How to Make Pattern Weights

After a while of using various heavy objects from around my sewing room as pattern weights — my extra scissors, my ceramic thread collection creamer from Vivian Shao Chen, a big roll of cut-to-length zipper, my iPhone, etc., I decided it was time to upgrade.

I found all these large washers in our Nuts & Bolts Bucket (you know, the bucket in the garage where you put all the spare nuts and bolts in case you need them for a project sometime). I asked Dad if I could use the washers, took them inside and gave them a bath to wash off some grease, and then set to work making them little baggies.

I decided to put 4 washers in each bag. But, obviously, depending on how big of washers you are using, you may want to add more or less than that to each bag. These washers and other heavy objects like massive bolts are easily findable at most hardware stores for relatively inexpensive prices.

Here’s a quick photo tutorial of how I made the baggies and how you can make your own.

Mini tutorial - how to make your own pattern weights. Sarah Kirsten
Mini tutorial - how to make your own pattern weights. Sarah Kirsten
Mini tutorial - how to make your own pattern weights. Sarah Kirsten
Mini tutorial - how to make your own pattern weights. Sarah Kirsten
Mini tutorial - how to make your own pattern weights. Sarah Kirsten
Mini tutorial - how to make your own pattern weights. Sarah Kirsten
Mini tutorial - how to make your own pattern weights. Sarah Kirsten
Mini tutorial - how to make your own pattern weights. Sarah Kirsten
Mini tutorial - how to make your own pattern weights. Sarah Kirsten
Mini tutorial - how to make your own pattern weights. Sarah Kirsten

That’s it! Sew EASY and an excellent use for scraps!

FREE Sewing Pattern - Pear Pouch

After posting a photo of these little Pear Pouches on Instagram a few months ago, I've had soo many messages asking for this sewing pattern. So here it is! 

Download PDF Here!


  • Two sizes of pouches

  • Fully lined

  • French Seamed

  • Ideal for altering and making your own sizes and dimensions.

Finished Dimensions (H x W x L):

  • Large pouch: 6" x 3 1/2" x 9"

  • Small pouch: 4 1/2" x 3" x 7"

I hope this pattern can serve as a reference on how to sew lining with a zipper, how to sew zipper ends, how to sew French seams, and offer a good base pattern to alter if you would like to make your own sizes of pouches. 

How to Flower Pound

Right outside our kitchen is a little green patio area we call the Kitchen Garden. Among numerous fragrant herb species is a beautiful clematis plant with sprawling tendrils and an abundance of flowers. 

Last summer I discovered the wonders of flower pounding. Through some experimenting I found that clematis flowers work exceptionally well and retain their colorfastness on fabric. I have a tank top that I pounded with clematis flowers and although the flowers turned brown, their imprint has remained vibrant through it's many washing machine cycles.

So here's how to flower pound:

Step 1: Pick some beautiful flowers. 


Step 2: Lay a flower on a piece of cloth. 


Step 3: Fold the fabric over top (or lay another piece on top), place it on something hard and smooth, then pound the entirety of the flower. If you don't have a hard, smooth surface, try placing a towel on the sidewalk and hammering into the towel.

I made the mistake of pounding flowers on a brand new linen shirt I just finished sewing on a sidewalk without a towel underneath and the roughness of the cement put holes in the fabric! 


Step 4: Unfold and peel off the remains of the flower. 


Step 5: Hold up your cloth and stare at it for a few minutes. Then make another one! After waiting a few days, it should be safe to machine wash if you're putting it on a piece of clothing. 


I've found that it works for lots of other leaves and flowers, too! But I can't vouch for how they will all hold up in the wash. 


Here's a shirt I flower pounded with Clematis flowers from our Kitchen Garden. 

Easy guide to flower pounding
Easy guide to flower pounding your own clothes

For the Love of Simple Sewing - French Seams without Ironing or Trimming or Pinning

French seams are such a pleasant way to finish the insides of a bag or garment. And the truth is, they don't have to take that much time. 

Here is a quick photo guide on how to sew French seams without any trimming or ironing or pining. 

Step 1: Place wrong sides together and line up the edges of the seam you want to sew. 


Step 2: Sew the pieces together with a 1/4" seam allowance. Depending on the thickness of the fabric you are using and its propensity to fray, you may want to increase the allowance of the seam a little bit. 


Step 3: Turn inside out so the right sides are together. 


Step 4: Press the seam flat with your fingers up and down the whole length of the seam.


Step 5: Sew over the same seam with a 3/8" seam allowance. Again, depending on the thickness of the fabric you may want to increase the seam allowance slightly. Just be sure that whatever allowance you used on the first seam, you use a slightly larger allowance on this second seam. 


Step 6: Admire your beautifully finished seam!


101 Sewing Hashtags to Grow Your Instagram Community.

simple sewing patterns sarah kirsten

It was shocking, really, to discover how quickly my Instagram community could grow with the help of a few hashtags. If you're like me, you probably know you ought to be using more hashtags, but they are such a pain to find and save!

Well... good news! I put together a list of 101 sewing related hashtags that you can use on any post relating to sewing!

Instagram allows you to use 30 hashtags per post, and it's a good idea to mix up the hashtags so you don't use the exact same ones each time. 

What I like to do is make a few batches of hashtags and put them in the notes on my phone. Then every time I post I copy one of the batches and paste it into the comments right after I post. 

Most of these are general and applicable to all sewing related topics, though some of these are for specific things (such as #selfdrafted or #indiepatterns). I would also like to note that I did my best to research each of these to make sure they are not connected to a specific company or account, And I would like to mention two specifically. #millennialsewing is a delightful hashtag started by @maddiemadethis. And #sewingisselfcare is another delightful hashtag started by @sewliberated

Without further ado, here are 101 Sewing Hashtags (actually there are 102...) in alphabetical order. 









































































































Making Paper with Newspaper and Fabric Scraps


Truth be told, I was hoping this would be a good way of using my fabric scraps... if I was making hundreds of sheets of paper every week it undoubtedly would be. Since I'm not, it isn't exactly the most effective way to use scraps. But that said, it's still a really neat process and the texture and color of the paper when mixed with newspaper is really beautiful. 

If you'd like to make your own, here is a rough guide: 


  • Fabric scraps
  • Newspaper
  • Blender
  • Two picture frames with a flat side
  • Screen 
  • Lots of towels
  • Iron


  1. Trim fabric scraps very, very small. I used linen/rayon and cotton scraps.
  2. Add a few scraps and water to the blender and blend them up until the scraps turn into a pulp consistency. 
  3. Tear up some newspapers, add them to the blender with more water and blend them together. (Note: I actually broke my parents' blender doing this because I had too much in there at one time. Do small batches!) 
  4.  Pour the mixture into a large basin with lots of water.
  5. Place a screen in between two picture frames and scoop out the pulp. 
  6. Place the paper face down on a towel and press out the excess water.
  7. Iron dry and set under something large and heavy so the paper flattens.
  8. Enjoy your new paper and try very hard to not be so attached to it that you never actually use it for anything. 

At this point, you can either let the paper dry on the towel, or you can iron them dry. I prefer to iron them so they dry flatter and the imprint from the screen is smoothed out.