sewing

Wonder Clips vs Pins

Now to be honest I’m quite biased as I am a very slap dash sewer, so speed is important to me as well as being easy to use. However I am going to try and give good and bad points to all to help you guys decide what to use when (as well as giving my opinion).

Wonder Clips

fullsizerender_1.jpgI love these and have a stash of about 100 as you use a lot more than you think you need on projects and garments. They can be used instead of pins on a variety of projects, literally clipping things together! They do what they say on the tin! I tend to use these when applying bias binding (I don’t apply it the conventional way – which I’ll discuss in a future post), sewing or cutting slippery material and sewing zips.

Pros

  • Really easy to add to garments, meaning pinning together pieces, hems or bias binding is a breeze.
  • Brilliant for hard to cut/sew fabrics – silky, floaty material as you don’t have manipulate the pieces together to add the clip, it just slides over the pieces.
  • Doesn’t pierce your fabric, so no holes are left.
  • Tough & durable.
  • Use to hold fabric pieces together, so you can then go and pin without the fabric moving around.
  • Used to hold pattern piece on a fold of fabric, without damaging the pattern .
  • Very hard plastic so can cope with some heat.

Cons

  • Quite expensive.
  • Very bulky, which adds weight to fabric – which can cause fabric to be hard to manoeuvre through the machine…
  • These have to be removed before the foot gets to it due to the size of them.
  • You can’t iron over them as they too big.

Flat Head Pins

fullsizerender_2.jpgI use these for fabrics that have quite a large open weave, so they don’t leave holes behind as they do in closely woven fabrics. I also use them if I’m sewing several layers together.

Pros

  • These can be used to pin large amounts of fabric together as they are very long.
  • As they are long they can be used to pin large hems together .
  • They can be left in when sewing (carefully!) as they are flat, so wont obstruct the sewing foot.
  • Cheap!

Cons

  • They can melt under heat as the head is plastic.
  • As they are long they are more flexible, leading to movement when pinning.
  • They have a blunt point compared to other types of pins- can make pushing them into fabric tricky.
  • As they are thicker than most other pins, which can lead to fabric threads being pulled out.

Glass Head Pins

BP80055750-multicolouredThese are brilliant for very fine material or if you need to use the iron on the area the pins are. These are general use pins for seams, hems, facing, bias binding etc.

Pros

  • They wont melt under heat as the head is glass and pin is metal.
  • Cheap!
  • They are very sharp so they don’t damage fabric, when pinning.
  • They are narrow, so they don’t create massive holes in fabric.

Cons

  • As they are short, it can be a problem when pinning large sections of material together.
  • The head is smaller than on plastic head pins, so they are more easily missed.

Dressmakers Pins

sp17These are excellent for very delicate sewing and very fine fabrics. These are used to do the same as standard pins but as they are much more delicate they don’t spoil the look of fabric such as silk in a wedding dress.

Pros

  • They wont melt under heat as completely metal.
  • Cheap!
  • They are very sharp so they don’t damage fabric, when pinning.
  • They are very narrow, so they don’t create holes in fabric.

Cons

  • Being short it can be a prove a problem when pinning large sections of material together.
  • As they have a very tiny head so difficult to remove and could be missed.

Plastic Head Pins

FullSizeRender_3I have a lot of these as they are your standard sewing pin and can be used for pretty much anything and on any fabric. I tend to use these for hems, seams, zips, pockets etc. You can never have to many of these in your sewing box.

Pros

  • Cheap!
  • They are very sharp so they don’t damage fabric, when pinning.
  • They are narrow, so they don’t create massive holes in fabric.
  • Having a large head means they can be easily seen and removed.

Cons

  • They can melt under heat as the head is plastic
  • As they are short, it can be a problem when pinning large sections of material together as they can pull out or not reach

Considerations

It is always important to consider your fabric before choosing which pin to use. Sometimes more than one will work but a lot of the time there is a better choice. You need to make sure you use a pin which isn’t going to damage your fabric by causing holes, pulling threads etc. All the pins listed above all come in different lengths, widths so always check before buying they are the right specifications.. Always try put your chosen pin in a scrap of your fabric before using it on the full garment, to see what it does to the material. A lot of the decision depends on which you like to use and is trial and error. As long as the option id suited to the material your using it shouldn’t matter too much.

So here are some examples of what I think should be used on what common fabric:

  • Silk or silky types: Dressmakers pins, fine glass head/plastic head pins or wonder clips.
  • Quilting: Flat head pins.
  • Cotton and cotton types: Glass/plastic head pins or wonder clips.
  • Stretch: Glass/plastic head pins or wonder clips.
  • Wool: Flat head pins.
  • PVC: Wonder clips as they don’t mark!

When I’m sewing, I use a combination of flat head pins, plastic head pins and wonder clips. I don’t use glass head pins or dressmakers pins as I have long acrylic nails and find them too fine to work with. I love how easy wonder clips are to use and the fact I can use them to hold fabric still whilst I pin. I do use pins on somethings which are easy to pin, as it means I can sew the whole thing without stopping to remove clips. A lot of the time I use a combination of clips and pins as it gets me the best result for my style of sewing.

On a final note, I have mentioned in this post about sewing over needles. Now a lot of people will be scandalised y this. I do it as it means I get things done quicker, Ideally you should remove the pins as you get to them but if you don’t – SEW SLOWLY! Otherwise you could bend a needle or worse break one mid seam, which ruins the look of the seam as you have to start again in the middle or you have to unpick and start again.,

Hope this helps 🙂  If you are enjoying my blog,  follow me!!

Love Heather xx

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