Flashback: Make a Tailor’s Ham: A Project Excerpt from Mend It Better by Kristin Roach

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Flashback: Make a Tailor’s Ham: A Project Excerpt from Mend It Better by Kristin Roach

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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, and 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, and closures, and then finishes 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, and it’s also a fun place to find easy project inspiration.

One of the things I really love about this book is that Kristin provides instructions for making some actual tools that are essential for mending and sewing. I like the idea of not just making some kind of finished project, but actually constructing tools that you can use for all of your future projects. One of these tools is the highly useful tailor’s ham, an essential tool that will help make your pressing crisper, easier, and more professional looking. We’re so excited to share this a must-have helper with you, so read ahead to see the full project, then download the PDF instructions and pattern for making your own tailor’s ham from Mend it Better here.


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)

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.

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.

Happy stitching!

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Haley Pierson-Cox from Red-Handled Scissors is a maker of crafts, a lover of cats, an avid swearing enthusiast, a cross-stitch book author, and a general purveyor of quirk. She's also sometimes an irritable cartoon named Tiny Cranky Haley. https://www.redhandledscissors.com

View more articles by Haley Pierson-Cox


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