Have you ever used pattern weights? I hadn't heard of them until I worked in the fashion industry and saw the sample cutter using large cast iron pattern weights instead of pins to hold down the pattern pieces. It made sense in that instance, since patterns were printed on heavy paper and not flimsy tissue paper.
But are pattern weights good for home sewing use? I definitely think so. Supposedly they are more accurate than pins, because the fabric is not being distorted. I'm not the queen of accuracy, so I can't really say I noticed a huge difference in the accuracy of my cutting. But I did find them much faster to use than pins. Instead of spending lots of time adding in pins, I just plop down the weights in the corners and halfway down the seams, and I'm ready to cut.
Pattern weights work best if you are using a rotary cutter. The sample cutter with the industrial pattern weights did use scissors, but I don't really know how he was able to cut right along the edge of the pattern pieces.
You can buy Dritz pattern weights from Joann, but at $17 for 4 they are quite pricey. Four pattern weights wouldn't get you very far, so you would need at least two sets. Thankfully, I found how to make my own!
I went to my local home improvement store and bought the largest washers I could find. I think they are about 1-3/4" wide. I stacked three on top of each other, then used scraps of yarn to wind around and around until all the washers were covered. If you don't have yarn, you can also use narrow strips of thin fabric, maybe leftover bias binding or selvedges. You want to cover up all the metal edges so that nothing will get snagged on the fabric.
Easy, right? I have nine of these homemade pattern weights and I use them on every project. If you make a lot of bras, or anything with tiny pieces, you might wish to make a few smaller weights as well. I was given a set of the Dritz pattern weights, which are smaller than the ones I made, and I frequently end up using them when I cut out a bra project.
Do you use pattern weights? Do you prefer them over pins?
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