The seam where those pins are is several layers thick. I had started the topstitching on the side seam where even more layers are folded. And, in case you are wondering, no, I did not hit a pin.
I use a lot of pins. I don't like to baste, unless I have to. I know that various tapes and glues are popular. For me, pins do the job.
The topstitching, besides being decorative on the outside, also fastens the bottom of the band lining to the tote. Of course, I did not follow the pattern instructions. The instructions have the tote lining sewn only at the upper edge, where the handles are. The lining is otherwise loose inside the tote - making for a messy look, don't you think?
The tote wants rivets. It shall have them.