010 04:30 PM

I really have to double check that answer and will get back to you soon~~ I;m at the studios today but I will check tonight when I get into my sewing studio. If you need an answer right now, you can e-mail a customer service rep at talktous@singerco.com or call 18004-SINGER.

by Solid on ‎09-13-2010 05:29 PM

I will wait for your answer... thanks in advance!

by BEACHGIRL01 on ‎09-14-2010 09:43 AM

Have you posted the pink blouse with the instructions? I still can't find it. I hate to be a bother but I would love to get this made. Thanks for all your help. I see there is some other people wanting it also. :smileyhappy:

by Solid on ‎09-16-2010 03:51 PM

This is the answer I got from Singer:
Thank you for writing Singer. The 2600 designs are not intended to be installed on your computer. You can read these designs directly from the CD using the Embroidery Anthology. This is the only way they can be opened into the Futura program.
In order to print these designs it would be necessary to open them into the Futura program and print from there.

by SewThankful on ‎09-21-2010 09:30 AM

Yes, Beachgirl01,
I posted it on my Facebook page. Darlene Cary Cahill is my full name there. Go to my wall and you'll see a few informative videos too!Hope this helps~

by Admirer 2 sewingaddict Admirer 2 on ‎09-26-2010 11:16 PM

What's the difference between the L-500 and the Quantum Stylist? I have the L-500, but wondering whether to purchase the Quantum Stylist. I do love the added feet on the Stylist. Whoever has this machine, what do you love about it?

by cap99 on ‎09-27-2010 01:17 AM

I just wanted to ask Darlene (or anyone else in the sewing community)if the all in one Singer embroidery, serger and sewing machine is a good choice for someone who is a relatively new sewer and one that does not sew too often? I would really like the machine but am skeptical. Please help!

by KAHOP on ‎09-27-2010 02:05 PM

Cap99, I would purchase the CE-250 (SES2000) rather than the CE-150. The CE-250 and CE-350 can be upgraded with new features, the CE-150 cannot. The CE-250 has more decorative stitches than the CE-150.There is definitely a learning curve with the embroidery feature but it is worth pursuing. I have the CE-150 and am pleased with the sewing features but still have much to learn about embroidery. I just purchased the Quantum Stylist for all my sewing needs and will dedicate my CE-150 to embroidery.

by cap99 on ‎09-27-2010 04:17 PM

Thank you KAHOP for your response. Will look at the model that you suggested. Looking forward to making a purchase before the end of the day.
Thanks again!

by KAHOP on ‎09-27-2010 04:37 PM

Cap99, the automatic updates feature on the SES2000 is the important item that makes the CE-250 superior to the CE-150. You'll also get many more decorative stitches and all the expensive software and accessories. I am hoping to upgrade to the CE-250 or 350 at some point if I can sell my CE-150. Glad to help you -- wish I had had similar feedback when I bought mine.

by mercy03 on ‎09-30-2010 05:01 PM

I have the stylist and the only thing I see is it has more attachments. I hope someone will help and answer your question. I tried

by KAHOP on ‎10-01-2010 12:58 PM

Sewingaddict, I will assume you have read the HSN product descriptions and testimonials for both machines. I just received my Stylist two days ago so it's too soon to comment though I'm happy so far. The Stylist has a drop-in bobbin and the L-500 has a front-load bobbin. The Singer website shows the features of each machine in more detail. Darlene has called the Stylist "the little sister" of the L-500. Hope this helps.

by kyucker_1 on ‎10-02-2010 10:18 AM

Dear Darlene, September's Sewing Month was full of surprises. I was amazed with the new variety of machines that were offered. I was watching the show where you were demonstrating the Singer 5 thread serger. The instant that you seen the price on the screen of only $499.95 the look on your face was amazing. It was a look of total shock and disbelief. It was priceless. I am still saving my money for this serger. My mind is made up. This is the serger for me.

by doodle52 on ‎10-02-2010 11:49 PM

Darlene, you may think this sounds crazy but I get so many tips from watching you when you present the machines. Not only do you make the show so enjoyable but I record it and watch how you operate the needle threaders etc. and before I got my new Brother serger home I felt like I already new how to use it. Do you know when the Singer machines will be on again? I am interested in the heavy duty. I've noticed one heavy duty that is cheaper. Which do you think would work best? Thank you.

by kyucker_1 on ‎10-03-2010 08:40 AM

Dear capp99, The SES2000 has 100 built in stitches along with the embroidry package,the serger fittings for only $799.00. The SES comes with all of the extra software that usually cost $900.00 separately. I have the CE-150. I have it set up for embroidry only. I have the Singer 7470 that comes with 227 stitches which I use for all of my other sewing needs. The Singer futura's are heavy duty sewing machines. They can handle denim, mulitple layers of fabric, and soft leather.(not thick suede).

by Admirer 2 sewingaddict Admirer 2 on ‎10-04-2010 07:48 PM

I did hear Darlene state this was the "little sister" to the L-500. I love the feet for embellishing. I'm excited by the high rating on this machine, and it definitely seems like it's a must have in my sewing room. I wonder if it handles thicker fabrics well (like denim or fleece).

by Admirer 2 sewingaddict Admirer 2 on ‎10-04-2010 07:51 PM

What sort of items have you sewn with the stylist? Does it handle thicker fabrics well? How about the ITY knits?

by SewThankful on ‎10-07-2010 10:41 PM

...and you won't be sorry. The Professional 5 is the most versatile serger with the cover stitch and extra feet and the CD that you can print into a workbook. Priceless in my arsenal! Hope you can pick it up soon!

by SewThankful on ‎10-07-2010 10:47 PM

Hi Doodle,
There will be a sewing Special on Nov. 1 & 2. The Heavy Duty is coming back on that day too. This model is the dark green HD110 and features a large extension table,10 built-in stitches,large circular stitching and extra presser feet.The less expensive one is gray and has more built in zig-zag patterns but does not have a table or as many extra feet.Compare them side by side on our sewing machine page. Either one will work great!

by SewThankful on ‎10-07-2010 10:51 PM

In short, YES! You would have a one stop shop if you picked up the sewing/embroidery/serging Futura SES2000. It's like having three machines in one! You can easily 'morph' the machine from one function to the next and the embroidery will take you to the moon and back. A really great value packed w/software and options. Why not take advantage of HSN's 30-day money back policy and give it a test drive? Happy Sewing!

by kyucker_1 on ‎10-20-2010 09:10 PM

sewthankful, I just had a surprise presented to me by my daughter who is now 38 years of age. My daughter emptied out her UHaul Storage unit this past week. In a bag was quilted material and printed material. I thought that it was destroyed by Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Apparently my daughter had the foresight to put this in her storage unit to protect it. I was going to sew it into a quilt for her bed and curtains for her bedroom. Guess What I will be doing this week end for her and her bedroom.

by saramia on ‎10-21-2010 03:24 AM

How can I sign up to receive this blog via email?

by Solid on ‎10-21-2010 05:03 PM

Great presentation on the last minute today! Can you post on your next available blog or answer here how to make the napkins you showed? I heard you used wing needles but didn't get to see which kind of stitching you use. Can you name it so I can find it on my regular futura or Singer Confidence 7470? Thanks!

by BETH797 on ‎10-21-2010 11:54 PM

Darlene - On your last demo tonight (singer talent) there was a stained glass poinsettia mini quilt in front of the machine. Do you have the instructions, or can you tell me where to get a pattern for that? It was gorgeous & I would love to sew in on my new ''Singer Futura Quatro'' ! Thanks & God bless.

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