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pattern weights

(11 Posts)
cakeycakeface Tue 28-Jun-16 21:39:44

I'm watching the Great British Sewing Bee. Where can I get pattern weights? Or are some of them using giant washers?

CatherineDeB Tue 28-Jun-16 21:43:11

Either an ironmongers ( just look for the biggest metal washers you can), make your own, fabric shapes with pearl barley inside, or tins of salmon/tuna. Or, if you want to buy the real thing search for sewing/pattern weights.

I prefer pins myself, am old and this weight thing seems modern.

I do use tins of salmon on my card patterns and patterns I use a lot which I have traced onto 240gsm card.

frenchfancy Thu 30-Jun-16 15:09:42

I was a tin of tuna girl, but have just got some big washers to try and they are great. They take up no room and are just the right weight to hold the paper down without getting in the way.

ZippyNeedsFeeding Sat 02-Jul-16 14:31:17

pattern weights are great for fabrics which mark badly with pins, but if you buy proper ones they are expensive. I got my husband to buy me some huge washers- I think he got them from the bloke he buys tractor parts from.

ZippyNeedsFeeding Sat 02-Jul-16 14:32:40

I meant to say also that when I'm using the pattern weights I find it's easier to cut the fabric using a cutting wheel and mat, rather than scissors. I'm a bit clumsy and otherwise i tend to knock the weights or disturb the pattern.

CatherineDeB Tue 05-Jul-16 13:07:56

I was wondering about pattern weights recently. I am old not so young and have been using pins for more than 30 years.

The only thing I ever use weights (tins of tuna usually because they are flat) for is my thick card single sized patterns that you wouldn't get a pin through if you wanted to.

I like scissors too rather than anything else. I like to lay my fabric out on my dining table which is 8ft x 3ft or on the floor for cutting out. I do have a cutting mat for other things but haven't got one big enough for cutting out a dress.

Did this come from tailors do you think? Pattern weights. I can imagine a tailor having a sort of card block pattern held down with weights and drawing adjustments on his fabric from that or has it always been a thing for home sewers and I just haven't heard of it.

ZippyNeedsFeeding Tue 05-Jul-16 13:55:41

It has always been a thing for people who sew very easily marked fabrics, or who work with leaver or pvc. I think it has become more popular recently due to being on the tv so much and probably also due to the number of video tutorials on the net, often by either pattern designers or professional sewers.

CatherineDeB Tue 05-Jul-16 15:00:08

That's interesting, I have sewn with leather/pvc shock but was taught to pin within the seam allowance. I remember my mother sellotaping her pattern to leather! I never sew with anything fine enough not to take a pin.

I think you are right, in the days of buying patterns from the big makers you wouldn't have seen weights.

BigStripeyBastard Wed 06-Jul-16 15:43:35

I use sort of palm sized (ish) flattish round pebbles that I collected from the beach and varnished. I do tend to just use pins though.

OurBlanche Wed 06-Jul-16 15:54:23

I make mine out of scaps of material and aquarium grit, with a bit of stuffing at the seams. I found that washers and tins can mark a fabric and the washers can be a pig to lift. So I make beanbag shaped ones, as they can then be used as pincushions and the grit acts as a cleaner. They are easy to make bigger/smaller and are hard to lose, don't hurt if you drop one on your foot, don't go rusty and, at a push, can be used to juggle with if you need a break grin

Cut the fabric as per the pattern, keep right side out and sew up. Stuff the seams with a light layer of stuffing, fill with grit, sand etc, add a last bit of stuffing and sew up. It takes about 30 minutes to make a set of 12.

OurBlanche Wed 06-Jul-16 15:56:52

Oh... they were used to hold blocks down , you don't want to be putting pins through expensive patten block. So weights were used to hold the block in place whilst a new pattern piece was being drafted.

My Nana used them, 50 years ago. Hers looked like the ones I put the pattern up for.. which is probably why I like them smile

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