Sewers everywhere are using giant metal washers and nuts as pattern weights. And for good reason. They are so much cheaper than the commercial ones sold in fabric stores and work equally well. The problem is finding big enough ones. I found mine at my local Tractor Supply store where they cost only $1.67 a pound - that's over a dozen weights for less than $6 - uber cheap! The Home Depot/Lowes varieties are too small and much more expensive.
What are they good for? Aside from using them instead of pins when laying out patterns, they are especially great for securing slippery, feather light fabrics onto work surfaces. I begin by using them to secure the fabric on my worktable and to hold a grainline in place so patterns can be positioned accurately.
Use them instead of pins on lightweight fabrics to hold patterns in place and then cut out the patterns with a rotary cutter. This helps achieve more accurate, straight cuts and avoids the shifting and sliding that typically occurs with these delicate and often slippery fabrics.
Anytime you need to secure or hold a piece of fabric in place like for cutting a straight edge or measuring, these are great.
Keep them close by as you will be surprised at how often you will use them.

Technique Materials

metal nuts and washers sold at the hardware stores. Look for 2 inch diameter washers and 1 1/4 in wide nuts.

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  • Img_2374_-_copy_-_copy_large

    Aug 1, 2013, 12.49 PMby Linda74Sews

    Those work too. In fact those were my pattern weights as well till now. If you can find these big ones, the nuts and washers are so much easier than the cans and I find I use them more frequently. You are an avid contributor to this site and I follow your many comments and advise. Thanks for reading my tip.

  • 985f0154fdefdf284531d76b36fbffee7a42548e_large

    Jul 11, 2013, 08.08 AMby katexxxxxx

    I just use cans of cat food, tuna, tomatoes, or whatever I have to hand.

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