Are you a Pin Popper or a Pin Hopper?

Today I am wanting to take a little poll around a subject I’ve been curious about for years. Especially since I started following blogs and taking online classes.

I learned to sew from my mom, who is a professional seamstress and has been sewing for more than 40 years now. I learned to sew and still sew on a Bernina 830 Record. For just a short time when I was 18-23 I had another cheap sewing machine that I used after I left home and before I could afford a decent one. I really didn’t sew much on that machine because A) I was young and busy and worked or hung out with friends all the time and B) That machine was more trouble than it was worth. It was a dark time in my creative life…

I know, everyone loves their machine!

I know, everyone loves their machine!

Then my mom gave me her old sewing machine because she got another one. No, she didn’t upgrade, she literally got another of the EXACT SAME MACHINE. Actually, it was her third. As a professional seamstress, she simply could not go without her machine for any amount of time, so she already had a backup Bernina 830. When she got her hands on a third, she decided to give the original to me. It is super super special to me, as you can imagine.

When she taught me to sew, she assured me that I could sew right over pins. In fact, she told me when she learned to sew (in Home Ec in the 70’s) she was taught to sew over pins. So I have for the last 25 years. This very, very rarely presents a problem for me. I use fine glass head pins exclusively and it works great for me, only once in a blue moon will I break a needle. But when I had that cheap whatever machine I had trouble with sewing over pins. With that crappy machine I had trouble with everything, so I didn’t think much of it.

I also have a Brother sewing/embroidery machine that I don’t use often, but when I do, I usually take my pins out. I don’t trust it like my Bernina.

So I noticed as I looked around the interwebs that a lot of people remove pins as they go. Lots of the Craftsy classes I’ve taken have shown the instructors doing that. So I have been wondering and wondering…

What do you do? Do different machines have different tolerance for going over pins? Do tutorials and classes tell you to pull pins because it is “correct”? Of course they don’t want a needle to break and send a shard of metal in your eye! At home, alone, do you just sew right over those pins like I do?

Please take my poll:

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6 thoughts on “Are you a Pin Popper or a Pin Hopper?

  1. We’re almost sewing machine twins! I’ve had mine since about 1980! I’ve always removed pins, and I heard/read that sewing over pins will, over time, damage your machine? Not sure how, but I’m glad I was trained from the get-go to remove pins and not sew over them.

    • Yay! Twinsies! Well, I know from my mom that sewing over pins for the last 40 years has not damaged her machine. But I wonder about other machines? These old Berninas are all metal, but many machines are not nowadays.

  2. I too went from a brother to a Bernina, and I am far more likely to pull the pins on the brother– sometimes it seems like the littlest things gives it conniptions!

  3. very interesting question 🙂 i have bernina, and in my case removing of pins depends on the fabric I’m sewing.. if the fabric is thin, i remove them, and if it’s thicker I just leave them in 🙂

  4. I have never sewn over pins. I understand that it might distort your sewing line, stitch length, tension or quality of the seam you just sewed, besides breaking your needle. Also… I am terribly afraid of breaking my sewing machine needle. Why? because when I was younger and sewing too quickly my needle did break and flew towards my eye. Luckily I shut my eyes and stopped sewing the instant the needle broke as my sewing machine had made a strange “thunk” noise. The broken needle piece hit my closed eye lid with no injury to me. I consider this comment to be a “Public Health Broadcast” to all sewists out there! Be careful! 🙂

    • That is super scary and you are right, it could really be dangerous! I will tell you that I used to put pins in my mouth all the time until I heard of that lady that inhaled the pin. So I got the awesome wrist pin cushion! These sewing injuries are real and if you sew, need to be carefully considered.

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