Friday, January 25, 2013

Pattern Weights

Before we get into it...  let's just for a moment celebrate the number of posts this year. Yes.

Okay, on Pinterest I found a picture of pattern weights and immediately flew back to my tween years, watching my Aunt cutting out patterns in her basement, using pattern weights.  This was in the mid 70's.  My Aunt was on the cutting edge.  hee hee.  Get it, 'cutting'.  Whew, I'm a funny girl.

Anyway, I thought to myself, 'I gotta get me some of those'.  Pinning the pattern is among my least favorite parts.  This pinner had used washers and large nuts, which she wrapped in fabric.  So, off I went to the hardware store to buy some washers.  (If I'd remembered to take pictures before I started, I'd insert one here...)  I bought a variety of sizes.  The larges ones have a 2 1/2" diameter, the smallest 1 3/4" diameter. I also bought 2" diameter washers.  The smaller washers I purchased in packs of 10.  I bought 2 packs.  The smallest and largest ones I bought individually, because that's all they had.

I ended up using ribbon to wrap mine because I did not want to finish the edges of fabric strips.  Ribbon is more instant satisfaction!  I stacked them by twos or threes and wrapped, wrapped, wrapped.  It's not hard, just takes some time.  I did not glue the beginning, I sandwiched the end between two of the washers and then overlapped the first wrap to keep it secure.  How to secure the end?  I pondered all of my choices and tried a couple before settling on hot glue.  The other glues I tried just didn't dry fast enough and holding the ribbon while it dried was harshing my mellow.  So, hot glue won.  One tip, the glue cools fast on the ribbon because of the metal washers so plan to work quickly.

Are you wondering if they work?  Well, they do.  I have successfully used them to cut out a fleece jacket, which just might show up on this blog!   If you are working on a complicated pattern and need the pieces to stay attached, you can still use a pin for that!

By the way, I spent $9.59 on washers and used left over ribbon in my studio which made 10 weights.  It's a bargain, even if you'll be buying ribbon, too.  I used about a yard of ribbon for each weight.  About.  It can vary greatly depending on the washers you are using, how many you are stacking together and what kind of ribbon you are using.  Try one first before cutting the ribbon!  The widest ribbon I used was 1/2".  I tried using a wider ribbon but it just bunches up in the middle and looks terrible.  The grosgrain is very thick and is therefore less flexible and it took more ribbon to cover.  The lime ribbon was the best for this application as it is very supple and molded itself to the washers.  The green floral came to me in a box from my mother in law.  It's not actually ribbon as the edges are unfinished.  I think it might have had some adhesive on the back, once...a long time ago.  There was no wrapping or packaging, so it's anyone's guess.  But it looks pretty great as a pattern weight.

I actually think I might need more.

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