When I started sewing, I hated pinning. Pinning took time. Pins poked me. And worst of all, needles broke when I tried to sew over pins, which meant I had to remove them as I sewed.
I was under the impression that the more experienced you were the less you needed pins. It is not true. Master tailors use ’em. A LOT. Want proof? Scroll down to “Lesson 2” in this Threads Magazine article on working with the bias. I think this picture changed my life.
Then once I corrected some mistakes that were making it difficult to sew over pins, I am now a pin junkie.
If you are a pin hater, check these 3 things:
- The Pinning Technique – Make sure you are inserting the pins perpendicular to the seam you are sewing. (see picture above) I found with my sewing students that their first inclination is to insert them along, or parallel to, the seam line. It is impossible to sew over them that way and it is harder to pull them out while sewing than if you insert them perpendicularly.
- The Pins – My old set of pins where heavy and dull. Then, I bought a pack of thinner Dritz #28 1 3/4″ Quilting Pins, I found them easier to slip into fabric and to sew over. I love these pins. (The yellow pin above is one of my new favorites.) That being said, I find that my old pins work better with knits, maybe they were ballpoint pins and I just didn’t know it?
- The Machine – When I bought my new sewing machine, pins suddenly were easier to sew over. I think it is because Tabitha has a foot pressure dial to adjusting the foot pressure when sewing different fabrics. If your sewing machine does not have adjustable foot pressure, you may want to talk to your service tech the next time you get your sewing machine serviced about lightning up your foot pressure.
Also, check if there are holes in your throat plate that are catching the pin heads, and cover them with a piece of tape.
What about you? Do you love or hate pins?