Pins are essential for all your sewing projects. Here are a few tips and tricks to think about when choosing pins.
Having a pin cushion will make your life much easier. There are many cute ones you can buy like this Liberty mouse.
However a really great thing to have is a magnetic pin holder. This stops you losing so many pins and its quicker and easier than individually pinning them into a cushion. If you don’t get a magnetic pin cushion at lease get a small magnet, its a lifesaver when you drop a whole box of pins on the floor.
If you have children or pets or you just don’t like to get pins in your own feet, then choosing pins with coloured glass heads is a good idea. It makes them much easier to spot if you do drop them. It also makes them easier to see when you are sewing so you are less likely to leave them in causing the machine needle to break. The glass head on the top also means they wont melt if you iron over them.
Test a small piece of your fabric with your pins to check it wont leave holes or marks on your fabric – for example some silks and satins can damage easily if your pins are too big. Dress making/silk pins would be a better option then. They are thinner and do not have the glass ball on the ends.
If you are working with stretch fabric you can use different pins for this too. A pin with a ball point end will minimise the chances of the threads snapping in your stretch fabric. As with knitted fabrics once one thread is snapped it can very quickly start to unravel and make a hole.
When pinning your pattern pieces to the fabric pin within the seam allowance edge to minimise the chance of damage to the garment. Also do this when pinning your cut pieces together.
Pin with all pins facing the same direction – towards the sewing machine so you can easily pull them out before they get too close to the machine foot.
When pinning straight edges you can use less pins but you will need more when pinning curved edges into place to hold the pieces securely together when sewing.
If pins are bent/rusty/not sharp throw them away.
Don’t put pins in your mouth to hold them, it can be dangerous, we have heard many horror stories of people swallowing them which can lead to surgery or even in one case even tetanus.