Penny Washer Pattern Weights - all dressed up!
I hope you're all well and keeping busy, safe and most of all entertained!
I forced myself to play with shiny things yesterday afternoon as it's taken me especially long to get into the festive spirit this year. I believe that did the trick!
After a few attempts at various gift ideas I've had brewing in my head, I decided these penny washer pattern weights were the winner. They were such good fun to make and I'm really excited to share this project with you. Apart from being must-have items on your cutting table, these pattern weights would make an excellent gift for your sewing buddies! I mean, just look at this lovely stack of them... and you don't even have to be a sewist yourself to make them - just cut and stick!
I realise some of you use other methods to keep pattern pieces in place when cutting your sewing projects, but I always use weights. If you're in this gang and would like to make these, keep reading to learn how!
Having bought some a while ago, the washers were a little disappointing as they come. I found them neither very tactile or pleasing to the eye. I just had to cover them somehow. I decided to make use of some leatherette fabric scraps I seem to have accumulated over the years, which turned out to be absolutely perfect for this purpose. Leatherette doesn't fray and it's easy to cut, sew, glue, etc. I also tested this idea with real leather scraps and it worked just as well, if not better. I can imagine some nice thick wool felt would work, too.
I knew immediately that I wanted them to be hexagonal and I was pleased, as there's always a danger of overthinking everything around here! My washers were 5cm diameter, but I made a template for 4cm and 6cm wide washers as well for you, just in case. Once I did that, I thought a round template for these three sizes won't hurt either. So you have a few size and shape options.
Click here for the free template! Please print at 100% scale or actual size setting on your printer (not scale to fit).
After picking the shape you prefer and the size to suit your washers, cut out the template as precisely as you can. You then need to cut two pieces of leatherette/leather per washer.
The glue I had available was this HT2 Gütermann textile glue and it worked really well, although I'm sure there are dozens of different types of glue you can use. I'm not a glue expert, so please go with whatever you think it's best. Whichever glue you choose, please follow the manufacturer's instructions on how to use it safely and efficiently, be careful with the surface area you're working on, make sure the room is well ventilated, etc, etc... you get the idea, be safe.
I applied a thin strip of the glue to the wrong side of each fabric piece, a couple of millimetres from the raw edges. This will prevent it from spilling out and looking messy.
I let it rest for a few minutes then sandwiched a washer in between two pieces and pressed the edges together firmly all around.
That's it! Once I made one, it was hard to stop!
So here are some of the many leatherette ones...
... and here are a few leather ones.
I couldn't help playing about with stitching the edges on a couple of them, both by hand and machine, with varying degrees of success. The hand stitched one below is leather and I used an awl to mark the holes beforehand. I quite like that one. The machine stitched one is leatherette and I had to use a piping foot for this. It was a bit fiddly as there isn't enough fabric under the presser foot for the feed dogs to grab onto. I'll let you decide whether this is worth bothering with. I think I prefer mine without the stitching after all. I'm happy as long as the glue holds.
All in all, a very satisfying project and very useful outcome.
I really hope you enjoy making these and if you do, please share and tag with #DDpatternweights on your instagram or other socials - would love to see your take on them.
Have a lovely time creating and thank you for being there,
P.S. The pattern weights in action ; )