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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.


Related

Comments

  1. Joshua Rease says:

    This book looks great! I just had to darn for the first time, and it was an exciting process. I look forward to the various techniques the author has illustrated!

  2. Elizabeth Rehmer says:

    I am lookin forward to hemming and to working with closures like zippers. They intimidate me sooooooo much!!

  3. Kathy says:

    I would love to learn how to darn. All of my socks have holes in them! What’s wrong with my feet?

  4. Kathy says:

    I would love to learn how to darn. All of my socks have holes in them! What’s wrong with my feet?

  5. Erin says:

    I would like to learn to darn and to fix broken zippers.

  6. Aurélie says:

    I would love to know how to mend zippers … And I’m sure my mending skills could need some improving :-) Thanks for the give away!

  7. sue at nobaddays says:

    Patching and darning — I remember my grandmother and mom mending all kinds of things. A skill I never picked up but now need with two small boys. My oldest can work through a pair of jeans in a couple weeks … skidding on his knees!

  8. Carissa says:

    Patches! They never turn out right for me.

  9. Carissa says:

    Patches! They never turn out right for me.

  10. yahaira says:

    I can darn with a machine, but for the life of me can’t do it by hand (hello holey socks!) so would love to learn that. and maybe some creative patching!
    I was just thinking today I would love to learn how to make my own tailor’s ham, perfect timing!

  11. yahaira says:

    I can darn with a machine, but for the life of me can’t do it by hand (hello holey socks!) so would love to learn that. and maybe some creative patching!
    I was just thinking today I would love to learn how to make my own tailor’s ham, perfect timing!

  12. Shannon says:

    I would love help with darning socks, mending sweaters and fixing buttons! So much!!

  13. Beth says:

    Patching, for sure. My daughter can make a game of Scrabble worthy of a dramatic knee-slide!

  14. hilary says:

    I’d like to learn darning so I can repair all my argyle socks!

  15. Eleanor (undeadgoat) says:

    I’m most excited about darning–I do sew, so I have *some* knowledge of hems and seams and (some kinds of) zippers, but darning and patching just never works out well for me.

  16. gia says:

    i definitely need to learn to hem!! i cut off the bottoms of some pants on a whim… but i don’t know how to hem them!

  17. gia says:

    i definitely need to learn to hem!! i cut off the bottoms of some pants on a whim… but i don’t know how to hem them!

  18. gia says:

    (oops! sorry i didn’t know the first comment posted so i accidentally posted again!)

  19. Cheryl says:

    I really would like to learn how to patch and work with zippers….both are a little scary for me!

  20. Cheryl says:

    I really would like to learn how to patch and work with zippers….both are a little scary for me!

  21. Erica says:

    Patching! I have a ten year old son which equals a definite need to patch things and but the patches have to look cool too :)

  22. Cindy G. says:

    I’d like to learn how to properly darn things or patch up (or otherwise conceal) tiny holes in clothing.

  23. Lora W. says:

    I need the instructional on patches. My son just joined cub scouts!

  24. Deedee says:

    Working with closures like zippers. For my last felted bag, I just gave up and paid someone to do it!

  25. robin says:

    If it taught me how to replace a zipper, that would be awesome! I’d love to win the book – thanks for the chance!

  26. Rachel says:

    I need to learn how to darn my socks–my big toes are always poking through. And I’m looking forward to making this ham, even if I don’t win the book!

  27. MelodyJ says:

    I would like to learn creative patching.
    melodyj(at)gmail(dot)com

  28. Tanya Herriot says:

    With 2 very active boys I need better ideas for darning knees. Thank you very much to the author for including the pattern and tutorial for the tailor’s ham which is something I need but haven’t purchased/made yet.

  29. Taryn says:

    I desperately need to learn how to hem.

  30. Dora says:

    Patching! I have boys who constantly tear their clothes!

  31. Carole M says:

    I don’t know if it is covered, but aside from things like hemming, and patching, I would like to learn how to repair a quilt.

  32. Wendy says:

    —-> reinforcing clothing, making it stronger
    I don’t particularly like shopping for clothes, I tend to wear clothes for a very long time and wear them really thin. Quite a few items of clothing have some stories attached to them; a shirt I got from my mum, which my dad liked before he passed away, a crazy pullover with golden stars I found in a thrift store which makes people smile, a pair of pants my mum made for me quite some time ago now, a jacket my grandmother made which now fits my 37-year old body…
    Worn clothes actually also feel softer to the touch.
    So I would like to learn techniques that prolong the life of an item of clothing, making it stronger, keeping it running, keeping the story alive…

  33. Wendy says:

    —-> reinforcing clothing, making it stronger
    I don’t particularly like shopping for clothes, I tend to wear clothes for a very long time and wear them really thin. Quite a few items of clothing have some stories attached to them; a shirt I got from my mum, which my dad liked before he passed away, a crazy pullover with golden stars I found in a thrift store which makes people smile, a pair of pants my mum made for me quite some time ago now, a jacket my grandmother made which now fits my 37-year old body…
    Worn clothes actually also feel softer to the touch.
    So I would like to learn techniques that prolong the life of an item of clothing, making it stronger, keeping it running, keeping the story alive…

  34. jennifer fox says:

    Darning, for certain, as well as creative mending solutions that can be done without a sewing machine! My “to rescue” pile is threatening to take over our bedroom, and as a new and thrifty mama, I suspect it’s only going to get bigger!
    Would *love* to win a copy of this book!!!

  35. jennifer fox says:

    Darning, for certain, as well as creative mending solutions that can be done without a sewing machine! My “to rescue” pile is threatening to take over our bedroom, and as a new and thrifty mama, I suspect it’s only going to get bigger!
    Would *love* to win a copy of this book!!!

  36. jennifer fox says:

    Darning, for certain, as well as creative mending solutions that can be done without a sewing machine! My “to rescue” pile is threatening to take over our bedroom, and as a new and thrifty mama, I suspect it’s only going to get bigger!
    Would *love* to win a copy of this book!!!

  37. jennifer fox says:

    Darning, for certain, as well as creative mending solutions that can be done without a sewing machine! My “to rescue” pile is threatening to take over our bedroom, and as a new and thrifty mama, I suspect it’s only going to get bigger!
    Would love to win a copy of this book!!!

  38. Megan says:

    I would love to be able to patch with style.

  39. Shannon H like Happy says:

    I would love to learn about zippers.

  40. DebbieKL says:

    It all sounds very interesting, but I’m most curious to read the chapter on “Around the Waist”

  41. Janice Bear says:

    Hmmmm, working with closures is a definitely a skill I need to improve. Thanks for the opportunity!

  42. Jenny Bolech says:

    I would love to win this!! My husband has been getting on me to learn how to fix all of his clothes (I could do a semi-decent job now, but I really just wing it… I think he’d prefer I actually know what I’m doing!)

  43. ToniVanb says:

    I have so many things in my wardrobe right now that could use some help. Patching and altering are two skills I would love to learn more about. Hope I win! :)

  44. ToniVanb says:

    I have so many things in my wardrobe right now that could use some help. Patching and altering are two skills I would love to learn more about. Hope I win! :)

  45. Sheila says:

    I have so many clothes to mend! I just noticed tiny holes in three sweaters that I need to mend/darn (?). Got some cedar sachets and spray for the closet in case its a moth invasion!

  46. Lacey says:

    I really need help with patching! Mine always look so bad!

  47. Joy Burkhart says:

    I need to learn how to hand darn! I’ve inherited some darning eggs from the late 1800s and would love to know how to use those beautiful little treasures.
    xoxo
    Joy

  48. Sandy says:

    I would like good instructions on how to darn correctly.

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