When you first start sewing, you might ask the question, can you sew over pins? Sewing over pins seems like it would save time as you wouldn't have to slow down and remove them one by one but is it the right thing to do?
Well, the answer is that it depends - Some sewers will say yes and some will say never. Here is why.
SEWING OVER PINS
Can you Sew over Pins?
My thoughts - I say NO WAY! This is because when you sew over pins you risk:
- Damaging yourself with a broken needlepoint. You don’t have to look far for sewers who have ended up with a broken needle tip in the eye. Try googling it!
- Damaging your machine - If you hit a pin with the needle it can put the timing of your machine out which means a costly service bill.
Either scenario is not good.
Most of the time the needle will miss the pins or slip over them but it only takes one slip up to wish you had slowed down and removed those pins. I wrote this post as last week I hit a pin and it put the machine timing out causing it to need a service. Wasted money – if only I had been more careful!
When to Remove the Pin When Sewing
The ideal scenario is to remove the pins an inch or so before you get to them. If necessary stop the machine near the pin, remove it and then start sewing again. Always use the minimum amount of pins you can get away with to prevent you from having to stop too many times.
Always keep a pincushion next to your machine to put all those loose pins in. You don't want to find them on the floor with your foot. I like the magnetic type next to my sewing machine as I don't need to try hard to get them in. Throw then on top and keep sewing.
Ok, so what about if you are in a hurry and sewing over pins is necessary?
Make sure your pins are vertical (stitching out from the edge) and not horizontally placed. This way you are only sewing across the narrowest part of the pins.
Use really fine pins with small heads.
Sewing Over Pins when Serging
It is absolutely vital not to sew over pins when using a serger. There are no exceptions. The pin will go underneath the knife that cuts the edge off the fabric and break and damage the knife edge.
If you need to use pins when serging, consider some of the alternatives below.
Sometimes when I have to serger a difficult seam I machine baste it first on a long stitch that can be removed later. That way I don't need to worry about pins in the fabric getting caught under the knife edge.
Sewing Over Pins by Accident
9 times out of 10 accidentally sewing over a pin will be ok. But it is that one time we need to discuss. Just check that the sewing machine needle has not broken or bent. If it has then replace the needle immediately.
If the pin is bent or broken then make sure you find that too. Hopefully, your machine is still sewing nicely but if it is not you may need to take it to a technician. Go through some troubleshooting first just to make sure something else is not going on.
MORE TROUBLESHOOTING ARTICLES
- Sewing Needle Keeps Breaking
- How to Clean a Sewing Machine
- Sewing Machine Thread Keeps Breaking
- Sewing Machine Skipping Stitches
- Seam Puckering when Sewing
- Sewing Machine Manuals
- Sewing Safety Tips for Beginners
- Sewing Machine Troubleshooting
- Sewing Machine Tension
- How to Thread a Sewing Machine
Alternatives to Sewing Over Pins
If you are wanting to leave the pins in the fabric due to a difficult curve or slippery fabric, consider hand basting instead.
Hand basting can be done with a simple running stitch. It really doesn't take that long and can be a more secure way to hold your fabric. Other ways to baste fabric without pins include using clips or simply aligning fabric carefully before you sew.
Pins could also be placed way outside the seam allowance so the fabric is held tightly but you will not be sewing anywhere near the pins.
Sewing Over Pins - In Conclusion
Take a vote. Do you sew over pins? I’d be willing to bet it is about 50-50. But I could be wrong. Most of the time I remove the pins and don't sew over them but as I said it only takes one time to ruin your machine.
Please share your thoughts.