Unpicking 3 different stitches

Unpicking 3 Stitches

Sleeve sewn into a armhole?  Collar sewn on upside down?  With all the late night holiday gift sewing going on, sewing mistakes are bound to happen.  Sometimes repeatedly.  Have no fear, most stitches can be unpicked without any permanent damage.  Here are my go to methods with video!  The videos were another brilliant idea from Jill of Oh Crafty One.  Let me know in the comments if they’re helpful.


Unpicking a Straight Stitch

I’m a fan of the pull and gather technique.  I use a dull tweezer to unpick enough stitches for me to grab with the tweezer.  Then I use the tweezer to grab one of the threads, pull and gather down the fabric.  I scoot the gather down the stitch until it breaks or comes out.  This is really quick to do and it saves me from potentially poking holes into the fabric with a seam ripper.  It doesn’t work on stiff or very thick fabric or really short stitch lengths.


Unpicking a Serged Stitch

I usually serge with a 3 thread serge but this example I’m using a 4 thread serge because it seems to be more commonly used.  To unpick, I grab the straight stitches and do the same pull and gather as the straight stitch.  Once the straight stitches are removed, the other 2 threads come right off.  With a 3 thread serge, it’s even faster because you only have one straight stitch to remove.


Unpicking a Cover Stitch

This one was the trickiest to unpick and took me a bit of trial and error to figure out.  Side note: I’m not sure if this can be done with all cover stitches.  I have the Brother’s 2340CV.  If anyone tries it on another machine, please let me know in the comments if it works.

Starting at the end where you finished stitching, slip your seam ripper under the set of vertical blue threads, under the diagonal blue thread and through the tiny red thread loop.  Cut the threads with the seam ripper.  Now you want to gently pull on the looper thread until you get a magically unraveling of the stitch.

Close Up

Thread 1 (vertical blue) Thread 2 (diagonal blue) Thread 3 (red loop)

3 Easy Steps

3 Easy Steps

We all can use less unpicking in our lives but hopefully these tips will help you get through it quickly.

Happy (un)sewing,

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16 Responses to Unpicking 3 different stitches

  1. Rabbit says:

    Will I be able to unpick a coverhem stitch on a RTW dress? Where would be the best place to start?

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  4. pella says:

    Thank you so much for this, the videos really help!

  5. Angela says:

    Thank you!!!! I use your method for the straight stitch, but could not figure out the 4 thread serged stitch. I actually can’t wait to have to take one out now to try it! lol

    • You’re very welcome, Angela. On the 4 thread serge stitch you need to unpick the 2 stitches that look like a straight line. There are 2 threads that are wavy, one one the top, one on the bottom. You don’t want to unpick those. If you try, to pull these they bunch up and makes a mess. You want to unpick the other 2 threads. If you thread your serger with different color threads for each you can see these a little easier. You want to unpick the ones that comes from the 2 needles. I’ll see if I can e-mail you a close-up pic. Don’t forget to clip the thread ends first.

  6. Alice Crawford says:

    It seems (no pun intended) that the cover stitch was a lot easier than the serged stitch so it must have been a serged stitch that I was working on. I’m going to put your videos in my favorites so I can refer back to them. Thanks for posting that.

  7. Alice Crawford says:

    After watching this and watching the seam melt away, I mumbled, (to myself) “I don’t believe it!!!” I literally spent hours picking at a loooooong seam. Thank you, thank you, thank you and thanks for taking YOUR time to figure this out…I sure tried but unlike you was not successful. My hands still hurt from that fiasco.

  8. Nancy D says:

    Genius! I’m tempted to go sew a seam just so I can rip it out using your tip. I’m sure I’ll be practicing it as soon as I start my pants…

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