Lately I’ve been building a list of the top 10 items every beginning sewist/seamstress/tailor needs to have in his/her sewing kit.
Coming in at #3 is the all-important collection of straight pins.
You may think your grandmother’s hand-me-down straight pins will work fine for a beginner, but they do not. Second-hand pins are not sharp, so they’re likely to create runs in the fabric.
There’s also the issue of rust, which you don’t realize is there until you’ve inserted the pin into the fabric and stained it.
So I’ll say it again: DO NOT USE SECOND HAND STRAIGHT PINS.
There are plenty of companies that offer sharp, rust-free straight pins at a reasonable cost. My favorite is probably Dritz, but Singer makes a nice straight pin set as well.
And if you’re not sure what you’re supposed to do with your straight pins, please view this very short video entitled, “How to Cut Barbie Clothes Sewing Patterns” (scroll down in the blog post to see the video).
After you watch that video and read through that blog post, you’ll understand why straight pins are on my list of must-have essentials. They help hold the pattern in place while you cut.
Just to clarify, you don’t want to buy the super-long quilters’ straight pins. Instead, buy the regular-length sewing straight pins. Add quilters’ straight pins to your collection after you feel comfortable with sewing, especially if you would like to try quilting.
Most regular sewing straight pins are going to be about 25 or 26 mm long (a little over an inch long), and it’s nice to have the colorful ball on the end.
That little ball on the end makes it easy to remove them from paper patterns and the fabric, even if you’re working with tricky fabric like satin or thick denim.
A variety of colors is nice too, so if you’re using red fabric, you can avoid using the red-ball straight pins; that way your pins won’t get lost in the project somewhere.
Do any of my long-time followers have additional advice about straight pins for the newbies out there? Feel free to leave your straight pin tips and pointers (no pun intended — okay, yes, maybe a pun is intended) in the comments section!
If you enjoyed this blog post, and you’d like to see my videos, you might want to navigate over to my YouTube channel, ChellyWood1 to look through my playlists.
For anyone who would like to expand their dolls’ wardrobes, you should really check out my “How to Alter Doll Clothes Patterns” course and my “Design Your Own Doll Pants Patterns from Scratch” classes on the Creative Spark online learning platform. Here’s my bio page on their website, where you can learn more.
For any class on Creative Spark, you don’t have to follow a schedule. Just sign up when you’re ready.
It’s a one-time fee for the course, and there’s no specific time limit to finish your course. You can just take your time and learn at the pace that suits you. So go check out my paid courses on Creative Spark, using this link.
To read more about my free sewing patterns and tutorials, please visit the “Helpful Tips” page.
Disclaimer/Credit/Affiliate Marketing Link:
Chelly Wood and the ChellyWood.com website are not affiliated with any of the doll or toy companies mentioned in this blog post, but Chelly enjoys designing her doll clothes to fit a variety of dolls. To learn more about the doll companies mentioned in today’s post, please visit the doll or toy company’s website.