Learning to Sew–quick basting tips

Flexible presser foot, suitable for sewing over pins.

Flexible presser foot, suitable for sewing over pins.

Once you have gained a little bit of experience with sewing, you can use quicker basting methods if you are using easy-to-handle fabric.  Many seams can be basted by pinning them with pins crosswise across the seam.  As you sew, either remove the pins when you get to them or sew over them.  If you choose to sew over pins, make sure that the points will not be directly under the needle, because this can cause them to be broken and it can even bend or break the sewing machine needle.  Sew over the center of the pin shafts.  (Note: you can only sew over pins if you have a flexible presser foot which can mover up and down).

Modern basting aids include glue sticks and tape. Basting glue can work great, especially if you are working on an item that won’t require much twisting and turning as you sew it.   Basting glue comes in handy, mess-free sticks and is an inexpensive time saver.  I like to use a basting glue stick to position items such as Velcro or narrow trims which are difficult to pin or to hand baste in place.

Basting tape has adhesive on both sides.  It is great for holding zippers in place while you sew.  The tape edge can also form a handy sewing guide, allowing you to run an even seam when sewing in zippers.