Author Topic: Dressmaking Shears - recommendations on blade length and brand  (Read 19130 times)

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Offline Karen

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Re: Dressmaking Shears - recommendations on blade length and brand
« Reply #35 on: December 23, 2007, 02:56:07 AM »
I haven't read the entire thread so excuse me if this is repetitious... I'm also a big fan of Kai scissors and sheers but also have a pair of Fiskars razor edge (or knife edge?) and Gingher serrated shears which are other favorites.
One thing I found about blade length though - while it makes sense as had been recommended to me to get teh longest to get fewer strokes, less stress on your hands cutting - the longest blades available aren't necessarily the longest you need.... in my case my hands are so small that the 10" or 12" blades couldn't be separated enough to have a cutting stroke any longer than 8" ones - so it really didn't get me any more cutting power, they were heavier and more expensive... so be sure to try different sizes if you can.  One thing Kai had that I haven't seen on others (though it may be available) is different handle sizes, a great feature again because my hands are smaller.

Offline Grumpygrl417

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Re: Dressmaking Shears - recommendations on blade length and brand
« Reply #36 on: December 19, 2010, 05:17:07 AM »
This being a topic nearly five years old, are Kai shears still the standard?  If I can't get them within my budget, would most consider Ginghers a decent second choice?  Or another brand?  Also, I'm getting mixed signals on size between 8.5" and 12", which of these two would be better for cutting pattens for garments?  I'm guessing the smaller one, but in reality I have no clue!

Also, I'm hoping to also get a pair of micro-serrated shears- would I want to get the same size of something smaller?
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Offline Karen Roth

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Re: Dressmaking Shears - recommendations on blade length and brand
« Reply #37 on: December 19, 2010, 05:29:50 AM »
Well Kai are my general favorites for shears, with the exception of Gingher microserrated ones. 
As to length, it's a common recommendation to get the longest blades possible.  It makes sense in terms of getting longest cutting stroke so you get your pieces cut faster with fewer strokes, less "choppiness" (for lack of better word!).  That said I've found it's useless (for me) to go over maybe 9 or so inches.  My hands are small.  Even with a longer blade I can only open the handles so far so I'm not getting the advantage of the full length but there's still more scissor/weight I have to manage.  I'd say try them first if you can, or check teh return policy.
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Offline Gigi Louis

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Re: Dressmaking Shears - recommendations on blade length and brand
« Reply #38 on: December 19, 2010, 05:54:45 AM »
I have small hands and I like a 12" shear.  I use a 10" for trimming during construction.  I really hate Ginghers (I find them to be heavy and unbalanced and the loops are too small for me) and use either Wiss or Mundial in a standard shear or Consew or Kai for a lightweight shear.  It's a very personal thing so you really need to be able to try them out before buying.
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Offline sdBev

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Re: Dressmaking Shears - recommendations on blade length and brand
« Reply #39 on: December 19, 2010, 04:57:33 PM »
... It's a very personal thing so you really need to be able to try them out before buying.
I agaree 100% that it is a personal thing.  As for me, the first ginghers I tried sold me forever.  I love the way they fit and feel in my hand and I would have said I have a smallish hand (glove size 5-6).  I even bought the ginger seam ripper untried and was absolutely delighted!  -- for the first year.  Then I had ripped so much that I had actually dulled the blad.  Wasn't pleased that a $30 seam ripper was dead within a year.  I guess I'm not the only one with that problem because ginghger came out with replacement blades.

Offline Karen Roth

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Re: Dressmaking Shears - recommendations on blade length and brand
« Reply #40 on: December 19, 2010, 05:01:55 PM »
Hmm I wonder what constitutes a small hand or if one can be small but perhaps the "spread" or ability to separate thumb/fingers differes? Because wide as I could open my hands when I compared how much a 10 or 12 inch blade was opened vs. a smaller one - I definitely was NOT getting more cutting length opened up to use....
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Offline su-sew

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Re: Dressmaking Shears - recommendations on blade length and brand
« Reply #41 on: December 19, 2010, 05:56:29 PM »
I have small hands (size 6 1/2 or 7 in surgical gloves) and find smaller, lighter shears easier to use.  I have a 8 1/2 inch Henckels with a plastic handles - I find them easy to hold. My mother has a similar size of Wiss shears that I also like to use- the main difference is the size of the part where my fingers slide in (i'm sure there's a proper term for that part but I don't know it).  In the Wiss shears I can only put in 3 fingers, while in the Henckels I can slide in all 4 fingers.

My mother has a pair of tailor's shears that are, I'm sure, at least 50 years old. They are much heavier, made of non-stainless steel, and with at least 10 inch blades. She received them from a tailor at a shop where she once worked. I find them much too heavy to use.

While I don't know much about the brands that are out there now, I think preference has a lot has to do with comfort in holding them.
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Offline Grumpygrl417

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Re: Dressmaking Shears - recommendations on blade length and brand
« Reply #42 on: December 19, 2010, 06:48:41 PM »
Okay, after spending countless hours researching and reading last night, I think I have decided on Mundial dressmakers classic forged shears.  They seem to get solid reviews plus I find them to be aesthetically pleasing.  Reminds me of the ones my grandma would let me and nobody else use when I was a kid.  :O) LoL

I am taking all of your advice before placing my order and heading up to Joann's to try a few of the brands out for myself, just to make sure!

If I get a pair of dressmakers shears(8in), small embroidery scissors, and micro-serrated shears (??).  Will I NEED pinking shears? I have a lady nearby that has them, 8.5 mundial, at a good deal but I don't know if I really need them...

Thank you all again!  Sorry for all the silly questions but there is so much, just to get started!!!
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Offline LynnH

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Re: Dressmaking Shears - recommendations on blade length and brand
« Reply #43 on: December 19, 2010, 07:03:23 PM »
Personal opinion?  No

I bought a pair when I left home because Mom had a pair.  I've used them exactly once in more years than I care to count.  Every time they surface from the cabinet I wonder if I should toss them.  But when I do that, within 6 months, I generally will have a need for the item I just tossed.

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Offline Gigi Louis

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Re: Dressmaking Shears - recommendations on blade length and brand
« Reply #44 on: December 19, 2010, 07:38:40 PM »
I use my pinkers pretty often to trim curves on collar stands, cuffs, etc. before turning.  Yes, I could do it without them but they make that task so quick, easy and neat.  But, you don't need to spend a lot of money on a "good" pair for that task.  I have a pair of vintage Wiss and a pair of 30 year old Fiskars - I always use the Fiskars and have only had to sharpen them once.  They are still available for under $30.

I have the Mundial 12" shears and like them a lot.  They are comfortable (for me) and the quality is very good.  I have my eye on a 9" tailor's shear too (with the pinky rest!) - maybe Santa will buy them for me.
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Offline Karen Roth

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Re: Dressmaking Shears - recommendations on blade length and brand
« Reply #45 on: December 19, 2010, 08:00:47 PM »
I use the pinkers for curves like this, sometimes to closely trim areas that would have needed notching, and on things like a skirt where I want to leave a wide seam allowance to reduce risk of indent/line showing when pressed. 
Karen

Offline M.S.

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Re: Dressmaking Shears - recommendations on blade length and brand
« Reply #46 on: January 16, 2011, 05:23:10 AM »
I bought my 12" Wiss shears about 33 years ago. They are the best! I have them sharpened only very occasionally, and only by very professional specialists. (Go to the oldest guy you can find who sharpens scissors and explain that you want the least amount possible shaved off) I gave them to a 'regular' sharpener once and lost about1/8" of the blade. These are the kind of scissors that you can pass on to the next generation. There is a lovely post at an English tailor's blog (I'll find the link and post it later) about inheriting the scissors of the senior cutter when he retired....as had been done several times before that - thse scissors are probably almost 100 years old. Wiss 12" tailors' shears are on that level.

I just got a pair of Wiss shears.  They are wonderful!  I'm still getting used to how big they are.  I'm still not opening them all the way because I'm used to my smaller Ginghers and lightweight Fiskars.  I can't believe how nice the new ones cut & that I've been missing out on this.  I do mostly home dec, so those draperies will be cut in no time, once I'm taking full-sized snips.

Offline bessiecrocker

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Re: Dressmaking Shears - recommendations on blade length and brand
« Reply #47 on: January 17, 2011, 08:29:30 AM »
I have a pair of vintage Wiss

This got me thinking...I don't consider myself  to be "vintage" but maybe I'm getting there. My go-to, next to the machine trimmers are a small pair of Wiss scissors that I got for Christmas in 1961. 50 years ago! The paint has worn off the handles a bit, otherwise they are in great condition. Santa brought me a small toy sewing machine and a sewing basket filled with goodies, including the scissors. My mom assembled all the tools and notions, and she did a great job!

Afterwards, my aunt taught me to sew on her machine. I remember it was such a thrill to get to use her "modern" Singer, a portable with a foot control. My mom had a really un-cool 1940s cabinet mounted Singer with a knee control.  The machines, including my toy one, are long gone but I still have, and use, the sewing basket and the scissors.

I have two other pair of Wiss-es, including some pinks which I use fairly often.  Those are my "new" scissors...from 1970!

Offline Ann C

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Re: Dressmaking Shears - recommendations on blade length and brand
« Reply #48 on: January 17, 2011, 10:37:17 AM »
I have a pair of 9" Wiss cutting table shears that I bought just a few years before I started using the rotary cutter to cut out most of my patterns.  I loved them - they cut very well, and they were most comfortable to my hands.  I can remember my Mother having her Wiss scissors and how she babied them and was soooo proud of them.  I was brought up thinking that Wiss was the brand of scissors most treasured and the best quality. I bought a pair of Wiss pinking shears that quickly became unusable, I think I must have damaged them in some way, but they were sharpened and worked on when a large dept store here in our area brought in a scissor sharpener from one of the large scissor companies and within the space of 10 minutes, he had them cutting better than they had ever before.  Probably 30 or 40 years ago, I purchased my Wiss tailor points and they are still going strong - even right to the tip which is where they need to be so good and sharp when trimming and notching in tailoring.  I have  had a few pair of Gingher and Marks Mundial scissors - mainly the micro-serrated shears and my  double curve embroidery scissors that are so wonderful to have at the point in time when embroidering or doing cutwork - wouldn't be without them.  The Wiss brand is not as readily available as they once were.  I see them at Atlanta Thread and Supply and a few other places.  I'm sure that the other brands discussed are very good, but for when I need a good pair of scissors, I reach for my Wiss.  They will serve me well as long as I need scissors.

Offline annenet

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Re: Dressmaking Shears - recommendations on blade length and brand
« Reply #49 on: January 17, 2011, 01:18:06 PM »
I actually have two pairs of Wiss pinking sheers. One was my Mom's one my Grand Ma's. The ones that were GM I have and use a lot. Mom's need sharpening which I need to do at some point. The only issue with either is I'm a lefty so I alway wind up with weird dents in my hands. I have a pair of Gingher left hand sheers but I find them kind of short.
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Offline shams

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Re: Dressmaking Shears - recommendations on blade length and brand
« Reply #50 on: January 17, 2011, 04:39:00 PM »
I absolutely *love* my 9" Kai shears.  They are a dream to use and I guard them like a mother lion and of course never use them for anything but fabric.  But this may not be the most helpful, as I have never used Mundial, so I can't compare.  Previously I primarily used Ginghers and Fiskars.  I used Wiss so many years ago I can't really remember them.

I have nice quality pinking shears purchased from a high-end ribbon shop but haven't used them in many years.  I used them back when I did crafty things with wool felt.

I would love more Kai in different sizes/types.  They are such a delight.  I bought mine from Louise Cutting, so I was pretty sure they would be wonderful even though I ordered them without testing them out.

When I cut a synthetic with my Kai's, I gently wipe the blades periodically.  Synthetic fibers can scratch the blades of scissors and dull them faster.

Offline Karen Roth

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Re: Dressmaking Shears - recommendations on blade length and brand
« Reply #51 on: March 30, 2011, 03:55:05 PM »
Kai scissors 15% off using code:  sandra   :D
And free shipping  :D

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Offline Drama Drag

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Re: Dressmaking Shears - recommendations on blade length and brand
« Reply #52 on: May 30, 2011, 01:24:33 AM »
I use Gingher's and I like them a lot. After reading some of the posts about Kai, I am tempted to buy a pair and try them.

Offline lydia

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Re: Dressmaking Shears - recommendations on blade length and brand
« Reply #53 on: May 30, 2011, 03:39:54 PM »
I have Ginger's, Kai, and Fiskars.  Love the Ginger and Kai - the Mundial pair is in the junk drawer for cutting twine, etc.  Purchased the Mundial when I was employed at Hancock's.  We also used Mundial for store use.  I think shears and scissors are a personal choice - I have a pair of the lightweight Ginger's and these are worthless.  Will hardly cut anything!  >:( On to granddaughters for craft projects.
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Offline allaccessalex

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need new shears...
« Reply #54 on: December 17, 2011, 06:15:22 PM »
ok so this is what i have and started out with- http://www.hancockfabrics.com/Multi-Purpose-Scissors-8----Scissors_stcVVproductId47581234VVcatId539611VVviewprod.htm

and i really like the idea of having solid metal shears with no rubber or plastic handles..

so these are the two choices i have been looking at.. (btw i have fairly large hands so i need a large pair)

http://www.hancockfabrics.com/Featherweight-Bent-Trimmers-8----Scissors_stcVVproductId127724469VVcatId539611VVviewprod.htm

http://www.hancockfabrics.com/Clauss-Hot-Forged-Dressmaker-Scissors-8----Scissors_stcVVproductId47581742VVcatId539611VVviewprod.htm

has anyone tried these or recommend a good pair?

thanks!

Offline allaccessalex

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Re: need new shears...
« Reply #55 on: December 17, 2011, 06:19:43 PM »

Offline melissamade

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Re: need new shears...
« Reply #56 on: December 17, 2011, 09:16:38 PM »
id get gingher or kai scissors.

Offline amandabab

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Re: need new shears...
« Reply #57 on: December 17, 2011, 09:27:35 PM »
regular (not the plastic featherweight) Gingher 8" dressmakers

The dovo's are awesome, but unless you have a grooved cutting table you'll be happier with a bent handle as your main shears.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2011, 09:50:03 PM by amandabab »

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Re: need new shears...
« Reply #58 on: December 18, 2011, 12:06:38 AM »
You might want to search a little, there have been a number of threads here over the past couple of years discussing this.  Might look for scissors as well as shears.  It always seems that everyone has their own opinion about what is best (duh, like everything else  ::) ).. some like very lightweight ones.  Kai come to mind.  Some like the never-have-to-sharpen like Fiskers, some like me prefer the heavier ones like Gingher.  If you don't know what you like, you could go by somebody else's opinion (like mine) and be completely dissatisfied.  If you sew a lot already, is there a style you like?  Do you have any limitations, ie. arthritis or particular weakness or anything that makes you prone to problems with one kind or another?  If you haven't tried them all, is there someplace you could try several out (like fabric store that teaches or even cuts with shears you aren't accustomed to, even if they just cut with the ones you're considering?)  Or someone you know that sews that has shears you can try?  I'd hate to go out on a limb and tell you what I like, when I know a lot of people here feel differently..  K

Offline allaccessalex

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Re: need new shears...
« Reply #59 on: December 18, 2011, 01:04:03 AM »
well.. im 15 lol.. so no arthritis and stuff lol.. but i am doing alot of photo shoots and a upcoming runway and it is very Victorian inspired.. so there is ALOT of fabric and ALOT of cutting.. the things i dont like about the friskars 1. i feel the two handles have too much friction between them and it doesnt slide easily to snip.. (if that makes sense, not grabby or anything.. just alot of friction) 2. the handle hurts my thumb after a while because its pressing down on my knuckle. but the things im looking for 1. a very VERY sharp pair.. has to cut things like wool and leather with ease but also cant slide on things like chiffon. 2. one with a very long blade... so that way i dont die when i see the 14 yards of fabric laying over the floor for a skirt (first time i had to do that i cried a little lol) and please dont suggest a rotary blade or anything because i just dont like those at all.. i dont feel i have enough control.

i hope that helps narrow down your opinions lol..

Offline allaccessalex

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Re: need new shears...
« Reply #60 on: December 18, 2011, 01:07:24 AM »
and also i really like the all metal ones because i feel its more traditional and im kinda big on doing things out of tradition and i just like the look alot more, then the rubber or bright colored handles..

Online fzxdoc

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Re: Dressmaking Shears - recommendations on blade length and brand
« Reply #61 on: December 18, 2011, 01:14:25 AM »
Allaccessalex, I've merged your topic with one about dressmaking shears already in progress. I hope you get some good info when you read some of the older posts.

Kathryn

Offline amandabab

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Re: need new shears...
« Reply #62 on: December 18, 2011, 06:39:37 PM »
1. a very VERY sharp pair.. has to cut things like wool and leather with ease but also cant slide on things like chiffon.
 
A pair of8" knife edge will be your main goto. I haven't had problems with a good pair slipping, but serated is ideal for chiffon.
Quote
2. one with a very long blade... so that way i dont die when i see the 14 yards of fabric laying over the floor for a skirt (first time i had to do that i cried a little lol) and please dont suggest a rotary blade or anything because i just dont like those at all.. i dont feel i have enough control.
long blade is expensive, and you can save some money by buying a GOOD pair of 10" industrial shears and paying to have them sharpened locally
before you use them.
Mundial is my choice here assuming your on a budget. This will cover your big yardage cuts and leather.

Quote
i hope that helps narrow down your opinions lol..
you're not going to own one pair.
With what you mentioned you make you're going to have a toolbox, start it with a 8" dressmakers, then get the 10" pair.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2011, 06:54:42 PM by amandabab »

Offline Ambimom

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Re: Dressmaking Shears - recommendations on blade length and brand
« Reply #63 on: December 27, 2011, 03:56:18 PM »
Does anyone know anything about Kai scissors?  I've used Fiskars forever but I have to replace them every few years.  I got some cash for Xmas and I want to invest in good scissors. Is the hype about these true?

Offline marciae

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Re: Dressmaking Shears - recommendations on blade length and brand
« Reply #64 on: December 27, 2011, 04:38:00 PM »
I have (had) 2 pair - the long blades and the shorter one.  Somehow I cut into a pin with the short ones and it nicked the blade.  I love the long ones - they seem to be very sharp - I've had them 4-5yrs - can't remember.  I sew a LOT of denim and it hasn't seemed to dull or hurt.  I can't remember where I purchased mine but I don't recall them being too high priced.

Our local quilt shop had a 12days of xmas with specials every day.  I purchased a set of 3 fiskars titanium.  I've not tried them yet - but for $13 I figured I couldn't go too wrong!
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Offline annenet

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Re: Dressmaking Shears - recommendations on blade length and brand
« Reply #65 on: December 27, 2011, 05:33:13 PM »
I've got a pair of Kais and love them! They are sharp no matter what I cut with them. I just wish they made more lefty ones.
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Offline amandabab

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Re: Dressmaking Shears - recommendations on blade length and brand
« Reply #66 on: December 27, 2011, 05:45:59 PM »
Does anyone know anything about Kai scissors?  I've used Fiskars forever but I have to replace them every few years.  I got some cash for Xmas and I want to invest in good scissors. Is the hype about these true?

I don't like the feel of Kai scissors, 100% personal bias.
However, Kai scissors are very high quality with ground edge blades.

Offline shams

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Re: Dressmaking Shears - recommendations on blade length and brand
« Reply #67 on: December 27, 2011, 06:12:45 PM »
I love my Kai's.  Love love love.  I now have two pair - the 9" bent handle tailoring sheers that I bought from Louise Cutting's website a couple years ago.  I cut pretty much everything with these (except fusible interfacings because I don't want to dull them, if possible) and they have not yet needed sharpening. 

I also have the 5" curved scissors that I bought from Marcy Tilton's site during one of her recent free shipping sales. I keep those by the machine and use them all the time.

But, of course, YMMV, so it would be best if you could try them out first to see if they work for you.  Eventually, I want to own more pairs.  :)

Offline vtmartha

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Re: Dressmaking Shears - recommendations on blade length and brand
« Reply #68 on: December 27, 2011, 06:36:10 PM »
I, too, love my Kais.  I have a pair of straight shears, pinking shears and that wonderful 5" curved scissors.  I don't have the bent handle sheers but I think those will be next.  ;)  I purchase from this website with free shipping and an occasional sale.

Offline shams

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Re: Dressmaking Shears - recommendations on blade length and brand
« Reply #69 on: December 27, 2011, 06:39:10 PM »
Great link, Martha!

 

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