Pinning. Does anyone else groan inwardly at having to pin again? I mean, lets just get to the sewing right? The sooner we start sewing the sooner we get to see our creation! Anything in between that slows me down can be skipped right?
In truth, pins are your best friend.
Here's the thing with pinning. When sewing a softie there are a few reasons pinning becomes necessary:
1. Slippery Fabric: To get super cuddly Softies you are often using fabric that is thick such as fleece, minky, or faux fur. Not only is the fabric thick but it is slippery. And fabrics are sneaky about their slipperiness- you won't know they aren't lined up anymore until the very end of your stitching and all of a sudden your ends don't match up. So to have the most accuracy you are going to have to use your best friends. And a lot of them. They are there for you when you need them most. When using minky I pin every 1/4 inch to keep it from slipping. It's worth it.
2. Curves: Oh curves. Ok, to get those shapes in the softie that we are creating we have to sew curves and a lot of them. Curves is a lesson on it's own- so we will address this more in depth later. But for now we are talking about curves in relation to pins. To get two opposing curves to line up together and get the shape we want we have to use our best friend the pin again. I think some pictures will help demonstrate this lesson pretty well:
Ok, lets go through these pictures step by step.
1. We want to put these curves together.
2. When we line them up right sides together they don't match anymore! Ok here are where pins come in handy.
3. Start by pinning the middle and then the outside edges, this will make sure it's all lined up and will allow us to accurately pin the rest together.
4. Ease the rest of the fabric so it all lines up and then pin 1/4 or even 1/8 of an inch apart.
5. As you sew I recommend removing pins as the fabric goes through the machine.
6. Success! look how awesome that curve looks. And really lets put our hands in the air for those fabric choices huh?!? Classic.
Pinning does take time but when sewing softies they really are necessary and you can never use too many so go meet your new best friends!
Here are some other pinning tips I just thought of.
Did you notice how I placed my pins sticking out of the fabric in picture 3 and 4? They are perpendicular to the edge. Your pinning accuracy will increase if you are pinning in this direction rather than with the edge (parallel) of the fabric. It also makes it easier to pull them out of the fabric when they are facing this direction.
Last tip- Throw away those bent pins. Now that you are sewing softies you are going to bend more pins than you probably ever have before. Softies are tough on pins! It's all those thick cuddly layers you're forcing into curves that will bend them up. Bent pins aren't as accurate when holding things together and quite frankly annoying to use so just chuck them. I've also tried lots of different pins and the thicker pins just bend too and the leave a hole in some fabrics so I've just stuck to the extra thin, long pins- I like them best.
Whew. Did you make it through all those pinning tricks? Try it out. Use those pins you have. I think you'll be amazed at how your accuracy will increase when you start pinning.
Have any pin secrets that you would like to add? Let's share! Add your pinning tricks down in the comments. I would love to hear.
Until next time-