Tag Archives: tools

DIY Pattern Weights

IMG_1625.JPGPinterest strikes again!  I’ve been noticing lots of pins with instructions on how to make your own pattern weights.  Pattern weights have always been a frivolous tool that never really found a place in my sewing tool budget.  Then, I saw the extremely large washers from a hardware store that appeared in my Pinterest feed one day.

Wow, what a great idea!  I wish I had thought of it.  Those washers were giant and would make perfect pattern weights, but were they available locally?  They look like washers that would fit on a oil tanker or dump truck with a hauling capacity about the size of a small town.  My husband was recounting his latest trip to his favorite farm and home store when I remembered to ask him if he had seen any large washers.  “Yes,” he announced confidently, “I know exactly where they are. I can show you.”  So on our next outing, I followed him into the store and he pointed out the variety of washers to me.  Yes, they did indeed have some extremely large ones.  The box said 1″, $1.99.  I was shocked at the price until my husband rolled his eyes and informed me, “That’s a pound, silly.”  I quickly selected eight, which I thought to be a reasonable number.  The eight washers weighed a little under one-and-a-half pounds and cost me a grand total of $3.39.

The shiny surface of the washers seemed to be slick and I was concerned that they would slip around on fabric and pattern paper.  I never miss a chance to decorate mundane things so I quickly whipped out a crochet hook and scrap ball of yarn.  Deep in my crafting memory, I remembered crocheting around canning jar rubber gaskets.  The same technique could be used to decorate these washers and give them a personality.  After a quick search of Pinterest for crochet edgings, I felt confident I could “dress” my washers and turn them into pattern weights that would be useful as well as attractive.

Once I got started, I couldn’t stop. I created 8 different designs.  I’ve included some rough pattern instructions below. (Be kind. This is my first time writing my patterns down.)

INSTRUCTIONS:  Using an H crochet hook and a ball of sport-weight worsted yarn, I started with a beginning loop on my hook and single crocheted all the way around the washer with a slip stitch in the beginning single crochet to end the round.

IMG_1623.JPGA:
Row 1: Single crochet around the washer until there are 40 single crochets.  Slip stitch to join.
Row 2:  Chain 2 for the first stitch and 4 double crochet in the same stitch.  Skip 1 stitch, single crochet in next stitch, skip 1 stitch. *5 double crochet in the next stitch, skip 1 stitch, single crochet in next stitch, skip 1 stitch. Repeat from * around. Join with slip stitch.

B:
Row 1: Repeat row 1 from A.
Row 2: Chain 1 for beginning stitch, *single crochet in next 3 stitches, chain 4, skip 1 stitch. Repeat from * around. Join to the beginning of the row with a slip stitch in beginning chain.
Row 3: Chain 1, skip 1st stitch, *single crochet in next stitch, skip next stitch, 8 single crochet in chain-4 space, skip next stitch.  Repeat from * around.  Join with slip stitch.,

C:
Row 1: Repeat row 1 from A.
Row 2: Chain 2, 3 double crochet in first stitch; chain 1, skip 3 stitches then 3 double crochet in next stitch (cluster). Chain 1, skip 3 stitches and cluster 3 more times. Chain 3 and 3 double crotchets in same stitch (corner made). Repeat sequence 3 more times to create a square effect. (Refer to photo for assistance in this one). Join with slip stitch.

D:
Row 1: Repeat row 1 from A.
Row 2: Chain 2 for beginning stitch, *2 double crochet in next stitch, 1 double crochet in next stitch. Repeat from * around. Join with slip stitch.

IMG_1624.JPGE:
Row 1: Repeat row 1 from A.
Row 2: Chain 2 for the beginning stitch, *double crochet in the next stitch, chain 2, skip next stitch.  Repeat from * around.  Join with slip stitch.

F:
Row 1: Repeat row 1 from A.
Row 2: Chain 1 for beginning stitch, single crochet in the next stitch, chain 3, slip stitch in the 1st chain made to create a picot, single crochet in the next two stitches. *Single crochet in the next 2 stitches, make a picot by chaining 3 and slip stitching in the first chain made then single crochet in the next 2 stitches.  Repeat from * around. Join with slip stitch.

G:
Row 1: Repeat row 1 from A.
Row 2: Chain 3 for beginning stitch, 6 triple crochets in the same stitch, skip *stitches.  *8 triple crochets in the next stitch, skip 2 stitches. Repeat from * around. Join with slip stitch.

H:
Row 1: *Single crochet in washer, chain 2. Repeat from * around 9 times. 10 single crochets total.  Join with slip stitch.

A great dollar store find works as a holder.
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New Sewing Tool: Cross-Lock Tweezers

My new favorite sewing tool. A tweezey-thingamajig. #sewing #sewingtools

A post shared by Aleeah (@aleeahmc) on

I have discovered a new sewing tool.  It is a set of tweezers that I found while digging through the surgical supply tools in a vendor booth at a quilt show.  But this is not any ordinary set of tweezers.  They have a “cross-lock action” meaning through some magic of physics both blades cross and actually press against each other to remain closed rather than open like standard tweezers.  I chose the sharp pointed stainless steel ones.  With the sharp points, the tweezers can be used as a stiletto to push or hold small trims as I sew over them.  Then with a squeeze of thumb and forefinger, they can grasp like standard tweezers.  I find this especially useful with guiding small, intricate items under the presser foot. I admit that I use them a lot to pull the selvages out the back of the presser foot.  You know that moment when you started sewing too close to the beginning edge and things start to ball up?

These wonders are also called self-closing revers-action forceps and seem to be available at many tool stores.