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When you start off sewing or are sewing a difficult seam, then it is essential to pin! But sometimes it is hard to take out the pins as you sew and it can also lead to mis matched notches. Good news is though that you can leave your pins in and sew over them!

Technical pin

If you insert straight pins at a right angle to the marked seam line, you can carefully stitch across them. Just make sure you SLOW DOWN as you do so, or else you could risk breaking a sewing machine needle.


The last time I used this technique was then I was sewing in my bias strips to finish the armholes of my Abstract Flounce Dress.

Do you leave your pins in or take them out while sewing?


  • Simba_nov_06_large

    Aug 5, 2017, 02.06 PMby nrobson

    definitely a gamble i agree! x

  • 2004_toni_large

    Aug 4, 2017, 02.20 PMby ndimi

    Clover wonder clips. Best. Invention. Ever!

  • 41a0fb6a199ced51c07eb2ea936dd25e39765ae5_large

    Aug 2, 2017, 03.47 PMby scormeny

    jenns-1 and Vernetta speak for me. I really avoid sewing over pins and do a lot of hand-basting and gluing where it is important and difficult to get super-aligned joins in seams.

    I use a Japanese cotton basting thread sold by Shibori Dragon — it tears easily so after sewing it is pretty easy to remove. And, sometimes I use Avery purple stick glue, a tip taught to me by a talented sewing friend that has worked well.

    I do like to put my pins in perpendicular to the seam so they’re easy to pull out. However, if you are easing or sewing a sleeve in, for instance, where your fabrics will not be flat when the seam is done, you have to be careful with your pinning and that’s often when I’ll baste by hand before sewing.

  • Img_2020_large

    Aug 2, 2017, 02.24 PMby Deanna31

    I hardly ever use pins. I find that my garments are less puckered, my seams straighter, and my time faster without them.

  • Missing

    Aug 2, 2017, 12.36 AMby ArcticFox001

    I sew over pins and it really isn’t a big deal if you are careful. The real trick is to go slow and watch the needle when you are near a pin. I will often remove my foot from and guide the needle by hand going over a pin, which means that you can feel if the needle will make contact and adjust. Sure, it’s tricky if you are impatient. Otherwise, I think this is a good tip. I also ALWAYS baste with the pins left in.

  • Logo4957b_large

    Aug 1, 2017, 04.21 PMby jenss-1

    Admittedly, I do this sometimes when absolutely necessary — but it can be risky for beginners. I have had a needle break and fly off toward my face. Pins can also mess with the feed dogs and skew your seam. IMO it’s better not to use many pins anyway. If it is a tricky area, then it should be quickly hand basted first — and the results will probably be better. Or use the Clover wonderclips, which, at worst, will be stopped by the presser foot.

    I’m also going to say that it is really unfortunate that home-ec is not taught in schools much any more in the U.S. In some other countries sewing is even taught in elementary. Home-ec used to provide the basics for sewing, and so many beginning sewers are winging it based upon bits and pieces of information on the internet. For those who are serious, it would be worth it to take a community college class or something like that, to get a fully rounded course of the basics. Then decide to pin or not, or baste or not.

  • Missing

    Aug 1, 2017, 04.03 PMby Vernetta

    Sewing over pins is a gamble—sometimes you’re fine, sometimes the needle will hit the pin and break, risking jammed pins and broken bits in the workings of your machine or IN YOUR FACE. If you’re in a difficult seam, remove the pins a stitch or two early when the pressure from the presser foot will help hold the fabric in position. Or just baste/glue/tape the seam in place before sewing.

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