Sewing & Pattern making Terms


In the world of sewing, there’s one tool that stands out as an indispensable ally for seamstresses and pattern makers alike: pins. These tiny yet mighty objects play a crucial role in holding fabric pieces together during the construction process, ensuring accuracy, alignment, and ease of sewing. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the significance of pins, their types, and best practices for their effective use.

The Power of Pins: A Seamstress’s Best Friend

Pins are versatile tools that assist in fabric manipulation and secure layers during sewing. They provide stability, prevent shifting, and aid in achieving precise and professional-looking results.

Types of Pins

  1. Straight Pins:
  • General Purpose: Standard pins used for most sewing projects.
  • Silk Pins: Extra-fine and delicate pins suitable for lightweight and delicate fabrics.
  • T-Pins: Larger pins with a T-shaped head, ideal for pinning thick or heavy fabrics.
  1. Specialty Pins:
  • Quilting Pins: Longer pins designed for quilting projects, often with colorful heads for easy visibility.
  • Ballpoint Pins: Rounded and slightly blunted tips, perfect for use with knits and stretch fabrics.
  • Glass Head Pins: Heat-resistant pins with colorful glass heads, allowing for ironing over them without melting or damage.

Best Practices for Pinning

  1. Pin Placement:
  • Aligning Seams: Place pins perpendicular to the seam line, ensuring the fabric edges are aligned accurately.
  • Spacing: Distribute pins evenly, using enough to secure the fabric layers without causing distortion.
  1. Pinning Techniques:
  • Insertion: Insert pins perpendicular to the fabric, with the heads outside the seam allowance.
  • Angle: For long seams, angle pins slightly toward the seam line to aid in smooth fabric feeding while sewing.
  1. Pin Removal:
  • Remove pins as you approach them while sewing, ensuring they don’t interfere with the machine needle or cause damage.
  • Avoid sewing over pins, as it may dull or damage the needle, or cause the pin to break and create a safety hazard.

Pin Tips and Tricks

  1. Pin Storage:
  • Magnetic Pincushions: Ideal for quick and easy pin retrieval, as the magnetic surface attracts and holds the pins securely.
  • Pin Holders or Cushions: Traditional pincushions filled with foam, sawdust, or polyester fiberfill for storing pins.
  1. Pin Maintenance:
  • Regularly check pins for rust or damage, replacing them as needed to prevent snagging or staining fabrics.
  • Clean pins occasionally by wiping them with a soft cloth or lightly sanding with fine-grit sandpaper to remove residue.

Safety Considerations

  • Always store pins safely, away from children and pets, to prevent accidents.
  • When not in use, close pin containers securely to avoid spills or injuries.


Pins are a seamstress’s invaluable tool, providing stability and accuracy throughout the sewing process. By understanding the various types of pins, mastering effective pinning techniques, and following best practices, you can ensure precise alignment, ease of sewing, and professional-quality results. Embrace the power of pins as you embark on your sewing adventures, and let them become your trusty companions on the journey to creating beautifully crafted garments.

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Melissa Villegas
Pattern Maker &


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