Mrs Bowden’s top tip – scissors v rotary

Mrs Bowden’s top tip – scissors v rotary cutter

I cannot emphasise the importance of accurate and tidy cutting.  Some of you may already be fluent in ‘scissor’ and/or ‘rotary’ cutting but they have advantages and disadvantages!

When you discover someone has used your fabric scissors on paper!

When you discover someone has used your fabric scissors on paper!

Above all, make sure you look after equipment – the biggest no, no, is using your fabric shears or rotary cutter or paper.  You and your family need to be warned of the perils of blunting your scissors so buy separate paper scissors and blades and mark them by tying a ribbon round the handle or a making it obvious they are ONLY to be used for paper.

Vintage scissor selection

Vintage scissor selection

 

Scissors

When we look at dressmaking scissors we can see they have a bent handle.  This allows you to keep the fabric flat and on the cutting table – making your cuts more smooth and accurate.

Scissors are easier to control for cutting curves or small details and as long as you have a flat surface to work on they can be used anywhere.

In life there is always a ‘but’.  Here it comes.  When you are new to cutting fabric it can be a challenge to keep your cutting lines smooth and flowing; open your scissors completely so you have the advantage of using the whole of the length of the blade and avoid using the points as this will create a ‘nibbled’ edge.

Slicing the pie!

Slicing the pie!

Rotary Cutters

Rotary cutters can be great; especially as they remind me of pizza cutters!

Rotary cutter

Rotary cutter

If you are a patchworker then rotary cutters have the clear advantage of swiftly and accurately cutting long lines and so can be more precise than scissors.  They can be really good for cutting lightweight or slippy fabric as the weight of the cutting ruler and weights holds the fabric down as the cutter works on the top surface.  This is opposed to scissors where you have a blade underneath lifting the fabric slightly and therefore causing movement.  Rotary cutters are not easy to use if you are cutting tight angles or inward curves.  You also need to consider the initial cost of buying the cutter, mat and rulers.

 

In short I have sets of both so I can change my cutting equipment according to what I’m working on.

 

In stitches,

 

Amanda xx

 

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