Pins are often underestimated when we consider the equipment we use for sewing. How many of us have pins which we have had so long their origins are lost in the midst of time? I know I have some that were probably from my mum when she taught me dressmaking for my Cindy and Barbie dolls. They are short, a little too thick and now as blunt as anything so, I decided to look around for some new ones.
Hemline is a well known name in haberdashery and I was kindly sent a box of these Easy Grip Pins to test for Groves. (Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org for stockist information.) They come in Hemline’s recognisable plastic box which is perfect for storage and transport, they are 42mm long and you get approximately 60 to a pack.
The pins themselves are delightfully sharp – something you don’t always get with cheaper varieties. (I bought some recently which were atrocious – lesson learnt, you get what you pay for!) They also have a larger, bulbous head which makes pinning so much easier. They definitely do what they suggest; provide an easy grip and are less fiddly to use.
They also lie reasonably flat which is an advantage for patchwork, something I also like when dressmaking as I’m too lazy to fully tack my pieces prior to sewing.
Overall these pins are worth investing in as they will give you many years of use but how can we improve the life of our pins? The box these come in is great for taking to workshops or travelling but I do like a nice pin cushion.
At Strictly Quilting HQ we love to make different kinds from mini quilt blocks to dachshunds, caravans to embroidered cushions which, being a little larger, are great next to your machine. I find a smaller pin cushion is difficult to stab at with a pin when I am concentrating on operating the machine. A larger one to my right and I can hit it every time without taking my eyes from my work.
Another advantage to making your own is to fill them with something that will help keep your pins sharp. You can use wire wool but I like to use crushed walnut shells and have some with a lavender scent. Also useful for discouraging insects and is relaxing. Adding some natural wool, I picked some from the hedges on a walk, can also be of benefit. The lanolin in the sheep fleece helps keep your pins rust free, but as these pins are nickel plated carbon steel I don’t really thing I’d have to worry about this.
So, if you feel you are in need of some new pins, these are certainly worth considering but also think about a new pincushion. Also great for using up scraps from other projects!