When to use sewing clips
Let’s talk about sewing clips – also known as quilting clips, binding clips and wonder clips. These handy little clips are an essential for anyone’s sewing stash, not just for quilters. They were originally intended for quilters, mainly used for attaching binding to quilts, and then people realised they come in handy for piecing too, to hold your pieces of fabric together whilst you stitch them.
They can be used in all kinds of sewing: dressmaking quilting, soft furnishings, bag making etc. Basically anything that requires holding multiple pieces of fabric together. They are much quicker and easier to attach than pins, and more easily removed whilst your fabric is under the needle.
Once you try them you’ll likely find you barely use pins again! I now only use pins when I need to attach fabric in the centre of another piece, such as pinning an applique onto fabric, or a patch pocket to a garment. The clips only work if you are holding fabric together on the edges, if you need to hold fabric together away from the edges you’ll need to use pins (take a look at our glass head pins here).
There’s a few instances where the sewing clips come in especially handy:
- When sewing waterproof fabrics, vinyl, cork or leather. You don’t want to use pins as they will leave permanent holes, and can be hard to stick into thick heavyweight fabrics, so use sewing clips instead. The clips can sometimes dent thick fabrics, so make sure you keep them close to the edge, within your seam allowance or test on a scrap first.
- Binding – when sewing quilts, or binding a neckline etc these clips really come into their own, holding the binding whilst it’s wrapped around your raw edge.
- Bag straps. Bag straps are another thing that are hard to pin, when using cotton webbing especially because it’s so thick it’s hard to get pins in. I use the clips to hold the strap edges by the top of the fabric, then start stitching from the bottom of the handle.
- Bag making. They come in handy in another way for bag making, when you are sewing through multiple thick layers, especially when using bag foam. Your layers end up so thick that it can be tough to get pins to go right through and come back out on the top. Whereas clips easily hold the layers together.
- Sewing curved edges – Such as necklines, attaching sleeves etc. It’s hard to pin around curves, much easier to use sewing clips.
- Sewing delicate fabrics – unlike pins sewing clips won’t snag your delicate fabrics causing runs.
Sewing clips come in many different pack sizes and prices. The official ‘wonder clips’ can cost up to £30 for a 50 pack, there are some very cheap and cheerful ones for just £3-£4 a pack but be warned these are often prone to breakage, and can leave marks on your fabric.
We offer a pack of 50 good quality rainbow coloured sewing clips for £8. We found 50 is a good amount because when you are working on larger garments, or quilts a 10 or 20 pack doesn’t go far.
Our sewing clips come in eco-friendly paper packaging (below), don’t they look like a yummy bag of sweets?