Working with unruly, sheer fabrics can be quite intimidating for beginners. These temperamental fabrics can often shift out of place in the cutting process, they almost never lay evenly across the table surface, and every slight motion can disturb their alignment. It is important that when working with such difficult-to-handle materials, especially in the pattern cutting process, you handle them with care and try to secure them as much as possible prior to cutting. This is where using the correct pins and pinning technique will save you some unnecessary stress when cutting your garment pieces.
As a general rule, follow these two basic conventions when pinning sewing patterns to sheer, light or flimsy fabrics:
1. Insert the pins much denser than you would with medium or heavyweight fabrics. The closer together the pins are, the less the fabric layers will shift and thus you'll have more control in the cutting process. It is important to note here that as you insert each pin, you should keep the pattern and fabric layers underneath as flat as possible, being very careful not to lift them off the table in the process. Handle the fabric as gently as you can until all pattern edges are fully pinned and secured.
2. When working with sheer, lightweight fabrics of any kind, whether they are silk or synthetics, it is highly recommended to you use thin, silk pins to secure the paper patterns. Not only are they much sharper, making them easier to insert, they are also quite thin, risking no damage to these unique sensitive fibers. Using lighter pins is also helpful in achieving a denser pin placement which as noted above, is essential in stabilizing flimsy fabrics in the pattern cutting process.
Note: Keep in mind that conventional silk pins are very sharp and for safety reasons, should be handled with care throughout the sewing process.