How to Make Your Own Tailor's Pressing Ham

Written by crystal marie
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How to Make Your Own Tailor's Pressing Ham
Iron curved seams and darts easily with a tailor's pressing ham. (BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

A tailor's ham provides firm support for pressing curved seams, darts, and other problematic areas. You can make your own tailor's pressing ham in about an hour. Use double layers of cotton cloth stuffed full of fabric scraps. Choose plain cotton muslin or opt for colourful 100% cotton prints for the cover. Make several pressing hams in sizes to meet all of your garment-pressing needs.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 100% cotton fabric
  • Fabric scraps
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine with zigzag
  • Thread
  • Hand sewing needle

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    Follow This Simple Pattern

  1. 1

    Cut two rectangles 9 inches by 24 inches. Fold each rectangle in half, wrong sides together, to form two rectangles 9 inches by 12 inches.

  2. 2

    Lay one folded rectangle atop the other with the folded edges and the raw edges even.

  3. 3

    Mark dots with a pencil on the folded edge, 2 inches in from the raw edge on both sides. Draw a line from each dot to the bottom corner on the same side. You can draw the line freehand, as it does not have to be perfectly straight or the same on both sides.

  4. 4

    Cut along the drawn lines. Round off the bottom corners.

  5. 5

    Sew a 1/2 inch seam through all four layers from the folded edge at the top, down one side, across the bottom and up the other side to the folded edge. Sew a few stitches in reverse at the beginning and end of the seam to secure the stitches. Sew a second time over the top of the first seam.

  6. 6

    Sew a zigzag stitch in the seam allowance close to the stitch line to finish the seam. Trim away the excess fabric close to the zigzag.

  7. 7

    Turn the tailor's ham cover right side out through the opening between the folds. Stuff fabric scraps inside the cover through the opening. Pack the scraps in tightly to fill the ham as full as possible and provide a firm pressing surface.

  8. 8

    Thread a hand-sewing needle and stitch the opening closed by hand. Hold the folded edges of the opening together or overlap them and sew across the opening.

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