A Seamstress’ tribute to the Safety Pin

A Brief History of the Safety Pin

I have been gone from my site for a while as my attention has turned to costuming and prepping for our upcoming convention.

But tonight I felt that I needed to put into pictures why I love the safety pin as part of my standard kit of sewing supplies.  I can’t imagine an easier way to install elastic then with this wonderful little invention.

According to IdeaFinder.com, the safety pin was invented in 1849 by inventor Walter Hunt.  He is said to have sold the idea for $400, which allowed him to pay back a debt to a friend, but ended up missing out on the boat load of money he could have made.  But thanks to him we now have a super handy device that works great to add another set of hands to the equation of elastic installation.

How to use Safety Pins to Install Elastic through a Casing

Tonight I was working on the sleeves of my daughter’s Princess Jasmine inspired costume.  This requires elastic bands on both sides of the sleeves.  Here is a pictorial step-by-step of my process for installing the elastic bands.  It isn’t anything terrible earth-shattering, but once you know how to do it the process is so much easier.

Step 1

Put the safety pin through the end of one side of the elastic band, and secure closed.







Step 2

Insert the elastic into the casing.   Push the safety pin in while pulling the material further away from the pin.






Step 3

Keep working the elastic until the lose end lines up with the casing entrance you started with.







Step 4

Pin the lose end into place with a safety pin so that it will not accidentally slip into the casing and cause problems.







Step 5

Here I have worked the elastic from one of the casing to the other using the safety pin I attached in step 1 to give me the grip on the elastic I needed.  Once I have it to the other end I pin it in place to the fabric.  Now I know both ends will stay put until I can sew them into place as per the sewing instructions.






I hope that this mini-tutorial has been informative and helps you with the struggle of getting elastic into and through a casing when sewing clothes or costuming.

If there are any other step-by-steps you would like to see please let me know.