Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sewing Tip #1: Using Sewing Weights

We have loved finding antique patterns, holding the yellowed instruction pages, unfolding the tissue pattern pieces, and stepping into the lives of the women who held these patterns over fifty years ago. Each pattern we open is a chance to step back in time. Some of the patterns have been used. Many still have the original  factory folds. Because these pattern pieces are antiques, we treat them with the respect they deserve.

We carefully place the tissue pattern pieces on to paper to be traced. This roll of  tracing paper was upcycled  from Molly's other life as a physical therapist. Instead of  flattening and pinning the pattern pieces to hold them in place, we use pink sewing weights to secure them. We work then from our new traced pattern pieces rather than our antique pattern pieces for cutting out our fabrics. Molly learned about using sewing weights many years ago from a wonderful Thai woman. When Molly was buying silk for her wedding dress, this Thai seamstress passed on to Molly the tradition  in her family of using stones rather than pins to hold down and cut precious silks. Sewing weights are great to use instead of pinning for cutting out those special delicate fabrics that might show pin marks.

In this photo you can see the pattern pieces for this 1940's skirt are unmarked, unlike the pattern pieces we are so used to seeing on the market today. Little holes mark special placements.

Anyone have a sewing tip to share?


Kristina said...

I use pattern weights filled with rice. It's a great way to use up pretty scraps that are too small to do anything else with.

Blue Star Vermont said...

Love the idea. Your sewing table must be beautiful with these weights.