“Exactly what does that have to do with sewing?” I hear you ask. Well . . . if you sew you may well have guessed.
For quite some time I had wanted a tailor’s ham – which you use for pressing. And I must admit the “sausage” is really a seam roll, again used for pressing.
I’d looked at various tailor’s hams for sale over the years but really wanted to make one. I had a look at various patterns online – it’s a simple shape but I wanted to get the proportions o.k. I found this video which has you make your own pattern for the tailor’s ham. Right up my alley 😁 The seam roll I just decided ‘this wide by this long’.
I had some woollen blankets at home so first off I chopped some out of one, boiled it, as you do, to shrink it and cut it out. They were old blankets i.e. 50 years or older as they were my Mum’s. Anyway, they were a bit hairy . . . meaning they kind of shed every time I touched or moved them. Perhaps the fibres were a bit tired. Hmmm I thought maybe not such a good idea. So, Plan B.
I went down to The Fabric Warehouse and had a rummage through their bargain box. I found a fabric that felt like wool and when I checked, and I think a burn test was done, it was a wool/viscose mix from memory. So not a pure wool, but a good price of only $5 so I snapped it up! Part of the appeal of making a tailor’s ham and seam roll myself was keeping the cost down.
So fabric purchased, some calico I had at home and pattern made I was ready to start. One thing I liked about the one made in the video was that it was two layers of fabric on each side which I felt would make the ham and seam roll stronger. The main change I made from the video was that I stuffed them both with sawdust. Not just any sawdust but cedar! Boar works for a place that does wooden double glazed windows and the frames are cedar in the main. So I asked him to bring me some home! He kindly obliged 💖
Two other things I did differently were I decided to stitch it with upholstery thread for strength, and also I used an invisible or slip stitch to close the opening cos . . . tidier! This is where my perfectionism rears it’s head. Whip stitch would annoy me every time I looked at it. 😜
Not sure what invisible stitch is? Here is a video showing how it is done. I remember the first time I used this stitch was when I made a stuffed pink elephant for my eldest daughter whilst being in hospital before she was born. Funny thing was in those days you didn’t find out the baby’s sex! Showing my age there I reckon!
I had some photos of the making but . . . lost. Anyway here are a few of the completed items.
|Just cos I know you sooo wanted to see the two sides at once!|
I’ve used them so much since I made them. I very quickly decided I need another seam roll that is at least a metre long and double the depth! It will be especially useful for long skirt seams. Project for this year I think. I’ll keep my peepers open for a piece of reasonably priced wool.
One of the nicest things when I’m using these items is that I get a lovely whiff of cedar as I’m pressing things. It doesn’t linger in the fabric of whatever I am making though which is great.