The World's Best Pins
December 14, 2011 7:31 AM   Subscribe

My wife has requested sewing pins for Christmas. Please help me find the world's very best sewing pins!

I know nothing about pins, except the ones she has suck. Can the seamsters and seamstresses of Metafilter help me out? Any other cool sewing gift recommendations would also be welcome
posted by Irontom to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
For pinning fabric prior to sewing? Glass heads are a must. They won't melt under the iron.
posted by amanda at 7:43 AM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

As for specific pins, I have no real recommendations (and the kind of sewing she does will also dictate the kind of pins she wants; she here), but here are some things she may also enjoy:
-a pin cushion that sharpens pins (usually have something like steel wool inside them); this will keep good pins sharper
-an excellent quality seam ripper
-if she doesn't have good quality shears yet, get her some
-even little things, like fast-fade markers, are really great
-if she's a quilter, a self-healing cutting mat/rotary cutter
-if she's making garments, a tailor's ham is great
posted by Mrs. Rattery at 7:45 AM on December 14, 2011

And by "she here" I mean, of course, "see here."
posted by Mrs. Rattery at 7:45 AM on December 14, 2011

I'd buy these ones. They're nice and long, and have the good glass heads.
On preview, a sharpening pin cushion is also a great idea.
posted by Adridne at 7:49 AM on December 14, 2011

I have these little stork scissors and they make me smile every time I use them. Might be a good idea if you're not really sure. Also, of course, a gift card to her favorite fabric store would probably be well received.
posted by amanda at 7:49 AM on December 14, 2011

What kind of sewing does she do? Clothes? Crafts? Quilts?

This Etsy store has some beautiful glass pins that I've been drooling over.

This page has some glass head pins as well as some flat floral pins. You might also want to get her some of the satin pins on that page.
posted by TooFewShoes at 7:52 AM on December 14, 2011

While you're out shopping for the nice ones with the glass heads, get her some ballpoint silk pins, too. Hero status comes when you present your offering in an Etui made just for the pins and needles.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 7:54 AM on December 14, 2011

Quilting pins are longer and a lot stronger than normal pins. I love them. The glass heads are great too.
posted by artychoke at 8:03 AM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

You could also buy her fancy sewing scissors, like these.
posted by leigh1 at 8:11 AM on December 14, 2011

Watch out with quilting pins. In addition to being longer, they're also significantly thicker. If she does garment sewing, particularly with finer fabrics, they can leave visible marks. I have the ones Adridne suggested and they're quite nice, although I have a set with primary-color opaque heads that I like better. I believe they're also made by Clover..

I'd recommend Purl Soho for really nice sewing supplies. They're not cheap, but you can be pretty confident that anything they sell is high-quality. They are also very helpful by email if you've got specific inquiries about products -- they matched some fabric colors for me, and I'm sure they'd be happy to help figure out what would be most suitable for specific purposes (Not affiliated in any way, just a happy customer). Pins and such will, by the way, be filed under "Notions". It's a term non-sewing people tend to be unfamiliar with.
posted by duien at 8:40 AM on December 14, 2011

I do a fair bit of sewing. Get a couple of packs, as others have said, glass heads are a must.

Longer ones tend to be more useful than shorter ones, but get a few different thicknesses -- the thicker ones are more useful in general but if you have very fine fabrics it will leave marks. Make sure they are easily distinguishable, with different colored heads or whatnot.

You might also consider getting a couple of different pincushions, again, one for each type. They might also be different so they are easy to separate.
posted by zug at 11:39 AM on December 14, 2011

Clover pins from Japan are wonderful. They make a number of different styles and they come in handy little boxes. You should be able to find them at your local quilt shop. If someone got me an assortment of them I'd be thrilled. (These applique pins are my favorite.)
posted by at 12:16 PM on December 14, 2011

I keep my pins (except for silk pins which are very thin and bendy) in a cheap-o magnetic parts tray from Harbor Freight Tools. It's cheaper and bigger than the magnetic pin holders sold at craft stores.
posted by vespabelle at 12:18 PM on December 14, 2011

Previously. You can get some ideas for other products to buy in that thread, if she is a garment sewer.

The article linked above by Mrs.Rattery is an excellent guide. I would suggest you get her a slection of different pins, since some are better for different applications. Definitely get her some general use glass head pins and silk pins, for starters. I am intrigued by the insect pins. If she quilts, there are some nice pins specifically for that.

One thing I find useful when sewing is a sewing stiletto.
posted by annsunny at 12:30 PM on December 14, 2011

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