Goodbye pins, hello weights

Watching a recent episode of Project Runway (a guilty pleasure and inspiration), I noticed that the designers didn't pin their patterns to the fabric. Instead, they used small fabric weights, almost like tiny bean bags. I learned to sew many years ago (pre-Watergate), and since then, I haven't kept up with new trends in sewing technology. (I'm still not quite sure what "serging" is.) 

But these weights make a lot of sense. I constantly prick my fingers pushing dull pins through fabric. Instead of buying some, I wanted to make my own. I found several clever crafters who made upcycled sewing weights from heavy washers and ribbons. 

Luckily, my husband had a stash of spare washers he was willing to share. Instead of ribbons, I opted for brightly colored electrical tape, leftover from another project.
How many washers to combine for a single weight? One was too light, and 4 or 5 would be hard to handle. I settled on 3. I cut several short segments of tape and wrapped them separately around the washers.
I'm happy with the finished weights -- the colors are happy, and the slick tape feels nice in the hand. 
I tested the weights with one of my home-made patterns for an iPad cover. They worked pretty well, and kept the fabric in place. I think I like the dual-colored weights better than the monochrome ones.

I'm not sure how they'd do with a more intricate pattern -- with lots of curves -- or a regular pattern made from tissue paper. That's my next test. But it's nice not bleeding all over the place!