Dressmaker's Scissors and Shears

You'll find out quickly that trying to use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut through fabric doesn't work well. A seamstress keeps a pair of dressmaker shears in the sewing cabinet and delegates standard scissors to complete other tasks. Keep additional sewing tools on hand to complete projects quickly and easily.

Sewing Tools

Remember the time you used the floor to cut out a pattern when sewing cutting mats and boards would have saved your floor and aching back? These tools have printed grids on them to help you make precision cuts in record time, and the fabric stays flat rather than bunching up. When you make a mistake and need to take apart two pieces of fabric, use a seam ripper. The tool has a sharp blade on one side to slice through threads and a small round ball on the other to protect the fabric while you're working. Sewing thread snips have a small handle to get into tight spaces and sharp slender blades to trim excess thread from fabric or cut off thread ends.

Pinking Shears

Have you ever passed up buying a lovely fabric you wanted because the thread has a tendency to unravel? Pinking shears have serrated blades that make a zig-zag pattern to keep the fabric threads from working loose. Without this cutting tool, you would need to use your sewing machine to run stitches along the fabric edges to prevent fraying. You can purchase these shears in left and right-handed models in various colours like black, orange, and two-toned shades.

Standard Scissors

When used for sewing or quilting, standard scissors come up short every time. Their lighter weight keeps them from cutting through heavy fabric, and the blades have a tendency to dull easily. Yet many tailors keep one nearby to cut out pattern pieces or trim thread ends when sewing.

Dressmaker Shears

Most people use the names scissors and shears interchangeably, but to a dressmaker, they are different. Measuring 18 to 25 centimetres in length, dressmaker shears are usually longer than scissors and convenient for cutting out long spans of fabric. One blade is tapered and has a sharp end for cutting out notches on patterns and snipping curves on finished seams. The other blade has a blunt tip so the shears don't snag the fabric.