Friday, January 24, 2014

Stash Busting 2014-Pun Alert

What a Ham! Or I'm on a Roll.


After seeing the lovely large ham in the Marcy Tilton's sewing studio in the Craftsy course The Ultimate T-shirt, I have been obsessed with them. I kept visiting the maker of the hams website (Stitch Nerd), and admiring all the pretty things. I just couldn't justify spending the money on one. This is not to say that Stitch Nerd's products aren't worth the price. They absolutely are, just not to me. 

MADE TO ORDER - Custom Handmade Extra-Large Professional Size Tailor's Pressing Ham with the Fabric of your Choice

So what is an obsessed woman to do? Make one of course. I found a few websites about making your own pressing equipment, and I was off. The only thing that I didn't have on hand was sawdust. While grocery shopping I stopped by the pet aisle to get some new toys for my canine children, and lo and behold, there it was. A bag of sawdust. Perfect.

I really like the shape of the Stitch Nerd's hams, and my intention was to make one as similar in shape as I could (spoiler alert-didn't happen). So I started playing with shapes on paper, keeping in mind I wanted this sucker to be BIG. As Shams from Communing with Fabric said,  "I have never found myself thinking, gee, I wish my ham were smaller." Size does matter.

I used leftover fabric from lining my Minoru Jacket, it is a Alexander Henry fabric, Home Sewing is Easy, available online here. I think it is THE perfect fabric for a pressing ham, don't you? On the reverse side I used gray 100% wool fabric, which fortunately matched well with the cotton fabric. I say fortunately, because it is the only fabric I have that I am certain is 100% wool.  I used two layers of fabric for each side, the interior layer is white cotton canvas, I'm not sure a double thickness is necessary, but I want the ham to last a long time.
Looks more like the shape of a really large Easter egg, doesn't it?
It takes quite a while to stuff the ham, and especially to compress the sawdust. I used a wooden spoon and a broken rolling pin (which also works well as a pressing tool btw). This can be hard on the hands, so I didn't do it all at once, I worked on it over a week. When you have it sufficiently stuffed, you have to sew it up by hand. Mine is so badly sewn that I will not be showing it to you 8-D.

I was so pleased with the ham, that I decided to make a seam roll as well. The seam roll was considerably easier to stuff and compress than the ham was, and therefore quite a bit quicker.

A couple of hints if you decide to make one for yourself.

If you don't have a canning funnel, buy one.
Leave the hole for stuffing big enough for the canning funnel to fit.
Have a couple of buckets on hand, one to hold the sawdust and one to hold the ham while you are stuffing it with sawdust.
Get used to the fact that you WILL get sawdust on your floor. It just can't be helped.
 

Here are the finished items. I put the coffee cup there for size comparison.




The seam roll is 4 inches wide and 22 inches long, which I think may be too long, if it is, I will undo the stitching and make it smaller. The ham is 12 inches high, 8 inches wide and 24 inches around.

I am really pleased with both of these, I think they turned out really well, and I smile every time I use them.
What do you think? Will you ever make your own ham or seam roll?

Here  are links to the websites I referred to when making these.

http://mymeasuringtape.blogspot.ca/2008/08/make-your-own-ham-yums.html

http://www2.ca.uky.edu/hes/fcs/FACTSHTS/CT-MMB-214.pdf


20 comments:

  1. Awesome! I'm instantly jealous! And, how could a seam roll be too long? I'm constantly bemoaning how short the store bought ones are!

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    1. That was my thinking. So far it has proved very useful.

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  2. How cute! Now I'm ashamed of myself for buying my ham. But I also have some of the fabric (we just couldn't resist, could we?) You made good use of yours, but I have no idea what to do with mine.

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    1. I want more of it, but I can`t figure out what I would use it for. Again. Seeing as I am trying to bust the stash this year, I am not allowing myself to buy more. Aren't I good?

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  3. I.WANT.

    And, thanks to you, I have this fabric. ;)

    I have been meaning (for years) to buy a larger custom ham from Stitch Nerd.

    I wonder if you can also use ground English walnut shells as the filling. I have a ton of that leftover from the pincushion Christmas project.

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    1. Thank you!

      I would think no to using walnut shell, because of the dyeing possibilities. Don't they use them for dyeing? Fortunately sawdust is as cheap as dirt. It was less than $6 for enough to do both of these, with a little left. I expect to see one soon on your blog! 8-D

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  4. Very nice. I too have been drooling over the one at Stitch Nerd but it is the shipping that kills it for me. They are not light. Great idea to make it yourself and your ones have turned out gorgeous.

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    1. You are right, they are not light. You should make your own.

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  5. Love these! And I can't see how a seam roll could ever be too long--less moving required for pant legs this way! :-) That fabric cracks me up, I'd buy some in a hot minute if I had any clue what to do with it once I had it--besides pet it, of course! ;-) I should probably wait until I start sewing again before I buy any more fabric anyway, my stash is sufficient and the less stuff I have to pack/move/unpack in a couple of months, the better!

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    1. You are right, of course, you shouldn't buy any. Fabric also weighs a ton, so moving it isn't fun,

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  6. Awesome. I have a store bought ham & roll, but having a longer one would be amazing. Definitely will have to think about making my own in the future.

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    1. I am finding the longer one very useful already. I am incredibly anal about ironing and the seam roll is perfect for pressing pants legs. Love it.

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  7. Adorable, these are so cute! They look perfectly shaped too. I just recently bought a ham and sleeve roll but when they begin to, uh, marinate in filth, I 'm going to sew my own.

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    1. I find it amazing how quickly that happens, I am being much more careful with these ones than I ever was with my purchased ones.

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  8. FanTAStic job!!! I wanted to make my own, but I bought one of Stitch Nerd's (before she had the giant ones) because I couldn't find hardwood sawdust - now you've got me thinking about it again!

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    1. A quick stop at Petsmart and you are all set! One of the nice things about using them is the lovely smell when you use steam.

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  9. I would never make time to make my own and even posted about this a while back but having a seam roll 22 inches long is tempting...I'd like one about 28 inches long for pressing the inseams in pants all in one go. Love your fabric choices and pretty outcome!

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    1. If I ever go for a vacay down your way, I will make you and deliver a 28 inch long seam roll. Promise.

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  10. Oh, I'm inspired! And the print on the cotton fabric is so appropriate, on so many levels! Love it!

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