Sewing Tips: How To Pin Fabric

Posted On February 16, 2016

With a variety of pins available for dressmaking and sewing projects it can be confusing deciding which to purchase and use. In this video we talk about the basic pins available for sewing and dressmaking, as well as personal tips and techniques for pinning fabric.

Basic Sewing, Dressmaking Pins Available:
Steel Dressmaking Pins: Cheap and therefore cost effective. Steel dressmaking pins are generally available in a couple of different sizes, I personally purchase the thinnest shaft and longest length available. However they are small and inconspicuous so can be lost in loose or heavily textured fabrics.

Plastic Headed Pins: Plastic headed pins may have a plastic ball or flat shape on the top of the pin, this may be coloured or pearlised. The addition of a ball or shape at the top of the pin can help with ease of use, especially for beginners.  I personally don’t recommend plastic headed pins as they can melt when ironed. I would recommend paying a little more money for their glass counterparts.

Glass Headed Pins: My personal ‘go-to’ pins for everyday use. Like the plastic headed pins the addition of a solid ball head makes them easier to use for beginners. However the use of glass (rather than plastic) will mean that the pins can be ironed and will not be damaged or melted by heat. Headed pins (both glass and plastic) come in a variety of lengths and this can be down to personal choice. If you are new to sewing and find pinning difficult I would recommend purchasing a longer length pin (they will be less fiddly and easier to work with).

Both glass and plastic headed pins are great for use on textured or loose weave fabrics, the large head of the pin makes them easier to find.

Silk Pins: A great addition to your sewing tool box; perfect for use with lightweight fabrics. Silk pins are very fine and glide through fabric effortlessly. Do not use these pins on thick fabrics, they may bend.

Watch the corresponding YouTube tutorial on how to pin effectively and achieve the perfect pinning motion.

Sewing Tips for Pinning:
1. Pin in the seam allowance
I personally always pin in the seam allowance of the fabric. This is a best practise technique, if you always pin in the seam allowance you will never have a problem of a pin damaging or snagging the main fabric.

2. Pin parallel to the seam allowance
I personally pin parallel to the seam allowance when sewing garment and projects. I pin (as if my project was being sewn together) with the pin head facing the user, making the pins easy to remove at the last second. I always remove pins and NEVER sew over them.

3. Buy the best pins you can afford
Buy the best pins you can afford, they will be sharp and glide through your fabric effortlessly. If you find a dull or rusty pin, throw it out! You don’t want to damage your fabric. Pins should always glide smoothly through your fabric, without causing snags and holes. You may need to change the pins you are using based on your fabric choice.

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