My Material Life

Make Your Own Mock Box Pattern Weights

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Are you watching Project Runway this season?  I am, but I’m not enjoying it as much – too much interpersonal drama.  I still look forward to each episode though and I’m so happy Alexandria won last week; she really pulled herself together after the disappointing experience she had the previous challenge.  Her work is so inventive.

I did get quite excited by something I saw in the preview show and the first episode.  Perhaps you saw it too?  It (or maybe there was more than one) was a small bright pink cube that you could see in designer Kahindo Mateene’s workspace.  What was it?  Darn if she didn’t get eliminated so early in the series.  All I could think was that it was a pattern weight, and I knew I would have to make some of my very own.

So I did.  Although I’m going to give this particular set as a gift; that’s why you see them packaged in the cookie box above.  I think I’d prefer these to the fishing weights I currently use.  Most of them are made with Kona Cotton (purchased new for the colors) and one pair with some old IKEA linen just to mix things up.  They are not quite a cube; the longest edge measures 1-1/2 “.  Would you like to make some too?  Then let’s get started …

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Cut pairs of your fabric in 3-1/2″ squares.

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Stitch each pair together, right sides together, leaving an opening on one side.  You should stitch at least 3/4″ on either side of this opening.

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Trim your corners.

Now comes the fun part – creating the mock box*.  Start with one corner of your square.  Press the seams on either side of the corner open with your finger and pull the front and back pieces of your square apart until your corner forms an arrow shape.  Line up your stitched seams on either side of your corner right on top of each other.  Make a mark 5/8″ down from the point of your corner and draw a line from one side to the other.  Stitch on this line.

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Do the same thing for the remaining three corners.

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Trim the points off the four corners you just stitched.

Now turn your square right side out and congratulations – you’ve created a box!  Well, a mock box, but this is still very exciting.  Imagine all the other cool things you could make with this technique and simple changes in scale and proportion.

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Now you are ready to fill your pattern weights.  I decided to use a washed sand from the garden center.  But I’m thinking this might not be the best material for this purpose after all.  Some of those pieces of sand are very fine if you know what I mean.  I like the weight of the sand though.  I suppose you could use rice or lentils.  You’re just trying to weigh down tissue paper after all.  Still, the sand does feel better.  Please don’t be shy about commenting if you have another suggestion.

I did try using a funnel to get the sand into my weight, but it got clogged, so I recommend a folded up piece of paper instead.  That worked well.

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Once you fill your weights, hand stitch your openings closed and secure them with a couple of tiny back stitches.

These are just so fun, aren’t they?  Little pillow-like confections.  I’d want to eat them if they weren’t filled with sand.

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* With a true “box” construction, you would join two squares with a separate band of fabric around the edges between them.  That’s very hard to do on this scale.  I know, I tried.  Then I remembered the mock box technique; it’s so much easier, and I like the way it looks too.

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