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Sewing Tip: No More Stubborn Straight Pins



Do you sometimes get angry at your straight pins?  You know, when you can’t wiggle them through that darn fabric?  Yeah…..pins aren’t really something to get angry at but, gahhhhh, nothing’s more aggravating while working on a project than finicky straight pins that won’t properly go through your fabric.  And usually they get stuck because there are several layers of fabric that I’m trying to get through……however, if you have a really cranky needle, even one single layer of fabric can be stubborn. And yes, sharpening the very tip of the needle is helpful too.  (You know that mini strawberry that hangs off the big tomato pin cushion?  Yeah, that has emery powder inside and can help sharpen a needle tip and smooth out any rust or nicks, etc.  However, even then, sometimes I still have trouble getting those sharpened needles through the fabric.)


But try this…….it will change your cranky straight pin world!  Just stick them right into a bar of soap, pull it out, and wah-laa……..all lubed up.  Go on, grab a bar of soap and try it, I know you’re intrigued. :) The soap gives the pin the slightest coating and helps that little pin move right through your fabric.  I’m serious, go give it a try. 



And you know, not all my pins are stubborn.  So, I just keep a bar of soap on a little plate near my sewing table.  While pinning a project, if I come across a dull needle, I stick it into the bar of soap……and then resume.  Pesky little pins aren’t gonna slow me down!



Oh, and have you ever been to the fabric store, and the lady behind the counter is trying to put the fabric back together on the bolt and pin the flap of fabric in place, and her pin gets stuck??  So she runs the pin through her hair?  Well, yep, she’s lubing that pin up with the grease of her hair.  (Have you actually seen that happen?  It actually kind of grosses me out a bit…..but every time I see someone do it, I know exactly why.  Maybe I should bring them a bar of soap on a plate as a gift.)


I have seen others dip their needles into wax but if you use soap, I feel like if there’s any sort of soap residue that gets onto the fabric, it will wash right out.  Wax is a little more tricky to wash out (even though it would only be a tiny amount)… in my brain, soap makes me worry a little less.


And the best part, that one little bar of soap will last you forever.  And ha, you thought you needed to keep buying new packages of straight pins.  Crisis averted! :)


Good luck!



Ashley Johnston

Administrator at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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