Wednesday, August 3, 2011

How to: Pattern Weights

I use pattern weights for holding my pattern pieces in place. Paper pieces can become quickly worn if pinned into too many times. Some times I actually used template plastic to create pattern pieces on and you can't pin through that. I had a nice set of commercially made pattern weights but the drawback to these is that if you drop them one too many times the seam, in them, can open up allowing the tiny little pellets to come out and make a mess. As you see, below, I have taped one of mine back together. I decided to try my hand at making covers for them. You can make these as fancy as you like or as simple and easy as you like.

For one weight cover:

** 2 pieces of fabric scraps at least 5" square (I used 100% cotton quilting weight fabric)
** cotton batting or other low loft quilting batting
** pattern weight (if you don't have any buy two 2" diameter washers at the hardware store)
** thread to match or an accent thread would be cool
** sewing machine or you could hand sew them if you are so inclined

If you are using washers you will want to take them and stack them on top of each other. It takes 2 washers per pattern weight. Take a bit of batting and fill the center hole. Wrap them in tape. I found that strapping style shipping tape worked well for this.

Cut that fabric into 2 circles roughly 4" in diameter. Cut 2 circles of batting the same size. Place your fabric right sides together with a piece of batting on the wrong side of each. so it is stacked: batting, fabric, fabric, batting. Sew around the circle making sure to leave a gap big enough to fit your pattern weight or washers into. The seam allowance for this is about 1/4".

Clip into the seam allowance around the seam of the circle but don't cut the stitches. Turn right side out and iron neatly making sure to tuck the seam opening in. It's easier to do this now than when you have the weight inside. Insert the weight and stitch the seam opening closed. I'm not one for hand stitching so I used either a straight stitch of a zig zag stitch all the way around. If you can't stitch all the way around make sure to at least stitch the seam opening closed.

You could even embellish your pattern weights with buttons and other things. Please feel free to use these instructions as you like.

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