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Sewing Tip: Simplify Fittings with Safety Pins

For a long time, I’ve told myself that I didn’t want to write a “learn how to sew” blog because I’ve always felt there are plenty of online resources for that type of thing, and I don’t want to bore my non-sewing readers. (I really love teaching someone to sew, but doing it in person is much more fun.)

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve found that I enjoy leaving helpful hints here & there, and when I do, I get a lot of positive feedback from others in this Land of Blogging. (I sometimes forget that not everything I know is common knowledge to other sewists, because a lot of little things are just how my coworkers and I have always done it at work, and I don’t always remember where I picked the information up.)

Since so many of you seem to like the tips I’ve mentioned in the past, I thought I would start to include some short “sewing tips” posts on my blog periodically.

So today’s tip is one of the very first things I learned when I started sewing professionally: use safety pins for fittings instead of straight pins.

(Every costume shop and wardrobe crew has a HUGE box or two of safety pins because they are essentially disposable.)

For fittings, I like to use a pincushion that contains only safety pins (I personally prefer the standard #2 size pins). They are all pre-opened & stabbed into the pincushion so they can be grabbed one at a time with one hand, which saves tons of time during a fitting.

My designated pincushion for safety pins.

Using safety pins for fitting a mock-up or marking a minor clothing alteration (like a hem) has the added benefit of the pins not moving or falling out when the model removes the garment after the fitting. And, of course, the wearer can’t be poked with pins while undressing either.

Keeping the safety pins in a pincushion also helps with cleanup after the pins have been removed from the garment to make alterations – just open the safety pin, remove it from the fabric, and stick it back into the pincushion. There’s no need to reclose it, and it’s ready for next time.  =)

If you ever have a sewing dilemma, feel free to leave a comment or ask me by email – I’d love to help out if I can!

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