How to Pin Fabric - Tips for Beginners

Today we look at how to pin fabric.
As a beginner, when two pieces of fabric are to be sewn together, then it’s necessary to use pins so they don’t move about when you sew.  The more experienced you become, the less you will need to use pins for basic sewing. Let's look at the most common methods plus some basic tips.
Firstly, make sure your raw fabric edges are aligned, all notches match up and creases from fabric have been removed.

The most common options for pinning your fabric are: 
  • Pinning at a 90 degree angle (or perpendicular) to your raw edge is the most popular (bottom right). The problem with this method is it may leave pin holes in the body of the fabric, however it does hold the fabric a little more secure than Method 2. When pinning curves or pleats you would use this method. 
  • You can either place the pins outside of the seam allowance so you can sew uninterrupted or you can place them a little closer to the edge and remove pins as you go.
  • Pinning parallel with the raw fabric edge (middle) and within the seam allowance.  This is the method I use for most of my straight sewing as it eliminates the risk of pulls or holes in the fabric from the pins. The head of the pin will be facing you and the tip of the pin will be facing towards your sewing foot.  If it is the other way around then it’s difficult to remove the pins as you feed the fabric through your machine.
  • Use clips.  This method is popular amongst quilters for adding binding.
Other tips:
  • Making sure your pins are of good quality and sharp will help eliminate snagging/pulling of fabric.
  • I do not sew over my pins, preferring to remove them as I go.  You will find many sewers who use pins perpendicular and place them within the seam allowance, choose to leave them in, slow a little and sew over them.  You run the risk of dulling or breaking a machine needle if you leave them in.
  • The amount of pins you use will depend on what you are sewing. Straight sewing you will need less (one pin every 2-3 inches), curves & pleats you will find more pinning is required.   Slippery fabrics are helped with more pins while general cotton/quilting fabrics require less.
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Susie said...

Thank you for the tips!

Susie said...

Thank you for the tips

Megs G said...

I recently discovered the joy of binder clips, so much faster to get your project ready than pins. I sew a lot of diapers so I need to avoid holes in my PUL fabric as much as possible.