Tailor's Ham

How to Make a Tailor’s Ham

You might find it handy to use a tailor’s ham when pressing. If you’re wondering what a tailor’s ham is, this is a great definition from Wikipedia:

A tailor’s ham or dressmaker’s ham is a tightly stuffed pillow used as a curved mold when pressing curved areas of clothing, such as darts, sleeves, cuffs, collars, or waistlines. Pressing on a curved form allows a garment better to fit body contours. To accommodate tapering or garments of different sizes, it has roughly the shape of a ham.

A tailor’s ham will run you $9 – $20 to purchase one new. Although that’s not a ton of money, there’s no reason you can’t make your own from scraps of fabric you have laying around. I created a full-length video showing the entire process. There is also an edited version, if you don’t need all the details to make your own.

You can get a summary of this Tailor’s Ham project in the Fearless Makers store.

If you want to see how to use a ham, check out the Pressing Accessories video located on the Beginner’s Sewing Equipment page.

How to Make a Tailor’s Ham – Overview

How to Make a Tailor’s Ham – Extended Version

6 thoughts on “How to Make a Tailor’s Ham”

  1. Great Video! You rock! Camera man was good too, so shy! Your techniques were excellent and video was so informative. I will definitely try your method. Keep up the good work. I’ll look for more videos on your website. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  2. Would it be good to use a pair of jeans on the wrong side as an outside fabric? I am thinking of the thickness as far as a heavy cotton.

    1. That’s an excellent idea. Jeans are quite thick and durable. Make sure you are using 100% cotton denim. Don’t use any jean material that has spandex or any other synthetic. It could melt on you. Thank you for the great suggestion.

  3. Great tutorial I was only looking to see how to make a diy ham as I’m just starting out , but the way you did it was so informative with things for other sewing projects.
    Thankyou so much

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