I was recently asked why I place my pins in the same direction as the stitching and not across the stitching line. It was suggested that placing the pins perpendicular to your row of stitching means you can sew straight over the pins and pull them out when you are finished sewing the seam making the process a little quicker. Yes, I agree this definitely makes sewing a little quicker and I do use this technique sometimes e.g. at the beginning of sewing thicker fabric together to stop the edges from moving. However, there are a number of reasons why I prefer to pin along the stitching line.
Firstly, I find that it helps to hold the fabric in place a little better especially when sewing smaller items like doll clothes. Secondly, when you have a tiny ¼” hem it is definitely easier to place the pin in the direction of sewing rather than across the tiny hem (see photo at right).
Thirdly, it is easier to press the fold of a hem if the pins are away from the fold line – I can just press all along the fold line and remove the pins after pressing. If the pins are sticking out over the fold, I have to either press over the pins or press around the pins (see photo at left).
Another reason I pin in this fashion is because I use my serger quite a bit and you really can’t afford to hit the pins with your cutting blade as the metal pin damages the blade. Because the serger sews much quicker than the sewing machine, you really do have to be on the ball and stop before reaching the pin if it is sticking out in front of the cutting blade (perpendicular). When I first started using a serger I didn’t take my foot off the gas quick enough and hit a pin with the cutting blade and apart from getting the pin jammed, I made a dint in the blade. Now I always place my pins along the sewing line when serging because if I don’t remove the pin in time, it is not so much of a drama
I have also hit a pin with my needle while sewing over it and this scared the beegeebers out of me, think I was using a knit stitch at the time, so I am a little cautious when stitching over pins.
So I guess pinning in the direction of stitching works best for me for the majority of the time. But as long as you don’t have the head of the pin going into the presser foot first, which makes it very difficult to remove, you should ultimately do what works best for you as neither way is more correct – both ways are perfectly fine.
Let me know which way you prefer to place your pins and why.
By Rosie Saw