Make your own pattern weights

14 Jul

I am sure many of you sewers have seen these before…. however for me – this is new and exciting!

Pattern weights!

Pattern weights are used to replace the use of pins when cutting out your fabric pieces. That’s right ladies fellow sewers wonderful thoughts of something actually replacing pins? No more pricking my fingers?!?

Though these might seem magical to me I know that pattern weights won’t replace my pins for other ‘must use pin’ jobs.

When I first found out about these (and no this isn’t anything new, they are just new to me) I was really excited! I rushed to fabricland so I could buy these amazing weights, only to arrive at fabricland and have my excitement checked at the door.

They had the weights but I wasn’t willing to pay the asking price. They were asking $11.99 plus tax for a 4 pack, which wouldn’t be too bad if I only needed 4, but knowing how I work I knew 4 would not be enough so that number would quickly multiply – not to mention I knew I could make something similar for a lot less!

These are what you would find in the store if you wanted to go purchase them instead of making your own 🙂

Professional Store Bought Fabric Weights

Professional Store Bought Fabric Weights

So my next adventure begins… I needed to find something that would work the same as pattern weights and didn’t cost over $3.00 per weight. I wasn’t quite sure what I was looking for so I started my venture at Canadian Tire.

Looking through the aisles I came across hardware and found circle washers. These were flat and fairly heavy and I decided this was it!

Unfortunately Canadian Tire didn’t have the widest selection available so I moved onto Home Depot to see what options were available there, turns out they had a lot more to offer! I ended up finding massive washers that were 5/8, and they offered these in boxes so I ended up buying 3 boxes of 5/8 flat washers at Home Despot for just over $5 each.

Washers in the Box

Washers in the Box

Each box contained 12 washers, which gave me 36 washers in total.I wasn’t convinced one washer alone was heavy enough for the fabric and pattern not to shift during cutting so I ended up gluing 3 washers together for each weight. In the end I ended up with 12 weights for just over $15 which would work out to about $1.25 a weight… I think I have done well 🙂

Washers For Weights

Washers For Weights

As you can see from the above picture my pattern weights are lacking a little character. They look cold and cheap for lack of a better description, so I grabbed some items I had on hand – scrap fabric and liquid stitch!

Liquid Stitch

Liquid Stitch

Scrap Fabric

Scrap Fabric

I thought this was a great idea… and it did work, however it was messy and not professional looking at all. Glue was seeping through the fabric and the fabric looked all bunchy and thrown together and this definitely was not the look I was going for. I wanted cheap but didn’t want them to look cheap.

Fabric Covered Washers

Fabric Covered Washers

So I went through the stuff hiding in my sewing room trying to come up with a better alternative and ended up finding ribbon!



This is just your normal everyday satin ribbon that you can find at any fabric or art store. Well actually you can probably find it pretty much anywhere like walmart and so on… I had white, black and red on hand so I used all three!

This is super easy and I am going to try and explain in writing and in pictures how to do this so you to can make your own! If you have any questions or need help feel free to comment below and I will answer the best I can:)

Step One:

Thread the ribbon through the hole in the Washer. Be sure to overlap the first thread with the second and pull tight – this will hold the end of the ribbon in snuggly in place so it doesn’t unravel while proceeding. If you want you can also use a little liquid stitch to ensure it holds well but I didn’t find that necessary.

First Thread

First Thread

Step Two:

Continue threading the ribbon through the hole of the washer until you reach where you started and the entire washer is covered.

Wrap The Entire Washer

Wrap The Entire Washer

Step Three:

In this step you want to overlap the second last thread and before pulling tight on the last one, thread the ribbon through itself as shown below, I used liquid stitch in this final step as well so that I was sure all would stay in place.

Last Thread Part A - Liquid Stitch

Last Thread Part A - Liquid Stitch

Over lap the second last thread:

Last Thread Part B - Threading The Ribbon Through Itself Picture 1

Last Thread Part B - Threading The Ribbon Through Itself Picture 1

Before pulling tight loop the end of the ribbon through the final thread…Last Thread Part B - Threading The Ribbon Through Itself Picture 2

Last Thread Part B – Threading The Ribbon Through Itself Picture 2

After wrapping the ribbon through itself as shown above be sure to pull the end of the ribbon as tight as you can so that it is secure. I then chopped off the extra and tucked the end under the last thread with some tweezers. And that is it!

My Final Weights

My Final Weights

So much nicer then some cold, cheap, glued together metal and it was a fun little arts and craft type project!


Posted by on July 14, 2011 in Tools


Tags: , , , , , ,

14 responses to “Make your own pattern weights

  1. Jordan McDonald

    January 10, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    You did a beautiful job on your weights. Thanx so much for taking the time to share your “How-To.” May many, many joyous sewing hours be showered on you.

  2. Eri Stiles

    February 6, 2013 at 3:05 PM

    I love these! I just madr them myself and they are so pretty and cost effective as well. Thank you for such a great DIY tip!

    • sewfortheloveofit

      February 7, 2013 at 9:57 AM

      Thanks! Glad you enjoyed and thank you for stopping in to let me know how it went:) Happy sewing!

  3. anakareng

    February 25, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    excellent idea! I will make my own!

  4. Carol Belle

    July 24, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    I love these! I’ve been investigating using pattern weights since I watched a few videos on using them instead of pins (which sounds SUPER exciting! :P). This is such a great idea, and I love the way you finished them. I think I’m going to go right out today to the hardware store to do this project. \o/

    • sewfortheloveofit

      July 24, 2013 at 8:46 PM

      Good luck hope they turned out awesome – I love mine really speeds up the cutting process when I use them vs pins! If you discover any tricks or a better way by all means write back as I might need to make more some day the ones I have aren’t always enough 🙂

  5. Donna Pennington

    August 24, 2013 at 9:05 AM

    This is a wonderful idea. I wonder if I don’t have lots of these washers in the garage. “Home Despot,” is a cute error. Don’t change it.

    • sewfortheloveofit

      August 24, 2013 at 6:53 PM

      I didn’t even notice the mistake! Too funny! I bet you do have these laying around have fun creating them:)

  6. Sylvaine

    November 24, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    I’m french and here, I didn’ find pattern weignts! Your idea is so perfect and I’ve realised my weights like you explain . Thanks! Merci beaucoup! Sylvaine

    • sewfortheloveofit

      November 24, 2013 at 12:36 PM

      I am glad you found this helpful! So much more affordable than buying the actual weights and you can have fun with it!

  7. Claire

    January 5, 2015 at 2:17 PM

    A google search brought up your crafty idea and I’m so glad. In the UK 4 weights cost £31.99 from Amazon ($48), quite unaffordable. I’m sure I can make my own for cheaper using DIY shops! Thanks!

    • sewfortheloveofit

      January 5, 2015 at 9:01 PM

      Hello Claire I am so glad you found it useful! Good luck with yours, you’ll love them!


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