With words of warnings from my husband and teens ringing in my ears, I bought a rotary cutter last year. They all cringed and warned me not to – I am clumsy, sometimes don’t concentrate wholly on what I’m doing, and the fear was having to rush me to Casualty needing stitches to stop fingers dropping off.
I have survived secateurs I’m the garden (but am not allowed a chainsaw) so I was confident I would be fine. And I have only slightly nicked the skin with my blade – due to not paying attention!
But I have never 100% embraced using a rotary cutter. I like using my cutting shears – my last pair lasted me 20 years before needing replacing (no good scissor sharpening people near here). I own Fiskars shears, many pairs of thread snips, Fiskar embroidery scissors, pinking shears and a stitch ripper. In other words, I am pretty much covered.
I have a little rotary cutter and a big rotary cutter and even have an additional blade for the big one which gives me the equivalent of pinked edges. But I only use them for cutting straight lines against a ruler.
On the Great British Sewing Bee, some contestants cut everything out with their rotary cutter. Yep, curves and small pieces and everything in-between. I have no idea how they do it!
I can cut straight lines, butting the blade against a ruler but freehand cutting to follow a line? No way! I need my scissors, instinctively I would always choose scissors when garment sewing. Is it because I am new to rotary cutting? Does practice really make perfect and how many bad cuts do you make before you have to call it quits?
How do you cut out your fabric? Do you use different methods for different types of sewing? Let us know!
For all your favourite scissors and shears, including our popular Fiskars range, check out William Gee’s complete cutting section here.