Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tutorial; Fabric Weights

Ok girls, this is my very first tutorial - so please be gentle with me Lol :-)) I started off with two square washers per weight. The washers measure about 2" square and should be available in most hardware/diy stores, the hole in the middle isn't huge as you can see in the second photo, just perfect for stitching the buttons through! Here goes.......................

First stack both your washers one on top of the other and measure round them - this measurement doesn't need to be really tight but the thickness of the tape measure and the fact that it bends at the edges, seems to give enough extra room for the 'pockets'.
Make a note of the m/m (or, if you have a better memory than me, just remember it!). Mine measured 4.5", although in the photo the tape had slipped a bit so it looks like more.

Next make sure you have a rectangle of fabric that is large enough to wrap round the weights with a 'bit' to spare. I was using a scrap of leftover quilting cotton and it just happened to be the right size - incidentally, I could have made covers for 8 weights out of one width of fabric (112cm/44"). If you want to be exact you can double your previous m/m and then add a bit for seam allowances but it is easy to eyeball this. You will need extra fabric on the three raw edge sides of the weight pocket, the fourth edge will be the fold of fabric.

Take the m/m from the first step (or, if you have forgotten it, measure again Lol!) and halve it. Fold your rectangle of fabric right sides together and mark that measurement on the fabric, centre it so you have a seam allowance on each side but it doesn't matter if they are exactly the same.

Stitch the seams down both sides on the marked lines. Reverse at the folded edge for strength. Trim the corners at an angle and trim the seam allowances to approx 6mm/1/4".

Turn your 'pocket' through to the right side. Slide your two washers in, they should be a snug fit but not so tight that you are forcing the stitches apart at the seams.

Tuck the leftover fabric in at the top. This takes a bit of fiddling with, I used the blade of my scissors to push the side seams down as that is where the bulk is. It should look like the picture below.

Stitch the opening closed with a hand stitch and matching thread, only takes a minute!

Finally, as an optional extra, stitch a button on through the hole in the middle of the washers, this also tightens the 'pocket' round the washers. I just used a stranded thread, Madeira Decora, and left the ends to tie.

This is the thread I used and the huge needle!

Finally, after about half an hour....................Ta Daa! Six new fabric weights! I love these as they are nice and flat and don't get in my way when I am cutting out.

Thanks for reading to the end :-) It is highly likely that those of you who were interested, may have already figured out your own way to make these, if not I hope this was a bit of help :-))


Fran said...

Very cool -- thanks! It might save a bit of time also if, when you sew up your seam allowance on the sides, you fold back the excess fabric at the top and stitch it down with the side seams. Then, you won't have to fuss with tucking it in at the top and you can just slip stitch. But, you'd have to know just how much to fold back in advance. I really like these!

kiltsnquilts said...

Fran; thanks for your comment :-) Yes, folding it first may save some fiddling, although I like to fold the first part over the weights so there is no strain on the stitches. But good to hear of a time-saving idea!

gwensews said...

Thank you for the tutorial. I have the round weights, but haven't seen squares. I must go to the hardware.

Sharon said...

I really appreciate your detailed tutorial, thank you.

A friend gave me some weights filled with sand but they are too high so really need to get to the hardware.

kiltsnquilts said...

gwensews, I am glad my weights were square! I don't know what I would have done if DH had given me round ones Lol!
Sharon, I also have some weights filled with sand, they ae round and about an inch high and really get in my way. I save them for stopping my slippery or heavy fabrics sliding off my cutting table.

The Small Fabric Of My Life said...

What an easy to follow tutorial. I dodn't need fabric weights but I do now!

kiltsnquilts said...

:-) Thanks Jane, hey you you could always use them as paperweights!?!

Trudy Callan said...

You have a great blog. I'd love for you to come and visit my blog. I just made a Vintage Vogue Original 1944 Design, V2858. On the previous page you'll find a dress I made from an original 1974 pattern that I found in an antique store. I call that post The Lady in Lavender. And lots of other things in between. Hope you enjoy.