Newbie with scissor question

carajonApril 26, 2006

Having been given a fabulous sewing machine for my birthday, I have just started sewing again - and I LOVE it! (As do my kids, who are getting a kick out of picking out fabric for coordinating outfits for themselves). However, I am having the hardest time cutting patterns neatly. So I have come to the conclusion that I need a new pair of scissors, or two. Actually, it seems that I need one long pair of sewing shears and one small pair to clip corners - does this sound right? If so, what should I look for? Are there some brands that are better than others? What are your favorite scissors?

I want to get really good ones so I don't have to go running back to the store in a couple of years...

Thanks so much!

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I cut most of my patterns with a rotary cutter because I can't cut a smooth line with scissors! The rotary cutter helps a lot. I have used Fiskars scissors for years - they are lightweight and come in different sizes.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 4:39PM
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I also use a rotary cutter for the most part,but i also use scissors.Fiskars are very good,Gingher are the best ,but tend to be on the heavy side,so if you're cutting a lot,you get tired quicker.At least your arms do.You can get fiskars in all sizes.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 5:56PM
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I now use the Fiskars softtouch. Used to use Gingher but my hands hurt if I do too much. Also have a rotary cutter - Ergo 2000 by Martelli Enterprises. It comes left or right handed.

Here is a link that might be useful: Softouch

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 7:13PM
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Thanks all. Sounds like I should try a rotary cutter. what kind of cutting surface do you need for a rotary cutter?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 10:16PM
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Rotary cutters are fine for the straight still need regular sheers to get around curves and tight spots where the rotary cutter won't go.

Are you pinning patterns or using weights? I prefer pinning because pattern and fabric doesn't slide out of place while cutting and secures the tight spots you have to cut into.

The other key is to look at the end of the scissors and the direction it is going while cutting and use long cuts...short cuts and you start to chop fabric.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2006 at 5:21AM
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I prefer my Fiskars soft touch for fashion fabric (I get blisters from regular shears), but for delicate heirloom sewing I use two sizes of Gingher scissors (one is called tailor's scissors, the other is a small embroidery scissors). More control is needed for that type of sewing because seams are trimmed very closely.

I only use the rotary cutter for straight lines on handbags (body, handles, etc) for example. Always close the rotary when not in use, a good habit to cultivate.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2006 at 8:43AM
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You need a special mat for a rotary cutter. They come in a variety of sizes. I use my cutter for everything - curves included. I actually have 2 sizes of cutter - the small one cuts tight curves very well.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2006 at 12:00PM
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Ditto on the Fiskars soft-touch, I have the springloaded ones, they open on their own so you only have to squeeze to cut - half the effort!

Sometimes if a pattern has lots of curves and fiddly bits, I chalk round it (using weights and my hand to hold it in place) and then cut just inside the chalk mark. This means that you are only handling fabric, not fabric plus tissue pattern and pins.

Practice is the main thing, so keep on keeping on!


    Bookmark   April 30, 2006 at 4:38AM
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I use Ginghers - my pride & joy & oh-so-accurate! for years, my family has known how dangerous it was to their health if they messed with my sewing scissors:)!
I may be wrong, but I think mine are what is called 6" bent trimmer. I also have Gingher thread nippers which I probably use more than anything else. (I did catch my son putting them into his tackle box some years back.....after I got finished with him, it never happened again:)).
I have a rotary cutter but just have never mastered being as precise with that as my scissors.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2006 at 2:27PM
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Here's a great place to get really good scissors and olfa rotary cutters. They are wholesale prices, but you dont have to be a business to buy from them. They carry Wolff scissors, they ar really nice and well balanced. BTW..I do not get paid to say that lol!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 12:17AM
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I have both Gingher and Fiskars. I call my Gingher's the Cadillacs of shears. What is nice about the Fiskar's is that they are lifetime gauranteed. I've had to return a pair and no problem what so ever!
Kathy G in MI

    Bookmark   September 26, 2007 at 4:32PM
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For a comprehensive inventory of manual and electric scissors and shears, including a host of Fiskars models, go to Great photos.
Prices are reasonable and all products are fully guaranteed. I took advantage of several items listed on the discount and closeout pages.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 7:27AM
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No one has suggested it but ask if you can try the scissors first. I was able to "test drive" a few pair over the years. I have a variety of shears but vote for the Fiskars for quality and price but love my Gingher pinking shears - found unused and like new for a whopping $3.00 at a Thrift store - all boxed and tied in red ribbon waiting for me.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 7:21PM
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I took my Christmas gift certificate and hit JoAnn's with a fifty percent off coupon and bought myself a fine pair of Gingher shears. I can't believe I've sewn my entire life without them! Love my Gingher's. I've used Fiskars too, but prefer the heft of the Gingher's. It is used for nothing but fabric. Never use good shears on paper, cardboard, or anything else. Yes, for seam and thread trimming, I have a tiny pair of German embroidery scissors. I also have a pair of antique scissors, used to belong to my great Grandfather. They're wonderful shears too.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 11:04PM
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