Sewing Pattern/ Fabric Weights

About: Occupation... hmmmm... I'm retired but Instructables doesn't have that in their rather meager list of choices so i chose "Hobbyist". Sure, why not. But it's not really an occupation in that I don...

This is a variation on a theme; having just finished making and posting an Instructable for Sand Bags to be used as safety weights or counterweights on equipment stands, camera tripods, etc. (https://www.instructables.com/id/Sand-Bags-for-Equipment-Stands/) I realized that by scaling them down I could make some functional fabric / sewing pattern weights. With emphasis on - functional - these aren't cute or pretty but they do the job they were intended for well.

Supplies:

Materials

Fabric scraps - you will need two 5-inch by 5 1/4-inch pieces or one 5-inch by 10.5-inch piece per weight. I used some stretchy jean-like materail but pretty much anything will work.

Filling material - I used motar but a better medium would be dry sand - about $6 U.S. for a 50 lb. sack or you could use bb's (you would need approx 500 bb's per 6 oz weight and you can find them on Amazon at about $8 US for a 6,000 count bottle).

Thread

8-inch wide "Foodsaver" type freezer bags.

Equipment

Sewing machine

Foodsaver-like vacuum sealer

Scissors

Ruler - or some measuring device

Teacher Notes

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Step 1: Making the Fabric Outer Bag.

Gather your material scraps and cut either 5-inch by 5 1/4-inch squares (2 per weight) or 5-inch by 10.5-inch rectangles. I think it's a little easier using the larger rectangle but really, it just depends on what material you have on-hand.

If using the two-piece method, fold one of the long sides (5 1/4-inch sides) 1/4-inch toward the wrong-side and hem. Do this to both pieces.

Pin the two pieces together right-sides together and hemmed ends together. Then using a 1/4-inch allowance sew up three sides leaving the hemmed side open. Start and stop sewing as close to each edge as possible; you want the seams on each side to overlap.

If using the longer rectangle make a 1/4-inch fold toward the wrong-side on each end of the long side and hem.

Fold the material in half right-sides together with hems touching. Sew up each side with a 1/4-inch allowance - start and stop sewing as close to each edge as possible. Also make a seam 1/4-inch above the fold making sure to stop and start so that this seam crosses the two side seams.

Turn the bag so that the right-sides are out (the seams you just sewed are on the inside of the bag). Your bag is now ready for the sand inserts.

Step 2: Making the Sand Inserts

My Foodsaver creates 1-inch of wasted material beyond the fused seam. I used 8-inch rolls so two side seams were already sealed but i needed a bag that was 4 1/2-inches square so I cut a 6 1/2-inch length of the 8-inch roll. Then I sealed both open ends and trimmed off the excess, down to about 1/8-inch or so - including the pre-sealed side. Then cut a 5 1/2-inch length of this new bag.

Fill this bag with sand. I used 6 oz. of sand; the bag will comfortably hold 10 oz. but if filled that full the dimensions of the fabric bag would probably need to be increased slightly. Take the bag back to the Foodsaver, squeeze the air out of the bag before you slide it into the sealer - be sure NOT to use the vacuum, you don't want to be sucking sand into your Foodsaver.

Step 3: Finishing Up

All that's left is to slide the sand insert into the fabric bag and sew up the opening.

Use a simple straight stitch to close the opening making sure to cross both side seams.

You're done!

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