Thursday, February 2, 2012

Sew Colette - Metal washers


Hello everyone! It's time to get started on our muslins but to be honest, I haven't even cut mine out yet :( It was a spur of the moment thing, but I ended up getting tattooed last night, so that means that I wasn't productive sewing wise. I'm ready to write about sewing though!

To those of you that didn't participate in the first part of the sew-along, please make sure you have your correct measurements before getting started. If you need help then see this post.


Before reading the Colette Sewing Handbook I struggled with cutting out my fabric. I would cut out the pattern, pin it to the fabric, and awkwardly cut around it. My cuts weren't as precise as they could have been and it was a struggle going around the paper. In the book Sarai suggested placing metal washers on top of the pattern, tracing around it, removing the pattern, and then cutting the fabric from the lines you had created. I did this with my Meringue skirt and it made cutting a breeze! There were no shaky cuts on my fabric and it was less of a fight between me and my scissors :)

You can get washers at any hardware store. My husband got mine at Miner's (isn't he sweet?) for $0.50 each and he got the biggest ones he could find. I'm sure that you could use other things that are flat and heavy to keep the pattern in place, but I really like using the washers because they can easily be packed away in a little box and stored with my sewing stuff. Have any of you tried using Sarai's technique? What did you think?


22 comments:

  1. I posted this a couple years ago. I use washers too, but I wanted them to be pretty as well. :)

    http://sewcupcakecouture.blogspot.com/2010/09/diy-pattern-weights.html

    I'm almost finished with my Meringue, I'll post it to the flickr group.

    Yay for new ink. I'm hoping to get some work done while I'm back in the states later this year. What did you get, if you don't mind sharing?

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    1. Thanks for sharing your modified washers! They look so cute in gold!

      I'm going to post a photo of the tattoo tomorrow :) What are you planning to get tattooed? Do you have a favorite artist/place to go in the US?

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    2. I'm planning on getting my ribs done. I'm nervous though, as my only ink is on the back of my lower legs, so no t really a bony area. I have a high threshold for pain, so hopefully it won't be too bad.

      It's going to be a collage of different sweets and such. Very whimsical. My artist is at Comes a Time Tattoo in Fairfax, VA. Rianne does great work and her hubby Sean is the piercer and shop manager. They make a great team. If you're ever in VA... :)

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  2. I just switched over to washers myself! I used to use cans of green chiles-- they totally did the job, but they sure weren't compact and if I wanted to cook with them, I would have to dig up another can to use as a pattern weight. :)

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  3. I second the motion to see the new ink : )

    I haven't sewn a lick on my muslin either, hooray for the flu!

    As far as the cutting, I hated cutting too. I haven't tried Sarai's cutting method since I don't use scissors to cut out my patterns! I opted for the rotary cutting method ages ago and have never looked back! I still use pattern weights instead of pinning though, I just don't trace onto the fabric.

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    1. I want to use a rotary cutter, but I don't think my mat is big enough :(

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  4. YESSSS!!!! I got a whole bunch of these right before Christmas and have been using them ever since, aren't they AWESOME???????????

    I totally relate to ink interfering with sewing... i just got a new one last week!! And it's not nearly finished yet so I anticipate much creation interruption in the future LOL. Can't wait to see yours :D

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    1. I got a dragon on my upper right arm to celebrate my inner dragon, as I was born year of the dragon XD

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  5. I definitely need to get some washers!! I'm a fan of tracing, but I've been using my cell phone and other random objects to hold down my pattern as I do so haha!

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  6. I just picked up some washers last weekend, and they are awesome! I honestly didn't think that they would work as well as they do. I am a total convert.

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  7. i've been using candle holders (quite heavy) and coke cans, basically anything heavy and within arm's reach. but one of these days I'll get the washers. I hadn't thought of the advantage of their compact storing size--maybe I'll get to the hardware store sooner than later!!

    I was taught to pin the pattern to the fabric and cut, which works, but it can be shifty and time consuming. I'm much happier with the results of tracing.

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    1. I was taught to pin too! After cutting I would notice that my cuts weren't precise at all :(

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  8. I sewed little bags out of a spare bit of fabric, little squarish rectangular ones. Pull them inside-out, fill them with about 3oz of uncooked rice, then topstitch around the edge to close them off and also to double-check that the rice can't easily fall out.

    Bam! Pretty and handy :)

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  9. I use washers! For Christmas, my dad made me ribbon covered ones too. He wrapped the ribbon around and kept it in place using a hot glue gun.

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  10. I started using washers last year, and it's totally changed my sewing game. LOVE it! And to be honest, I love a trip to the hardware store anyway. Dork.

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  11. I actually use some books as weights as well as little heavy balls. Books are fantastic for the larger pieces, as nothing under them will move, as well has they take up loads of the pattern space so you don't need so many little weights. It really puts my Dostoevskys and Tolstoys to use!

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