There are certain tools in a sewing room that you just cannot work without, one of these things is sewing weights. Sewing weights are perfect for holding down patterns, fabric and even using them as markers on your projects.
Sewing weights come in a variety of styles, sizes and weights so it can be confusing to know which you want to be using within your sewing room. Like many things, choosing your sewing weights is a personal preference so you might find you need to try a couple before finding what works for you.
I am going to talk about the pros and cons of each style of sewing weights, what to think about before buying some and what you need to know when using pattern weights.
What Are Sewing Weights?
Sewing weights, also known as pattern weights, usually come in the shapes of balls or pyramids of soft fabric and often come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. Sewing weights aren’t especially heavy, and they’re usually more flexible than other weights that might come to mind.
Sewing weights can be made from any number of materials such as fabric, glass, metal or ceramic. There is no rule to say what a sewing weight is and has to be so you use pretty much anything you feel will work.
More common sewing weights are homemade from fabric into little pyramids filled with rice or beans. Although it isn’t uncommon for people to also use heavy objects lying around their homes. Essentially, they are either weighty glass paperweights or mini bean bags, though they also come in a variety of sizes according to everyone’s project needs.
What Are Sewing Weights Used for?
Sewing weights are very useful for sewists to have in order to relieve them of unnecessary stress in their favourite hobby, or even their job. Pattern weights are used to hold a sewist’s various patterns in place while you cut the fabric so that the pattern doesn’t move around.
Delicate fabrics and thin pattern pieces absolutely require sewing weights, or else you can look forward to wasting fabric, tearing patterns, or spending your precious time carefully trimming the pieces you cut because you overshot the mark with your scissors. They are also much faster and easier to use than pins in keeping your pattern down.
You can also use sewing weights to hold down heavy pieces of fabric while you work.
6 Best Sewing Weights
For sewing weights to be effective, they need to have the weight you need, the size you want, come in a set or be easy to make, and have absolutely zero chance of ruining your patterns or the fabric.
Following this set of criteria, here are six examples of the best sewing weights you can either buy or make yourself.
1. Fermentation Glass Weights
It might seem weird to use weights that were intended to be used for jarring pickles and cabbage, but the Eleganttime 4 Pack Easy Grip Handle Glass weights are perfect for holding fabrics because of their weight and convenient handle!
They weigh about 7 oz each and come in a pack of 4, so depending on how much sewing you have or how much you want to hold down you may want to purchase 2 packs.
2. Metal Washer Weights
Washers are very useful as weights for your sewing, especially for smaller patterns. They are easy to make yourself with a few washers, hot glue, and some ribbon or cloth wrapped around them.
They’re easy, work perfectly, and are customizable! You just have to be sure to cover the burrs of the washers that can cut your fabric and patterns really well.
While the metal washer weights are great, easy to use and they stack so you can add more weight to one area if you need to. There is a downside which is that they are small and thin so they can be hard to pick up and move quickly when you need to.
3. Metal Bar Fabric Weights
Do you have large-scale projects where weights the size of washers, or close, just won’t do the trick?
Maybe you’re working with a material that curls a lot and you need either a small army of weights or a few really long ones.
The metal bar weights are perfect for using in larger scale projects and with heavier fabrics. They are easy to handle and use so when it comes to moving them around these are perfect. Alternatively, they may be a little heavy for some to move around one handed.
4. Donut Weights
You’ve probably seen these everywhere, but how could I not include them?! I have my excuse too! They aren’t just really cute, they work incredibly well. They are weighty enough to hold your thin patterns in place and are delicate enough to not cause damage to your fabrics or patterns while being used.
They are made of polymer clay so they can break a little more easily than other items on this list, but the best part is that these are stackable doughnuts. That means, when you need more weight, you can set one on top of another to use all 90g of weight.
Donut weights are perfect and chunky to be able to pick up and move around easily. I personally love this as it makes it easier to do things quicker in the sewing room.
5. Clay/Ceramic Weights
Ceramic and clay weights are easily found on Etsy and can come in a variety of sizes, weights and designs to suit every sewing room. These style weights are easy to use, handle and stack to create more weight when needed.
The ceramic can be a little more delicate and so if you find you are a little clumsy in the sewing room these may not be the best fit.
The benefit of using these style sewing weights is that they are discreet, simple and pretty. The downside is that they can be hard to pick up and move, especially if you struggle.
6. Fabric Weights
Fabric weights are easily the most common weights used, and there are at least 100 tutorials online for how to make them. I have a tutorial on how to make pyramid pattern weights which are super, simple and perfect for using up fabric scraps.
These are usually filled with dried rice because it’s cheap to buy, lasts forever, and has the weight you need. But the rice can be replaced with pennies, lentils, lead pellets, and sand.
I really like the fabric weights as you can really make them into anything you want, if you choose to make your own you can make any shape, size and weight. I also like that the pyramid pattern weights can be made with a small loop in the top to hook and hang up or even use as an easy grabbing toggle.