Not their originally intended use

October 16, 2010

I’ve heard from a few people that the best / easiest pattern weights are not found in sewing / fabric shops but rather simply purchased from the hardware store in the form of large metal washers.

Several sites have made reference to this fantastic little hack.  So I thought I’d head out and get myself some as I’m bad with pins.

Except there were only tiny washers at the local Ace hardware so later in the day I headed out to Home Depot.

In the fasteners aisle I only saw washers up to an exterior dimension of 1.5″ instead of the 3″ or 3.5″ I was hoping to find.  Some man in an orange apron asked if I needed to find something specific.  I asked for the largest metal washer they had.  That threw him a bit… but he rallied and showed me the 1.5″ washers… rats.  He could tell that I was not happy… so he asked what I was doing with the washers… he even listed out a few possibilities… things for which washers are actually purpose-built.  I told him I needed them for my sewing – that the size and weight of large washers would be excellent for pattern weights.

He was a bit flabbergasted.  That was cool.  But he had an idea.  There were big, square washers in the re-bar section – used for foundations.  I found them and they are PERFECT!!!

I went back to his aisle and shook his hand.

There wasn’t anything else to get so I stood in line to buy my washers.  At this point I noticed how dirty they were making my hands.

Turns out that no one expects anyone but contractors to buy these things because there was no price tag or reference number on the washers…  I told the girl what they were called, what they cost, that they are exactly what I want and that I’m not going to return them.  So she just charged me a little pittance and just got me out of there.  On my way out another employee let me use some of their hand sanitizer so I could get the black junk off my hands.

All in all a fantastic experience.

When I got home I washed them and covered them in silver duct tape to keep them from getting that black junk all over the patterns and fabrics.

3 inches square… heavy… sturdy… and cheap.

I love a good hack, don’t you?



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