Sewing Clips vs Pins: Are Sewing Clips Better Than Pins?

Sewing supplies are always needed. This is not limited to just thread and needles. Sometimes you need other accessories to get that project done with a minimum of frustration and loss of time. The key is to find the right accessory that fits your sewing style and doesn’t cost a lot.

Are sewing clips better than pins? Pins have their place but they also leave little holes in the fabric that are sometimes hard to hide. Clips would be better in most sewing situations.

To find out more about which accessory is better to use, just continue to read our article. It has that information and more to help you make your sewing hobby less complicated and go smoother. Clips seem like the ideal accessory for most fabrics.

What are Sewing Clips?

In simple and plain language, sewing clips are little plastic pieces that have a spring inside to hold the two ends together. That hold is tight, secure, and helps your fabric stay in place until you sew enough to remove it.

Pins do the same thing but the pin is invasive and leaves holes in the fabric. Plus, the pins are sharp. If you are not careful you can prick yourself or drop it on the floor to be stepped on later by an unsuspecting member of your family.

Plus, clips are very versatile as they can be used for quilting, knitting, or other types of sewing options. They are easy to use and come in a variety of colors and sizes to make sure you get the ones you like the best.

Sewing Clips Instead of Pins


Sewing clips have the advantage here. While the pin has tradition and thousands of years of use behind it, sewing clips can be seen as a technological upgrade. They are an improvement on something that has worked for many generations.

Plus, they are the exception to the rule, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. Sometimes that rule needs to be broken to make sewing and other aspects of life better. Clips do not replace pins entirely as pins will still have their place in sewing.

Also, clips work with those materials that cannot be used with pins. One fine example is vinyl. It is basically impossible to put a pin through this material and have it stay in place. Clips come to the rescue and hold the vinyl together with ease.

Another example is tulle. Pins tend to slip out once you put them in that fabric. Clips can hold tulle together while you make that first or final stitch and all stitched n between. That makes swing tulle a lot easier to do.

There are many instances where clips will be the best choice in your sewing project.

Sewing Clips vs Pins

Here is a list of pros and cons for both sewing accessories. After reading these you can make up your own mind which item is better. keep in mind that both items do have their place in the sewing industry.

Clips Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Strong
  • Holds a majority of fabrics together
  • Great for lightweight materials that are slippery
  • Can hold patterns on the fol without damaging the pattern
  • Leaves no holes
  • Made from hard plastic and endures heat
  • Durable
  • Doesn’t weigh very much

Clips Cons:

  • Can be expensive to buy
  • Very bulky
  • Adds weight to the fabric
  • Can make maneuvering the fabric difficult
  • May get caught on sewing machine or table
  • Need to be removed before they reach the foot
  • Can’t iron or sew over them like you can with pins
  • Can’t iron or sew over them like you can with pins
  • May break easily

Pins Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Come in different sizes to meet your fabric issues
  • Great for long hems
  • Easy to use
  • Do not break like clips scan
  • Made of metal and lasts a long time
  • Can be left in and sewn over
  • Can iron over them
  • Take up little space in your sewing area, drawers, and kit

Pins Cons

  • Cannot be used with every fabric option out there
  • Hard to maneuver when quilting to hold everything together
  • Plastic heads may melt if near heat
  • Need a thimble to use
  • Can get lost easily when dropped
  • Can prick you when you are not looking
  • Hard to hold at times
  • Easy to forget about when in the fabric

The negative points for both will not rule out either from being used. They work well when you need them and make a great contribution to your sewing project. The bad comes with the good and you just have to watch out when using either accessory.

How to Use Sewing Clips


These items are not that hard to use. Once you have the fabrics aligned and ready to be sewn, you just push down on the open end and place the now open mouth over the fabric pieces.

The clips should have little teeth that help them bite into the fabric without creating any holes. Release the pressure when you are near the foot and remove the clip. It is very simple and may be a bit easier than trying to maneuver pins into the same spots.

Then these clips are very versatile. Not only do they handle almost all fabrics with ease, but they are also good for craft projects, quilting, knitting, and so on. How you use them will depend on your personal preferences.

Even something simple like this upgrade is hard to change to when you have used pins for 40 to 50 years. clips have only been around since approx. 2011 but if you were innovative and creative you probably used clothespins to help you in your sewing. It is the same principle only more colorful.

What are The Best Sewing Clips?


That is a loaded question as sewing clips come in various styles, colors, and amounts. They all do the same job and it will depend on their manufacturing if one clip is better than another. Clover was the first company to make these clips in 2011 but like other products, more companies took a good idea and improved on them.

By now you have probably read the different top 10 lists for sewing clips and have made up your mind. There are a lot of good brands and companies making these items so picking the best will be up to you and your use.

There are a couple of brands out there that sell their clips for a very low price, $2.55 and $3.50 and 50 pieces each. These you can buy with a little suspicion towards their quality, durability, and strength.

While cheaper is not always bad or the worst product, generally you get what you paid for. So be careful. The best clips are the strong ones, hold the fabric tight, and last you a long time. Color doesn’t matter, performance does.

Find a reputable brand and go with that as their clips should be better than their competitors.

What Can I Use Instead of Sewing Pins? (Substitutes)

Believe it or not, there are actually more options out there to hold the fabric together than just pins. These top substitutes help make your sewing life easier and help cut your frustration levels down to size.

  • 1. Sewing clips - this is the obvious member of this list as they are one-half of the subjects for this article. Sewing clips may be the new kid on the block but they are becoming more popular every day.
  • 2. Fabric weights - these are handy when you have heavyweight materials to hold in place. The good thing about this substitute is that you can use just about any heavy object to stabilize that material. Flatware, books, barbell weights, and more all can be used instead of pins.
  • 3. Spray adhesive - when you want quick and easy this is the option for you. Especially when you are getting ready to baste your quilt so you can sew it together. The trick is to keep the fabric smooth and free from creases once you apply the adhesive.
  • 4. Seam or fabric tape - another quick and easy option to use. Just pull out the amount of tape you need, short strips are easier to handle and apply it to the fabric. This tape is best when you need to match up repeating patterns exactly.
  • 5. Walking foot - without this device, your bottom fabric may pull through the needle faster than the top one. The walking foot makes sure the two fabrics go through at the same speed. This device is also good when you are sewing knits and other stretchy fabrics.

Is it OK to Sew Over Pins?


Technically you can and all sewing machines will sew over needles. Is it a prudent and wise move to make? No, it isn’t. Some risks come when you sew over pins and those risks can end up costing you some money.

The first reason you should not sew over pins is that if the needle hits the metal pin, it can break or bend out of shape. That will cost you time and a little money. The second reason you do not do this is that it is possible to damage your sewing machine. That will cost you a lot of money to repair.

A third reason is that broken needle or pin pieces can and do fly. They have been known to hit a sewer’s eye when they have sewn over a pin. This may be rare but it still can happen.

There are several ways to avoid sewing over your pins without losing a lot of time. two will be mentioned here. First, place your pins horizontally so the head sticks out from the edge of the fabric. That makes them easier to grab and pull out.

Second, put the needles in horizontally as well. Keep your pincushion to the right of your machine then place a small open box on the bed of your machine, behind and to the right of the needle. As you sew go within an inch of your pin, pull it out and place it in the box.

When you are finished sewing, move the pins to your pincushion. You can also use a lid or some other small container instead of a box.

Where to Find Sewing Clips


Finding sewing clips is just as easy as it is to find pins to use for your next sewing project. The first stop is your local independent sewing supply store or fabric shop. They should have a selection of clips on hand to buy. if they don’t then your mall’s department stores or craft shops should have some waiting for you to purchase.

If those options fail to turn up some nice high-quality clips, then go to Hobby Lobby. Michael’s or Joann to see what they have on sale. You may be able to find them at a discount price for a limited time.

Finally, the internet is your last stop and you will find a myriad of clips to choose from. You can save time and money by shopping Amazon or other online stores.

Some Final Words

Sewing clips may have been an obvious invention that was in front of everyone’s eyes for generations. While only a recent invention, clips to hold files or papers together or clothespins and similar items have been around for generations.

It is not a big leap to make some alterations to those items and create sewing clips. Sewing clips are better than pins in many situations.

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