Wednesday 5 December 2012

DIY FYI - Making the Cut

So, for this entry I thought I'd whet your creative appetites with some bite sized tidbits on my top 5 cutting essentials, what they lend themselves to the most and what lesser known uses they have. Invest in these babies and you've got more or less any project covered.

5. Paper scissors

No need for an introduction here, these are the staple scissors we've all known and loved since nursery (in my case, save for one occasion when I wound up cutting across the palm of my hand after I unwittingly tried to dissect a crayon using a pair, at the age of 6). You'll more than likely need these for pattern pieces. Fabric scissors aren't appropriate as they become blunt from cutting paper. I find smaller pairs are best for control (not the age 3+ plastic ones, though, obviously)

Price range: Cheap.

Worth the investment: In the interest of covering all bases, yes. They're generally smaller, easier to control and better suited to paper, per se, than...

4. All purpose scissors

Best for: Cutting through both pattern paper and fabric without sustaining the same sort of damage conventional fabric or paper scissors would.

Price range: Cheap

Worth the investment: As an essential, a jack-of-all-trades, if you will. If in doubt about the job in hand, they're generally a safe bet to use.

3. Scalpel

Best for: Cutting really small, fiddly or intricate shapes on paper or bondaweb. It's also useful for firm materials that don't fray easily, such as leather or interfacing, however, I wouldn't recommend it for cutting conventional fabrics.

Price: Not sure, to be honest as it's been a while since I last bought one but I'd say reasonable-ish for what you're getting.

Worth the investment: I'd say yes. I like my scalpel and the control it gives me. Its size and precision mean that it trumps stanley knives, craft knives and rotary cutters in my experience.

2. Sharp thread scissors

Best for: Trimming away excess thread, and can work as a seam ripper, since you've got the option of cutting through the thread rather than crudely tearing it or just teasing it out. Another trick this little piggy's got up its sleeve is that it's a good precision cutter with joined fabric and paper, kind of like a cross between a scalpel and a pair of all purpose scissors in that particular instance.

Price range: Cheap

Worth the investment: Yes, as they're a versatile tool to have.

1.Tailoring scissors

Best for: Cutting through all - and I mean all - types of fabric. If you're the sharpest knife in the drawer, you'll invest in a pair of these as they're as tough for cutting through leather as they are for using on sheer fabrics, without causing excess fraying or leaving a messy edge. It's easy to see why they're the scissors of choice for the professionals.

Price range: Can be quite pricey because of the difficulty and quality of work they typically do, but you don't need to be swindled out of a huge amount to invest in a good pair. William Gee in Dalston have high quality and reasonably priced scissors. Also, as with most haberdashery essentials, it's worth a good shop around Ebay and Google shopping for the best deal.

Worth the investment: You'd better believe it!





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