Washer Weights

Why did it take me so long?
The day that I stumbled onto this idea was definitely a major “DUH” moment in my sewing life. I mean, I made it through 2 years of sewing independent study in high school, and then 4 years of majoring in fashion design at college without ever realizing that you could cut out a pattern without the use of pins!

What the heck? 
Why don’t they teach you this stuff in school? 
Did I miss that class on freezer paper stencils and pattern weights?
Anyhow, most people wouldn’t be very excited to dump out their stocking on Christmas morning to find this…

But to me it was just what I wanted! 
I admit that Ant looked at me like I was on crack when I asked for the “heaviest washers and nuts that you can find at the hardware store”, and he told me that he received equally odd looks from his co-workers when they saw him wrapping them up for me.
Maybe now that they are pretty people won’t think they’re so weird.

I didn’t take pictures of how I made them, but I figure you are all smart enough to figure that out without the photographic evidence.
For the washers, I hot glued 2 or 3 together to make them a bit heavier, but you have to work quickly because the metal tends to cool the glue down super fast. Also, if you are wrapping them like I did, it is easiest to use ribbons that are 3/8 inch or smaller in width. You could also wrap them with yarn, strips of scrap fabric, or just spray paint them.

Since cutting out the fabric is my least favorite part of a sewing project, I might finally stop avoiding it and get something done for a change. Plus maybe now I won’t have to worry so much about Reli getting into the “prickles” as often as she does.

Are there any other life altering sewing tools out there that I’ve been missing out on?
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57 thoughts on “Washer Weights

  1. These are so cute. I use cans of soup or tomatoes, but may have to head across the street to the hardware store to pick up some washers. Yay, finally a project that I don't have to drive an hour & half to get the supplies.

  2. This is brilliant!!!! I am definitely going to make these!!! my poor patterns have seen better days due to the pins. I love it! Thank you so much for sharing

    Debbie O in Idaho

  3. where did the washers come from? I have looked at every hardware store and on-line, but haven't found large enough washers that have any weight to them. I live in Kansas City, Thanks, Debi

  4. What a great idea! I have a bunch of those heavy washers left over from my boys birthday balloons (the store put them on to weigh down the balloons). Knew I could put them to use somehow! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. These are so pretty! They almost look like little candies. ๐Ÿ™‚ I hate pinning, so I really need to give this project a try. I found you on "The Girl Creative!"

  6. I have some small bean bags the I use that I made for this purpose. It is a great first project for new sewers too. Make the bean bags first then can teach how to cut out patterns.

  7. Ha!! I can sit and do these next time we take a trip somewhere… for myself and as gifts for my sewing friends!! Love yours and can't wait to make some for myself. Always thought I'd be a pinner till I finally tried weights on some fabric I didn't want to pin… and stacked washers and big nuts are genius!!! Thanks so much for sharing the ribbon idea!!

  8. Wow! This has been a much bigger response than I was expecting for such a simple project. I just wanted to thank you all for visiting and taking the time out to comment just in case I don't get to respond to everyone via e-mail. Thanks So Much!

  9. Hi Toni, I'm featuring this great project over at Etcetorize this week! Come on over and grab a button from the sidebar if you like. I hope you'll link up again this week too~

  10. To reply to your question about life-altering sewing ideas, you can cut your fabric with your dinnerware knives (!)…that is, head on over to your cutlery drawer and weigh your fabric down with your dinner-table knives!

  11. I LOVE these! And I can imagine the looks your husband got! When my daughter was about 8(she's now 27), some one asked her what she had gotten Mommy for Mothers Day. They looked appalled when she told them "A new iron". I had to laugh, then explain my iron was for my quilting/sewing, therefore a much wanted gift! It's great that we have these funny stories, but even better that we have husbands who LISTEN and buy us this fun stuff, even when to others, it doesn't seem so fun!

  12. These are so pretty! I've been using the washers for years and LOVE it – so much faster than pinning. However, mine are only covered in felt. I'm going to wrap them this week!!! So much prettier.

    I have found that the larger weights are heavy enough alone, but I do think I'll glue some of my smaller ones together for more weight in those smaller spaces to cut out – great idea! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Like you, I hated the time consuming pinning method for cutting patterns. I have made weights using duct tape, but really like your idea of decorating them with ribbon. Happy sewing.

    1. 1/8 to 3/4 height or diameter???

      in france hardware they measure hole diameter… its max 16mm (5/8)and outside diameter is something like 30mm (1.1811 inchs) sells by 4 or 6 pieces… its very small and not very heavy all…

      how much they weigh, yours assembled ?


    2. Washer – 1/8" tall & 2" in diameter (3/4" hole)
      a stack of 3 weighs maybe about 2 or 3 ounces

      Nut – 3/4" tall & 1 1/8" in diameter (5/8" hole)
      1 weighs maybe 1 ounce

      They aren't very heavy, but they don't really have to be in order to hold down a piece of paper.

    3. thanks if you find this, i could ^^

      I'm a leather bag and other accessories maker (i make also with fur and fabric )in my job place we use weights from 7 to 10 ounces minimum (we have more too)… I'm used to, for to be sure the pattern stays in place. I would like to find something to do at the same weight, it should be possible

      Thanks for your help and your great idea ^^ its very cool
      Happy Xmas !

  14. You have to purchase the double tracing wheel from Clover. I watched a tut on youtube and was amazed. It cleverly traces your cutting line and marks your seam allowance. The tracing wheels come off so that you can change your seam allowance or just use one wheel. I will putting my order in. SewHappybyJennie

  15. Cute blog, ma'am. Glad I Pinterested on over here, LOL. I sew, but have no imagination. I would never have come up with such a nifty idea. I too was like, "duh" when I first heard of it over at Casey's place. But YOU, my dear sewist, have taken this phenom to another level of cuteness. Just what I need another project and another product to buy; oh yeah.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Thread cyber hugs to you.


    1. Thanks so much Miss Lyric! I'm glad you're enjoying your visit! I saw that you already have a cute signature of your own, so you know how to code it, but I added the button in photoshop. You could easily do the same thing in Picmonkey though with the "your overlay" button. Just send me an e-mail if you need some help!

  16. I have a friend who uses drafting weights to hold her quilts in place when measuring! I think this is an even better idea – not so expensive either!! Thank you! Can't wait to make some!!

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