I’ve met quite a few experienced seamstresses and when they are sewing a new and complicated garment they use pins. Don’t feel you shouldn’t use pins.
- A lot of the time the professionals judge seam allowances by eye but when trying to match a tricky point they get the tape measure out and put a pin where the seam lines join. Often if your garment is complicated or you just can’t afford to make a mistake it’s better to measure where you have to sew too and pin it!!
- Put the pins into the fabric at right angles to the seam/fabric edge ( You can sew over pins on a domestic machine if you have the pins at right angles to the fabric edge).
- I like to have my pins visible on the top layer of fabric when I am sewing. If your raw seam/fabric edge is on your right hand side, you can measure the seam width using the ruler on your sewing machine as you sew (great to ensure consistent seam widths!). When you are pinning have the raw seam/fabric edge laying on the right hand side. Having the pins on top stops any pins getting caught in the machine underneath and you can always clearly see them to pull them out if necessary!
- The pin head should be on the outer edge of the fabric – if you need to pull them out as you sew then it is easier to pull them out when positioned in this way.
- When pinning your garment pieces together make sure you pin at key points first: at either end of the seam line and at the notches. The notches act as anchor points at key points of the design.
- Another and sometimes overlooked area is the length and point of the pins. You can purchase various different types of pins. Nice fine, sharp and long pins are great for delicate fabrics. Blunt pins will either not go into a fabric like satin or will cause a catch and pull in the fabric – you don’t want this. Often the box of pins will tell you what they are for. Try your pins in a scrap of fabric before hand if you are unsure.