All About Sewing Pins

There are several different types of sewing pins, as well as a bunch of various quality of pins out there on the market. This article is about different pins and questions about sewing and quilting pins.  

Can I sew over pins?

Sewing over pins isn’t a good thing to do with your sewing machine. You can sew over them, but you do run the risk of the sewing machine needle hitting the pin and breaking the needle. If the sewing machine needle hits the pin and breaks, it can also cause the sewing machine timing to be off. Best practice when sewing with pins is to pull them out of the fabric you are sewing right before they go under the presser foot.

Can you iron over pins?

You can iron over individual glass head pins. There are plastic head pins that if you iron on top of, will melt. Melting that plastic head can mess up your project fabric or even the iron. Usually, you just don’t iron over pins to as a practice, so you don’t run the risk of stretching the fabric and distorting it.  

How do you use a straight pin?

It is best to pin fabric with the head of the pin off the fabric. So perpendicular to the cut of the material.  

When should you not use pins in sewing?

Make sure the fabric you are using with any type pin will not leave a permanent hole in the fabric or material when you remove it. These include leather, pleather, vinyl, and plastic materials. Try using binding clips, which they use in quilting instead. This way, it will keep the pieces together where they should be but not leave a permanent mark if you are not sure if the pin will leave a mark in the fabric or not. Use a scrap piece and test out the pin to see if it does leave a hole that won’t go away.  

What are quilter pins?

Quilting pins are usually a longer, thinner gauge pin for use when piecing a quilt top. These pins are nice and sharp and don’t pick the fabric when putting them in or pulling them out of the material. They help to hold the different pieces you are sewing together from shifting. Some come with glass heads, which allows you to iron over them without melting the head to your iron or the fabric.  

What is a bent safety pin?

Bent safety pins are for use in quilting. You use the pins to pin together the quilt top to the batting and the backing all in one. You use a lot of these pins to keep the fabric and batting from shifting while you are machine quilting or even hand quilting. I will use a pin every 4-5 inches apart. The safety pins are bent because when you lay out your quilt backing first, batting next, and then the quilt top, you have to pin through all three layers, and you can’t reach the backside of the stack to push the pin back up to the topside. The bend in the pin makes it easier for you to pin in and rock back upwards to come back through all three layers.

What are dressmaking pins?

These are the small nail head type pins. These are my least favorite pin, and I honestly never use them because I dislike working with them. They are short and have a flat nail head that is hard to grip and pull out when you are sewing with them. They also can get lost in your fabric, and you can easily miss one, and you accidentally sew over it.

What do you use T pins for in sewing?

T Pins are pins that are nickel-plated for use with heavyweight fabric. Great for pinning upholstery, thick canvas, and home decor fabrics. Some people even use these T pins for displaying jewelry in display cases. These pins are easy to see and grab onto to remove from the fabric or material while sewing.  

What are the best pins for sewing?

The best pins for sewing probably differs for different people. My favorite ones to sew with are glass head quilting pins. I use these pins for both sewing and quilting. They are long and have a thin gauge needle that is incredibly sharp. Good pins are not the pins from the cheap value bin. Usually, those pins are not sharp and have burrs on the ends. Higher end pins are sharp, don’t pick the fabric, and glide into the material like it was butter.  

What gauge is a sewing pin?

Pins for sewing come in multiple gauges according to the application they are intended. Quilting pins are usually a smaller gauge than say home decor pins.  

Do sewing pins rust?

Sewing pins can rust. Some of the older sewing pins can rust if exposed to humidity or moisture. The higher quality pins do not rust because they are made out of a better metal that isn’t as susceptible to rusting. So the better quality pins are more expensive than ones that are more likely to rust.  

Other pins

There are some other different types of pins. These are just some of the ones that I know about.