Make Your Own Pattern Weights | MadamSew

DIY Weights for Sewing

Pattern weights are a sewing basic if you are into making clothes with patterns. This tutorial explains how to make these easy triangular sewing weights.

You can buy fabric weights in a store but they are so easy to make and are great scrap busters. I simply use rice for the filling. Between leftover fabric from projects past and pantry staples, I bet you have everything at hand to get started with these DIY pattern weights!

Why and When Use Pattern Weights in Sewing?

Instead of pinning the pattern pieces to your fabric, you can just lay the pieces on top of your fabric and trace them. If you are cutting pattern pieces with a rotary cutter and you want to move fast, you can also position the fabric on your cutting mat, place the pattern piece on top, and carefully maneuver around the pattern pieces. Even when I’m not working with patterns, I frequently use my pattern weights on my cutting mat to prevent big fabric pieces from sliding off my cutting table or to just keep them in place.

diy triangular pattern weights
make sewing weights from scraps

What you need to make fabric weights

Gather your favorite fabric scraps and some cute matching ribbon.

For 1 little pattern weight you need:

  • two 3 inch x 3 inch square pieces and
  • a piece of ribbon of about 5 inch and
  • about 1.5 oz of rice.

Instructions to Make Pattern Weights

1. Cut your fabric pieces and the ribbon. To cut squares fast, I cut with my rotary cutter. To make it even easier cutting on a rotating cutting mat speeds it even up a little more, as you can turn the mat, instead of rotating the fabric.

cut squares with a rotary cutter and a rotating cutting mat

2. Fold the ribbon in half and pin or stay stitch the ribbon in a corner of a square, on the right side of the fabric piece, raw edges aligned.

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using a sewing clip to attach a ribbon to a fabric piece

3. Pin and sew 3 of the 4 edges together at 1/4 inch. Be sure to sew the 2 sides next to the ribbon.

pinning 2 fabric pieces together

4. Open the one side that is not sewn and rearrange it so the 2 stitched seams hit the middle of the opening. Now you should start seeing the triangle shape.

Pin the 2 seam ends together and sew this seam, leaving an opening to insert the rice in the next step.

5. Fill the bag with rice. If you like, you can even add a few drops of essential oil to the rice before you put it in the bag.. mmm lavender in your sewing room!

using rice for pattern weights

6. Fold in the raw edges of the opening and press flat. Hand stitch the opening with a ladder stitch to close the hole.


The little diy pattern weight is ready!

homemade fabric weight
diy pattern weight

Any questions? Don't hesistate to get in touch!

Happy sewing!

Download the PDF for the pattern weights tutorial HERE

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I love the simplicity of these, and they are so cute! Can you tell me where you got your wrist band pin cushion? I have wanted to make or buy one forever. Thanks in advance.

Penny Foree

I love this idea. Will this work with doll clothes? I hate pinning everything! Thank you for the wonderful pattern/idea.


I am going to make some weights today. thanks for showing me how to do it.

Barbara Przybylski

I am going to make some pattern weights myself. I think they are a fantastic idea especially for certain fabrics that you don’t want to put pins in. I have ruined a number of of patterns that I’ve pinned to material over my lifetime from a dull common pin or two and it always seems to be halfway down the layout every time without fail. But this is a lifesaver for someone who has been sewing for over 59 years. You know the saying you can’t teach an old dog a new trick, well you’ve taught this old lady a new one, lol, and I can’t wait to try it. Thank you so very much for
the tip.


This is great because when I sew I do not like having to pin the pattern to the material. I must make them.
Thank you!

Willie Bell February 11. 2021

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