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Handmade pressing tools?
RockNRoll
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RockNRoll
Tennessee USA
Member since 3/12/10
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Date: 8/25/10 5:05 PM

I am considering making my own ham and pressing tool boards. Has anyone made any or used something from the kitchen to use as a pressing device?
would love to get some ideas

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RockNRoll
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RockNRoll
Tennessee USA
Member since 3/12/10
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Date: 8/25/10 7:45 PM

i know someone out there made one some time..

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asinknits

asinknits
Beginner
International AUSTRALIA
Member since 3/14/10
Posts: 142
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Date: 8/25/10 7:53 PM

Hey, if anyone else has ideas I'm all ears, cause they aren't at any of the sewing shops I frequent.

Elona
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Elona  Friend of PR
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In reply to RockNRoll


Date: 8/25/10 8:17 PM

As a kid in 4-H, I made my own pressing ham using sawdust for a stuffing. What I remember is that it was enormously difficult to stuff the ham to make it as firm as it needed to be. In fact, I'm not sure it can be done at home to professional standards, and when just a bit older, I bought a decent ham.

Nevertheless, here is one set of instructions for making your own ham (scroll down the page), and here's a link to a pdf for another set of instructions.

Here is an actual pattern you can buy for making several different kinds of pressing tools.


-- Edited on 8/25/10 8:18 PM --

Heidi Cooper
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Heidi Cooper  Friend of PR
California USA
Member since 8/24/02
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Date: 8/25/10 8:34 PM

I made a pressing ham many moons ago, before I bought one. I made it with wool on one side and cotton on the other and stuffed it with sawdust that I gathered at my local lumberyard. Even if they thought me nuts, they were more than happy to sweep me up some and stick it in a bag

I don't recall using a pattern or just making my own. The hard part is stuffing it firm enough (used a funnel to pour the sawdust in) and still being able to hand stitch the small opening up, without getting sawdust everywhere. If I do it again, I think I would use a wool and cotton that would shrink a lot. That way, after you stuff it as best you can, steam the snot out of it so it will shrink and compress even more.

I have been thinking about making another one that is more representative of my large bust, as the readily available ones (Dritz, etc.) are just too small for bust areas like princess seams.

Here are some patterns:McCalls
Butterick
OOP Butterick
Free Burda directions

And this is a really cool .pdf file that has directions for lots of different pressing tools, including the measurements/directions for a clapper and even a half scale pattern for a tailor's pressing board.
UofKentucky .pdf file

HTH
heidi

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“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” -Mahatma Gandhi
“ Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.” -Mahatma Gandhi

Now Blogging at http://sewexotic.blogspot.com/

Heidi Cooper
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Heidi Cooper  Friend of PR
California USA
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In reply to Elona


Date: 8/25/10 8:36 PM

Looks like we were posting at the same time, lol.

Great minds and all

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“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” -Mahatma Gandhi
“ Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.” -Mahatma Gandhi

Now Blogging at http://sewexotic.blogspot.com/



Member since 12/31/69
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Date: 8/26/10 2:34 AM

kwik sew 3571

I have just made my pressing ham and sleeve roll using this pattern. Since saw dust was unavailable to me, I visited the pet shop and purchased a bag of wood shavings that is used to line pet cages. (I made sure it was not pretreated with flea treatment, or something like that).

I stuffed the rolls outside in the garden as it got a bit messy and you do have to stuff pretty hard.

utz
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utz
Intermediate
Illinois USA
Member since 12/9/04
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Date: 8/26/10 10:17 AM

Reading these posts reminded me of a page I found really interesting on all the kinds of pressing tools in a professional's arsenal: many pressing tools

I've used a thick dowel (3/4") covered in muslin for long straight seams I want to open up. I have a press pointer. I use a seam roll a lot. I use a ham all the time - and for a simple ham, I think it might be just easier to just buy one. But if you want to make something, then go for it!

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'Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.' Oscar Wilde

sewtea
sewtea
Advanced Beginner
Texas USA
Member since 8/25/05
Posts: 135
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In reply to RockNRoll


Date: 8/26/10 10:29 AM

I have never made a ham, I fall into the group that says easier to buy and that is what I did. However................., was watching old sewing with nancy video yesterday and she made a long sleeve roll by using about half length of the decorator fabric tube, covered with batting and muslin, good for long seams like pant legs. Before I purchased my sleeve roll I used to use a tightly rolled towel for those areas.

PittyPat
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PittyPat
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New Mexico USA
Member since 2/25/04
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In reply to Heidi Cooper


Date: 8/26/10 11:22 AM

Quote: Heidi Cooper
I have been thinking about making another one that is more representative of my large bust, as the readily available ones (Dritz, etc.) are just too small for bust areas like princess seams.

Heidi, I have a large bust [38DD] too which is a challenge when it comes to pressing princesses seams open. I found that by using the ham holder and having the smaller upper end of the ham at the top, I can lay the princess seam over the sharper curve on the top end and it works fairly well. BTW, I have 2 hams - one a larger sawdust filled one I have had for years - and one a bit smaller with styrofoam inside. I much prefer the heavier larger one, but haven't seen them in the stores for awhile. Most have the smaller light weight ones.

I have rolled up magazines, covered with a terry towel and tied ends with ribbons to make a sleeve roll - before I bought one. It works fine.

Also have a half-circle hardwood dowel for pressing pant seams open. Love it! And my favorite - 'can't live without' - wooden point press and clapper combo. I use it for pressing collars and lapel seams open - right down to the very tip.

After working with my pressing tools, my dear friend and beginning seamstresses has now ''invested'' in a ham, a point press, and teflon pressing sheet. And they are 'investments' as you will use them for many, many years.
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