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OK, I have a bone (thread?) to pick with all the wonderful women who taught me sewing over the years. Thank you, of course, grandmothers, mother, aunts, mothers of best friends, etc. Because of you I have been making things, some of my own design, all these years.

But why did you introduce me to the indispensable seam ripper (far left in the picture) without telling me how much I would need tweezers alongside the seam ripper.

We all make mistakes at the sewing machine and the ripping tool quickly cuts through long rows of stitches and allows us to fix mistakes. But picking out the little threads left behind once the ripper has done its job? That’s tedium beyond belief. Until you have tweezers. I saw the pair I am using at the checkout counter in a fabric store a couple of years ago. It was one of those impulse buys. I didn’t know why it was there, but it looked cool and it was a fabric store. There must be some secret purpose for this little tool. The first time I had to rip something out after the tweezers hit my sewing basket, I immediately knew what to do next.

My advice to teachers of young sewists. Tell them about seam rippers, of course. But don’t forget the tweezers.