Are you wondering how to pin fabric before you sew your first seam? Pinning is a form of basting and is used to hold 2 or more fabrics together before you start sewing. There are 2 main methods you can use to pin fabric – horizontal to the seam or vertically (sometimes referred to as perpendicular).
My mother always taught me to pin horizontally so most of the time I use this method out of habit. There are circumstances however where vertical pinning will be more effective at holding the fabric. Vertical pinning is great for curved pattern pieces and ruffles. Experiment and choose the method that suits you best. There is no right or wrong.
HOW TO PIN FABRIC
Make sure the pins are pointing in the same direction as you are sewing so you can remove them easily without pricking your fingers. Start stitching slowly and remove the pins as you sew. This method is best used for straight seams.
Vertical pinning is especially useful for sewing curves or ruffles as it securely holds the fabric in place. Since the pins are pinned through your main fabric, it is advisable to first make sure they don’t mark the fabric. You won’t be able to use this method for fabrics such as fine silk and vinyl where the pins will leave holes.
Place your pins across the seam allowance with the heads sticking out. (If you are left-handed then you may find it easier to have them pointing in.) In theory, you can stitch over the pins but I have had many a broken needle caused by pins that weren’t removed – so don’t do it!
Keep a spare pin-cushion next to your machine to put the pins in once you remove them.
If you have any extra tips on the best way to place pins for sewing please share below.