The Correct Pin Placement When Sewing A Folded Up Hem
When sewing a folded hem finish, whether it is a single fold like the one shown here, or a double fold enclosing the raw fabric edge, it is good practice to insert the pins perpendicular to the folded hemline with the needle point facing inward. Not only will this pin placement keep the folded edges aligned more accurately, the pins are safer, faster and more comfortable to remove during the machine stitching process.
When topstitching a folded hem, the hemline edge is always positioned to the right of the machine needle aligning with the seam allowance guides. Inserting the pins perpendicularly, with the ball point facing out, will make them easy and safe to grab and remove as the needle approaches them (remember, you should never stitch directly on top of the pins).
As you feed the fabric layers through, you'll find that placing the pins perpendicular to the edge poses less of a risk to prick your fingers compared to a parallel position (in relation to the folded edge). In the machine stitching process, it is standard practice to use your hands to direct and guide the fabric layers next to the presser foot - for that reason, parallel pins will often catch onto your skin or other fabric layers easier than perpendicularly positioned ones.