Spring is coming at last – do you get the urge to have a clear out and invest in some new tools? I am rather obsessed with pins and of my first blog posts on Beyond Measure was all about my quest for the perfect pin. Viewing the feedback, it seemed that everyone had a different idea of perfection! So nearly two years down the line, I’m happy to see that my pin range has greatly expanded and I hope I can cater for nearly everyone’s desires.
I thought it would be useful to give you a rundown of all the pins I stock and their uses. I’m going to do it by thickness rather than brand, to help you find the perfect tool for the job.
Sajou Triangle Pins 0.8 x 30mm
These are a shorter, thicker pin with a triangle shaped head. They are very useful for thick or upholstery fabrics and anywhere you want to make sure the pin head doesn’t disappear through lots of layers. The bonus is they come in a delightful tin with a Harlequin on it.
Merchant and Mills Toilet Pins 0.7 x 45mm
If I had a pound for every time someone asked me what a Toilet Pin was; I sometimes wish M&M had called them a more elegant name! They are long and sturdy with a black glass head, and are similar to those used by ladies at their dressing tables to pin hats, hair, clothes and adornments. Use them like this if you will but I find them very useful for holding together tough furnishing fabrics and thick layers.
Sajou Glass headed – 0.6 x 30mm
These merry little pins by Sajou are a more visible alternative to your standard pin. They have Murano glass heads which brings together the best of France and Italy in one pin! The wizard on the tin is taken from an original Sajou haberdashery illustration – a good one for Harry Potter fans.
Merchant and Mills Spanish Lace Pins 0.59 x 26mm
These traditional Spanish lace pins apparently come in different colours to aid the lace makers as they follow a pattern. M&M just stock the blood red-headed pins – combine this with the little cardboard tub and there is something quite irresistible about them; they are very popular with artists. These are shorter so good for pinning small pieces in applique and patchwork.
Tulip Hiroshima Yellow Tulip and Momiji pins – 0.55 x 48mm
I do love Tulip Hiroshima pins for their fineness and smoothness, plus you have the added bonus of being able to reflect the seasons in your sewing; tulips for Spring and leaves for Autumn. These are the thickest in the Hiroshima range but are still quite fine and very sharp – I am always stabbing myself with mine. They have flat cellulose heads which means they lie very flat on fabric when sewing seams on a machine. NB Please remove your pins before getting to the needle – it’s tempting to sew over them but it can result in bent pins and broken needles. Tut!
Sajou Steel Dressmaking pins 0.5 x 30mm
The everyday stalwart of dressmaking, these lovely steel pins come in either little boxes or a tin. Sajou still make all their pins in France so they are great quality and not just pretty packaging. Perfect for all dressmaking and general sewing.
Tulip Hiroshima Patchwork Pins – 0.5 x 35mm
These are lovely glass headed pins in unusual transparent shades of green, yellow, purple and blue. They are great for patchwork of course, but are also a useful size for general sewing and dressmaking. Fine, smooth and very sharp, as with all the Tulip pins.
Extra Special pins
Tulip Hiroshima Aosora, Akari and Sakura pins – 0.5 x 35mm
The same size as the patchwork pins, these dreamy glass headed pins come with swirly pastel heads. Poetically named, the reflect the colours of sky, sea and spring blossom. You don’t get as many in a pack as the patchwork pins, but these really are a thing of beauty. Colour co-ordinate them with your sewing room or pincushion.
Tulip Hiroshima Shizuku pins – 0.5mm – 36mm
These are my most expensive pins but they are oh so stunning with large dewdrop heads of black, white and primary coloured glass. They are rather atomic in nature. Just put them in your pincushion and admire their beauty.
Merchant & Mills Entomology Pins- 0.45mm x 38mm
The Morticia Adams of pins, they are slinky, black clad and a bit sinister. Many people use them for silk and they are fine and elegant with their brass heads. Also quite popular with artists due to their black enamelled finish. They look great in my Black Dog pincushion by Kate Haxell.
Tulip Pink Tulip Pins – 0.45 – 48mm
If you prefer a smooth as silk finish, these pins are the ones for you. Extra fine and ultra-polished, they won’t snag your precious fine fabrics. They also have a highly visible pink tulip head to minimise nasty sewing room accidents.
Tulip Applique – 0.4mm x 25mm
The finest and smallest pin I stock, these pins are ultra slim and sharp. Great for pinning all those awkward shapes in applique, they won’t get in the way but are easy to see and sew around. Also good for silks and delicates. They come on a bright cheery selection of orange yellow and green.
Of course I like to look after my pins in a selection of new and vintage pincushions. It’s so good to have the right ones for for the right job and the best bit is they look beautiful too.
So, is your perfect pin here? Have I missed something? I’d love to hear….
UPDATE!! You can win four packs of Hiroshima pins of your choice, pop over to Portia Lawrie’s blog Makery to find out how.