Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Nuts & Washers as Pattern Weights

Wednesday Tip of the Week

Look what I found at the Tractor Supply store! Who knew this would be a great place for sewing supplies? It's funny how the most unlikely places can sometimes be the best and cheapest place to buy sewing supplies. 

I have been on the lookout for these super large metal nuts and washers to use as pattern weights for a long time now. I simply refuse to pay the $15 Joann charges for 4 measly weights. It would cost me a fortune to buy enough weights to make the practice of using them worthwhile. I'd rather spend that money on a couple of yards of beautiful silk.

After seeing so many bloggers using these I was determined to as well. But, finding them proved more difficult than I had imagined.  The really big ones I was looking for weren't available at my local Home Depot, Lowes or Ace Hardware stores. And, the biggest ones they did stock were anywhere from $1.50 to more than $2.00 a nut or washer. Still way too expensive for me! So the search continued.

Then a few weeks back while at our summer lake house my husband needed a few bolts. The nearest Home Depot was a good 20 minute drive away, but there is a Tractor Supply store that we can sometimes use in its place that's only 8 miles away. Lo and behold, the nuts and washers I was looking for ere right in front of me. Not only were they big and heavy, they were sold by the pound, $1.67 a pound to be exact. For roughly $6.00 I was able to purchase a dozen weights, 3 times as many weights for almost an eighth of the Joann's price.

I would say that was a good buy indeed! I no longer have to use the tuna cans I was using before. So far, they have come in handy on a number of projects.  They are particularly great for keeping shifty, silky fabrics stable on my worktable. I use them instead of pinning to limit their shifting about. With the weights holding the fabric both stable and flat I can then easily cut out my pattern pieces with my rotary cutter which produces a much more accurate cut. 

Weights are great for temporarily holding pattern pieces in place as layouts are arranged on your fabric. It saves a lot of time from pinning and unpinning during this process. Now that I have them, I find I use them all the time. My next task is to spruce them up a bit. You know, make them pretty.



  1. Work it, lady. I'm blogging about it too. Thought "genius" when I first read about it at Casey's Elegant Musings blog.


  2. Thanks. They are indeed great to have. I find myself using them all the time now. Looking forward to dressing them up.

  3. Hi! What size are with flat washers? I have been trying to get an accurate measurement. Thank you!

  4. Hi! What size are with flat washers? I have been trying to get an accurate measurement. Thank you!

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