One of the best ways to hold down a pattern without pins is with pattern weights. Why buy them when you can make your own? I picked up my filler in the Sporting Goods section of Wal-Mart. Believe it or not, my filler is BB’s! My weights look like bean bags just like children use in their games. They are made the same way but are quite heavy. I use leftover fabric from my projects and can finish them with whatever machine I’m using.
With the serger, I use a long rectangle, fold it in half, serge 2 sides, turn the corner, fill with the BB’s and then finish serging. With the sewing machine I use 2 squares wrong sides together, sew around 3 sides, backstitching at the start and end. Turn right side out, fill with BB’s and fold the edges in and sew closed. You can make the squares any size you want, mine are approx 3″ square finished.