I dislike pinning, sometimes. When it comes to stitching a long seam, I like the security of pinning (I don't yet have Holly's courage). But when it comes to laying out and cutting out my pattern pieces, I hate it! I always feel like pinning distorts my layout and skews my cutting line. Just that little bit of fabric puffed up by the pinning process and what fabric is used to hold the pin in place is just enough to throw off some of my seams, darts or hems. It may just be me, but ever since I tossed the pins (when cutting out pattern pieces, that is) and went with pattern weights, my sewing has reached a whole new level.
Being the industrious seamstress that I am, I began my adventure with pattern weights with whatever was to hand. But after a few weeks of serious devotion to PWs (my short term for Pattern Weights) I decided to make my own. I cut out several 5 in. squares of quilting cotton and interfacing of coordinating prints (the weight pictured is in a lovely Moda) and on one side I attached a piece of 5 in. ric rac. Wrong sides together, I stitched the 2 squares together leaving an opened to turn and fill. I clipped the corners and turned it right side out. Using a handmade funnel of printer paper, I filled my PW half way with dried beans and topped it off with poly fill so it can serve as a pin cushion as well. I hand stitched the opening closed.
Many years later, I have somewhat reverted back to my origins since my PWs are attractive to not only me but my wee child as well. Leaving me back to using whatever is to hand since she has not yet learned the value of returning object from whence they came. I follow rule after a few bad turns:
1) Don't use your coffee cup (especially when there is coffee in it)
2) Don't use anything bigger than your fist (if you start with small it you can use it for even the smallest bit of your pattern and won't have to keep searching your house for another PW)
3) Don't use toys. The owner will come looking and demanding the return of their property leaving your without a PW)
4) Don't use your cell phone. You will forget why it is holding your fabric in place when an important (or not so important) call comes in and either your fabric will fall off the table or your pattern piece will get caught in the breeze mid cut.
5) Don't use anything alive- they are just plain unreliable.
My favorites are an unused and tightly capped bottle of fabric dye, a previously used glass that held water and needs to make it down the kitchen but hasn't in some time, and my own hand made PW (when I can find it). There are plenty of other handy PWs hanging about your house but if your schedule allows make some of your own, they are ever so much fun!
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