Pin sizes

comparison of shaft size, Dritz #44 pin and Dritz #22 Ultra Fine

I have written before about sewing over pins. There is always a “religious war” over whether or not to leave pins in place and sew over them or to remove them as one sews. I think at least some of those who are in the “remove pins” camp use pins that are sturdier but as a result have a larger shaft and are much more likely to get hit by the needle.

I current use Dritz extra-fine pins as well as Clover “Patchwork Pins, Fine”. The Clover pins’ shaft is 0.016″. The Dritz extra-fine pins are about as fine, maybe a hair thinner. By comparison, Dritz #44 pins (red ball head, second from bottom) have shaft of 0.035″ diameter. That is more than twice as thick as the pins I use!

The silver ball head pin and yellow ball head pin (bottom and third from bottom) are similar in size to the Dritz #44. One can see how, using those pins, the chance of pins getting hit by needle would be more than twice as much!
comparison of shaft size, assortment of pins

I used the blue ball head pin (third from top), Dritz #21, for a short while before I found the Dritz extra-fine and Clover pins. Their shaft is 0.027″. They’re OK but still a bit too thick to sew over safely.

The Dritz extra-fine and Clover pins’ shaft are so fine that if the needle hit them, they’d just get bent and nothing much else happens. I had the opportunity to sew on a Bernina Activa 145 this weekend at a charity sewing event. I loved the machine! It sews beautifully and the user interface is very intuitive, at least for me, a very experienced sewist. The machine’s owner is in the “remove pins” camp. I think I can understand why she’d prefer that. The Bernina appears much more precise and finely tuned than my 40-year old Singer Fashion Mate Model 248. Hitting a pin on the Bernina, no matter how fine the pin, may have much worse consequences than on my Singer.

P.S. Here’s a Threads magazine article on pins.