Creative articles about sewing

Sewing Tools Part 2: Pressing

This is a multi-post series, if you missed the first part you can find it here: Sewing Tools Part 1: Measuring

This post takes a peek at some handy pressing tools and accessories, which you can absolutely live without, but are oh-so nice to have.

Hot Iron Ruler 

This handy pressing tool assists you when hemming your garments. My particular version is metric. The plastic is engineered to withstand the heat and not melt.

You simply fold over your hem to the desired depth, line up the edge of the fabric with the guidelines and iron straight over the top– an easy way to get quick and precise results.

It must be said, I could live without this ruler. When hemming, you can totally get away with using a sewing gauge (mentioned in my previous post) to measure along several evenly spaced out points and then just eyeball the rest. I have used that method successfully for years before purchasing this specially dedicated ruler.

For that reason this gadget falls more heavily into the non-essential category for me personally, but it is nonetheless pretty nifty. The curved edge in particular wins it extra brownie points.

Tailor’s Ham

I’ll admit, I didn’t realise just quite how big this beast would be when ordering it online.

Nevertheless, I must say I love this pressing tool. It makes ironing curves like collars, necklines and shoulders a breeze, giving highly professional results.

It was the aesthetic appeal of the neutral fabric paired with wood that sold this particular version to me.

But it is super heavy which does mean sometimes I feel lazy to pull it out and end up just making do on the flat ironing board instead.

I’d say this is a good investment if you have the space in your sewing studio to have it permanently set up right next to where you normally do your ironing.

Alternatively you could use a smaller, more portable, non-mounted tailor’s ham. I personally wasn’t a fan of the ubiquitous tartan versions available and didn’t much feel inspired to make my own either.

However, there are plenty of blog posts out there if you are in the mood for a quick scrap busting project or are looking for a cost effective solution. 

Sleeve Ironing Board

This little guy is really nifty and I love how lightweight it is— so easy to pull out and mount on top of the regular ironing board.

It makes ironing sleeves and pant legs a cinch, as well as being handy for kid-sized garments too.

Yes you can make do without one but for me it’s a game changer: it does the job perfectly, speeds up the process and the results are more professional.

Press Cloth

A press cloth acts as a barrier to scorching and helps avoid accidentally making shiny marks on your fabric.

Although I didn’t invest in an official press cloth, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this essential pressing accessory here.

Happily, a regular scrap of fabric will do the trick, meaning you probably already have something suitable lying around and therefore don’t have to fork out any extra cash.

I just use a plain weave, unbleached cotton muslin for pretty much all purposes, although you could use a range of fabrics. It is advisable to match the appropriate fabric to your specific project.

The example photo above is made from silk organza. This means it has an open weave, is lightweight, transparent and effectively withstands heat.

If you want to know more about heat distribution, cloth density and melting points then Threads Magazine has a really comprehensive article here: 

Stay tuned for more posts I have lined up which will cover more nice-to-have gadgets for sewing and pattern drafting!

Thanks for reading. Happy sewing, Leanne xx

Stay up to date with all my latest makes over on my website:

Come follow me over on Instagram: @leanne_lekai

Related content you may be interested in

Comments of this post

2 Responses

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Required fields are marked *

  • Vivian Farrar EditEditing comments on the BERNINA blog is only possible after logging in with a blog user account. Sign up now or create a user account if you do not have one yet.

    Hi! I’d love to know where you sourced the tailors ham. I’d much prefer this to the standard ones available everywhere! thank you

Dear BERNINA Blog readers,

if you want to publish pictures via the comment function, please log in to the blog first. Click here to sign in.

You haven't registered for the BERNINA blog yet? Click here to create your free account.

Thank you very much

Your BERNINA Blog Team