Choosing the Right Kind of Dressmaking Scissors and Shears

Dressmaking shears or scissors are the second most important must-have tools, next to the sewing machine. Professional dressmakers and serious sewing hobbyists give careful thought before investing in a pair of shears or scissors. After all, the best ones tend to be more expensive but can serve them for a lifetime.

Difference between Shears or Scissors

By the way, you may be wondering about the difference between a pair of shears and a pair of scissors. Be in the know that dressmaking shears are those with blades measuring six (6) inches or longer, while their handles come with one finger hole that is much smaller than the other. Moreover, the longer blade is rounded to prevent snagging the large fabric, while the other blade is pointed to ascertain precise snipping.

A pair of scissors on the other hand, have equally sized finger holes in its handles, while the blades measure less than six (6) inches in length. Still, a good pair of scissors is one that can cut cleanly, despite the shorter blades.

Deciding When to Use a Pair of Shears or Scissors

Dressmaker shears are more efficient for cutting larger-sized fabrics, usually when sewing a dress. The longer blades can cut at an angle, with one of the blades having rounded ends to prevent snagging, while the other end is pointed to ensure accurate and clean snipping.

Dressmaker shears are a must have when you need to cut sewing pieces out of larger fabrics. The long, sharp blades can cut at an angle, which makes them much more efficient than the ordinary scissors. Also, the blades’ side bend enables dressmakers to cut a fabric without lifting the material away from the surface of the table, ensuring accuracy; whilst preventing jagged lines.

Most professional dressmakers and sewing hobbyists prefer 8 or 9-inched sized shears because the blades are long enough to give them full control over the entire size of the shears.

The smaller scissors that offer lighter and shorter blades are ideal for less demanding cutting tasks, like quilting projects. In addition, their portability makes them ideal for sewing craft projects.

Buying the Best Dressmaking Shears and/or Scissors

When contemplating options on the kind of dressmaking shears or scissors to buy, is it also important to try them on for size and comfort.

All-metal shears or scissors tend be heavier, so if you are looking for one that is much lighter, there are shears and scissors that come with plastic handles. They are specifically designed as such to put less strain on the wrist and hand.

Another choice to consider are those made from titanium, because this type of metal is much lighter than steel. Shears or scissors with titanium blades are of course, more expensive than the conventional steel-bladed types.

Still, whether your deciding on the plastic-handled or titanium kind, make sure the handles are ergonomically shaped. Make sure that it allows you to cut without the handle pinching or rubbing against the skin of your hand. You may even consider the models that come with padded handles, since the cushioning effect offers additional comfort for larger or more frequent sewing tasks.

Now if you are left-handed, modern technology also took this into consideration. This means buying options for shears and scissors include those specifically designed for left-handed dressmakers, tailors and hobbyists.

Taking Body Measurements Accurately to Make a Pattern

Accuracy of body measurements is essential to a great fit, because measurements are the very foundations by which the block pattern is constructed. On the other hand, it is also important to know how to apply those measurement when making a block pattern, since the latter serves as your basic guide to cutting whatever fabric you intend to sew.

If you are sewing for yourself, it would be best to have someone else take your measurements. Still, it is something you can do yourself by standing in front of a mirror. That way, you will be able to check if the tape measure is in the right position.

Important Pointers to Keep in Mind. When Taking Body Measurements

Whether taking your own body measurements or that of another person, make sure

  • you are making circumferential measurements on a body with as few clothes as possible; either over tight-fit, next-to-skin clothing or undergarments. Taking measurements while wearing thick or bulky clothes makes a big difference. By the way, circumferential measurements are those carried out by wrapping the tape around a particular part of the body, such as the bust, waist, high hip, full hip, neck, biceps or wrist.
  • that when in the process of taking circumferential measurements, you are not pulling the measuring tape too tightly. Neither should the tape be wrapped loosely around the area being measured. A good circumferential measure is one where you place a finger under the tape once you wrapped it snugly around the body. .
  • to keep the tape parallel to the ground when taking circumferential and horizontal measurements.
  • that if you are taking measurements on another person’s body, be on the right side of that person.
  • to measure the bust all around where the breasts are fullest. .
  • to take a waist measure at the area where the body bends, or that area between the rib cage and belly button.
  • to take a hip measure at the fullest area, which is about 3 to 4 inches below the waistline.
  • to start the front to waist measure from the shoulder right beside the base of the neck, down to the waist, whilst passing over the fullest part of the breast.
  • to start the back waist measure from the base of the center down to the waistline.

Most important of all is to make certain you are using an accurate tape measure. You wll be surprised to know that some of the cheapest kind were found to be shorter by ¾ inch on every foot. .

How Clothing, Sewing and Fashion Came About

The idea of clothing came about not out of demureness, but out of a necessity to protect one’s body from the harmful effects of extreme cold temperatures. At first, archaic humans around 60,000 years or so ago, simply wrapped themselves with animal skins or furs. Later they found it more practical to tie the fur wraps with strong vines or strips of animal skin.

In geographical locations where snow and freezing temperatures were more life-threatening, early humans thought of ways on how to make their animal wraps more secure. A secure animal wrap is important when going out to hunt or gather food amidst the biting cold.

The Invention of Awls and Needles

Much later, by around 45,000 BC, someone thought of poking holes on the animal hides, using sharpened pointed sticks or stones. Cords, leather strips or strong twines could run through the holes, then drawn in order to fasten pieces of animal hides or fleeces together. Today, modern people use tools called awls (olls), similar to the the sharpened pointed objects devised by prehistoric people,

Then somebody from the 40,000 BC era, came up with a better idea of putting a hole in a primitive awl. Strings or cords were then inserted through the hole of the awl, which made the process of binding animal hides together, much easier and faster. That primitive invention is what came about as modern day needle.

Next Stages: Spindles, Threads and Fabrics

As groups of people had also learned to trade by barter, the idea of bone needles had spread far and wide in Europe and in North America. Much later, spindles and whorls were invented to make the supply of strings or cords more manageable. Early man’s invention of a crude spindle led to the development of ways to create finer types of fasteners derived from plant fibers. Modern times refined strands into sewing materials we now call threads.

In 9,000 BC in West Asia, the advent of finer types of fibers extracted from plants, led to the development of a process of interlacing strands in order to create lighter, softer and thinner materials. At that point, the early people wove fibers that served as floor mats and blankets used as additional warmers during cold seasons.

Woven materials were expensive as it took some time before a large piece can be completed. Still, as people advanced into becoming civilizations, weaving fabrics became part of a culture. Weavers in different regions devised systems for incorporating artwork, using natural colors of plants as pigments. Fabrics then became a way of determining and distinguishing a race or culture.

Moreover, scholars took to studying ways on how woven fabrics can become much softer and smoother, specifically for the higher members of the echelons; also as a way of distinguishing their rank or level within a civilized society.

Clothing Became a Fascination, which Led to the Birth of Fashion

At first, clothes were mere pieces of soft fabrics sewn together at the sides, had provisions for neck and arm holes and were called tunics. To make them ornate, and look more sophisticated, additional fabrics were either tied, draped, pinned, or sewn on a tunic. As ideas flourished on how to make clothes more attractive, wearers started developing a fascination for clothes, wanting every new creation better than previous piece.

In time, there was no limit or boundaries on how many pieces of fabrics were used, especially if to be worn in colder climates,. Back then, the important thing when making clothes for the elite is to assemble clothing materials into garments that made them look more impressive or better yet, more attractive. If a certain style drew positive attention, then that style was set as the latest fashion.