I’m back with another crafty little make; borne from the fact that I’m constantly seeking new ways to speed up the cutting out process! It’s possibly my least favourite sewing activity, predominantly because I seem to see it as a laborious obstacle to be gotten through before I can get on with the, y’know, actual sewing. I’m OK once I start; it’s just I can’t start without gritting my teeth! My aim then was to speed up the process and make it more appealing in any way I can; crafting my own pattern weights seemed a good place to start.
It’s something I’ve thought about for a while; when working with a delicate fabric, I don’t really want pins and shears anywhere near. As I’ve got some silk voile on the horizon that I’d rather cut out with the aid of gentle pattern weights and my rotary cutters, I thought I’d better make a start!
So the question was, how many pattern weights can I get out of one metre of fabric?
Well, quite a lot as it happens. Which all had to be cut out. Irony, right there!
In the end I think I’ve got something like 36 small weights (and I think I could have been more economical in the cutting out!) I also cut out two larger ‘bean-bags’ from the same meterage; I decided to cut out the first one on a whim to create an IPad holder (for when you want to watch those all important Sewalongs / YouTube tutorials as you sew!) and then I got a bit carried away and created a second, mid-size one, to rest my Kindle/Phone, bedside so I can comfortably read whilst laying down. It’s the little things isn’t it!
They’re incredibly simple, as you might imagine, to make. There’s a multitude of tutorials out there in cyberspace so I won’t bore you with a lengthy description. Suffice to say you:
Cut out as many equilateral triangles as you can. The smallest ones I cut out measured approx 4.6” on each long side. I then marked the centre point of each of these lines and joined them together to create the inner triangle, like so:
• Right sides together, you align point a and b. Sew a scant seam approx 2/8”. Your starting point for sewing the seam should also be 2/8” away from the top right down to the bottom. (It’s important to start your seam slightly lower down like this to help adjoin all the seams to that top point). Backstitch at each end to secure. Trim your corners.
• Then bring point c to b and align seam edges, sew as first seam.
• Finally bring your third seam edge together. As before start 2/8” from the top (meeting and joining the other two stitched seams) but this time only sew to just before half way down the seam length and backstitch. This is your opening with which to fill your weights with something…weighty!
• Turn them right side out and fill, slipstitching remaining seam closed.
It’s more or less the same for the bigger ones, just use a bigger seam allowance and finish the seams to give them extra strength. You could make door-stops etc using the same method, though a weightier fabric and filling would be needed.
I filled the smaller weights with el cheapo Basmati rice. The larger ones, I put rice in the bottom to stabilise them and then Beanbag Polystyrene Balls
for the remainder. Be careful not overfill them, they need to be pliable enough to securely squish your IPad, or whatever, into!
And that’s it! Once I vaccumed all the rice that had made a bid for freedom and escaped to the floor, I was very happy with my team of little weights! They’re not hefty, at something like 20g apiece, but en-masse they’re perfect for weighing down delicate fabrics.
So there you go, a very economical, useful and satisfying little project!
And as I say, I think they’re rather cute! Enough to stop-me-gritting-my-teeth-when-approaching-the cutting-table-level-cute, even.
Until next time, thank you Minerva for sending me the sweet fabric!