“ Brand: John Lewis / Type: Sewing „
Dressmaker's pins: not the most exciting of purchases but essential to sewing enthusiasts and beginners. I bought some of these to kit out my sewing tin when I first began my beginners dressmaking evening course. We were told that although they vary in quality, the cheapest ones would do the trick for now, and when we figured out our own preferences we could buy the type we prefer.
My first thought was that "pins are pins", and I wasn't really sure what the difference in quality would be. I was far more interested in buying lovely fabrics and exciting accessories to kit out my tin! However, pins are one of the things you can't get away without having when you start sewing, so it is probably worth getting slightly better ones as you progress in this hobby. I am now understanding the importance of the pattern cutting and laying out process, and decent pins play a part in this and can make your life easier.
I bought a few things from the John Lewis basics range, as I just happened to be in John Lewis one lunchtime and was trying to get myself sorted for the next college session. These pins were £1 for around 100, which was a bargain. They are packaged in a small plastic box which I would say is about an inch long and less than an inch wide. The box is plastic and has a lid which slots on, although I wouldn't say the lid is very secure, so I'd be careful about transporting these as you'll need to keep the box upright. Otherwise you'll be scrambling round on the floor with a magnet trying to pick your pins up before your cat gets anywhere near them!
The pins themselves are on the small side, which makes them a bit tricky to get hold of sometimes. They are thin and short, just under an inch long, and don't really have anything significant in terms of a head. This makes it difficult to get hold of them when pushing in or out of fabric. It also makes them difficult to spot in comparison to the ones with coloured heads.
The pins have been fine for my basic needs, however the quality isn't amazing so if it's a hobby I find myself progressing with I'll be getting some better ones before long. The issue with the quality is that they bend quite easily, which is not only annoying when trying to pin material together, but also makes them not great for using again because once they've bent they can easily get in the way when you're trying to cut fabric, and also can catch your skin when trying things on for size. They also dig into my fingers when I'm trying to push through heavier material, as the lack of decent sized pin head means you have to press the back of the pin quite hard with your fingers.
Overall, these pins are excellent value and have come in very handy for my basic needs, but if you are taking your sewing more seriously, I would recommend buying some more expensive and sturdier pins, as the difference in price is minimal, but the difference in quality can make a difference by making your job easier.
(Review may also appear on Ciao under the username Gingerkitty)