The Seam Roll and Other Pressing Tools

A seam roll is another handy pressing tool that I use all the time. Besides the sleeve board and a dressmakers ham, it's a mainstay of my pressing tools.

It is just the right size and shape to substitute for a dressmakers ham when pressing darts and small curved surfaces. You just use the rounded end in the same way you would a ham.

And of course, you can use it for pressing open seams! The curved surface keeps the edges from being outlined against the fashion fabric when you press open seams.

A seam stick is a smaller, wooden version that serves the same purpose, but for a smaller area, like a doll's sleeve.

Seam Roll and other pressing toolsA selection of pressing tools. Clock-wise from the bottom: seam roll, tailors board, tailors clapper, tailors brush.

You lay the roll under a seam before pressing it open. It will make a nice and neat pressed seam. Alternatively, you can use a seam stick. My husband made me several very small seam sticks from dowels he cut in half. They are excellent for getting into tiny places such as doll sleeves.

The tailor board provides a lot of oddly shaped surfaces for pressing various shaped seams. You can more about it here.

How to Hold the ClapperHow to Hold the Tailor's Clapper

The tailor's clapper is used in tailoring to help press wool seams flat. First you press the seam with a good steam iron and lots of steam. Then, before the seam is cooled, you press the clapper against the seam, to hold it in place while it cools.

Caution! Never move a pressed seam until the fabric has cooled completely! Otherwise, you will undo all your pressing.

The tailor's brush is to restore the nap on wool fabric after pressing. It's another tool used mostly in tailoring, although it will work perfectly well to restore the nap for velvet, velveteen and corduroy.

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