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Kristin Roach, founder and author of Craft Leftovers, has been a long-time contributor to CRAFT (both in print and online) so we are incredibly excited to be able to share a cool project from her new book, Mend It Better. As the title implies, Mend it Better is a book full of tips, history and projects related to repairing textiles. Kristin does a fantastic job of sharing her own personal stories of mending and crafting, alongside practical skills for extending the life of clothing, accessories and home goods. Chapters include background and basic information on things like patching, hemming, closures and then finish up with several creative projects using those techniques. Mend it Better is a great go-to resource that you’ll want to have within hand’s reach at all times, as well as a fun place to find easy project inspiration.
One of the things I really loved about this book was that Kristin provides instructions for making some actual tools that are instrumental in mending and sewing. I like the idea of not just making some kind of finished project, but actually constructing tools you can use for all your future projects. One of these tools is the highly useful tailor’s ham, an essential tool for handy and crisp pressing. We’re excited to be able to share Kristin’s project for sewing your own tailor’s ham that will make your pressing easier and more professional looking. Read ahead for the whole project, download the PDF of instructions and pattern and read on to see how you could win your own copy of Mend it Better by Kristin Roach.
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Make Your Own Tailor’s Ham
by Kristin Roach

Excerpted from Mend It Better © by Kristin Roach, Photo by Greg Nesbit Photography, Illustration by © Kristin Nicholas, used with permission from Storey Publishing.

This great pressing tool is so easy to make and it’s so helpful. It will take a few tries to get the hang of how to use it, but over time it will really improve your pressing results.
What You’ll Need
Template for ham (download instructions & pattern PDF)
Muslin, velvet, and upholstery fabric scraps slightly larger than the template
Batting, enough for 2 pieces the size of the template
Shredded paper to use as filling
Mending supply kit (see page 24 of Mend it Better)
Sewing machine (optional)


What You’ll Do
Step 1. Use the template to cut one piece of muslin, one piece of upholstery fabric, and two pieces of batting.
Step 2. Layer the fabrics and batting in the following order: batting, upholstery or velvet and muslin fabric, right sides together, batting
Step 3. Stitch around the edge of the layered fabrics, using a ½” seam allowance and leaving a 3″ gap. Turn the layers right side out through the opening.
Step 4. Stuff the ham as tightly as you can with the shredded paper. Use a ladder stitch to close the gap. Fasten off and trim the threads.

Download PDF Download the Instructions and Template for making a tailor’s ham, by Kristin Roach (excerpted from Mend it Better)
Right click to save the PDF to your desktop. Directions on downloading PDFs.

Giveaway Time! One lucky CRAFT Reader will win a copy of Mend it Better by Kristin Roach. Just leave a comment letting us know what mending skill you’re most looking forward to learning from Kristin’s book (hemming, patching, darning, working with closures like zippers, etc.) Please be sure to leave your email address so we can get in touch with you if you win. Comments will close at 4PM PST on Sunday, March 25th. Contest is only open to US Residents.


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