Pattern Weights for 50 Cents

So far, learning how to sew is full of little challenges. Even the simple things are hard. For example, the simple act of cutting fabric in a neat and clean line has been difficult. Although I try to cut exactly on the line, it seems like the fabric is always shifting and throwing my cuts a little bit off.

Pattern Weights filled with 50 cents worth of pennies
Make Your Own Pattern Weights for Practically Free
Or, if the pattern piece is pinned to the fabric, the alignment of the pattern and fabric gets distorted as the scissors move.

One tip I read is to make sure that you hold the fabric scissors perpendicular to the floor (as opposed to an angle to either side) as you cut.

However, not even this tip was working for me. I decided to buy a 45mm rotary cutter and a self-healing mat to cut on. To cut my fabric with these tools, I would also need pattern weights.

rotary cutter and self-healing mat
Gingher 45mm Rotary Cutter and Fiskers Self-Healing Mat

Pattern weights
are of course available to buy, but I figured that they would be a great learning project. And cheap to make! Pattern weights are simply small pouches of fabric filled with a heavy stuffing material.

Putting pattern weights on your fabric and pattern will hold the pattern and fabric in place so they don’t shift as you cut. Apparently, pattern weights are primarily for cutting with a rotary cutter, but I think that they will also be useful for cutting with scissors just to hold everything in place.

As a novice sewer, I needed instructions on how to make pattern weights on the cheap. I found this tutorial which served as my guide: 50 Cent Pattern Weight Tutorial.

Overall this was an easy project to make.
My weights came out a little sloppy because sewing the opening closed with so little fabric to space was kind of difficult. Still, for just a few pennies this is an excellent starter sewing project.

Supply Time!

Once I had my sewing machine and Wrong and I were ready to start joint projects, I went down to the local craft shop to buy supplies. Ouch! Buying all those little items adds up. I had done a little research online to see what tools I would need. It was a little overwhelming to see all those tools and types of cloth, so the shopping trip took longer than I would have liked.

I ordered dressmaker’s shears online,

Mundial Dressmaker's Shears
Mundial Classic Forged 8-inch Dressmaker's Shears

but they hadn’t arrived yet, so I tried to use household scissors to cut my cloth instead. I gave this up almost immediately- it’s just too hard to use household scissors for cloth. They seem sharp enough for normal use, but once I tried using them on cloth, it was immediately apparent that they were just too dull. I had to wait a few days for my shears to arrive. I got Mundial Classic Forged 8-inch Dressmaker’s Shears. They are not the fanciest (read: Gingher G-8 8-inch Dressmaker’s Shears), but they are very good-quality, all-metal scissors. Now, I just need keep them hidden from my boyfriend, since sewing scissors should only be used on cloth!

I was tempted to buy a rotary cutter and cutting mat, but they are just too pricy for me right now. Someday, though! It is more important that I build skills right now.

Since at this point Wrong and I didn’t have a book yet, and also now realized that, yes, since sewing is a craft that has been practiced for thousands of years, we should be using that accumulated knowledge instead of attempting to go it on our own and learn without books or patterns, I also got an apron pattern Simplicity 1971 reversible apron. Yay!