Tailor’s Pressing Cushion or Tailor’s Ham


The pressing ham, known by different names including tailor’s ham and dressmaker’s ham due to its shape, is an elongated object featuring a narrower “nose” compared to the wider “seat.”

This unique design allows us to press items without flattening them. Such tool is perfect in garment pressing for curved areas like darts, sleeves, cuffs, collars, and waistlines. For instance, when inserting darts into a garment, it helps create shaping that mimics the needed contours. Resembling the shape of a ham, it can be adapted for various garment sizes and tapering.

Skill level Confident beginner Finished measurements 6” x 5 ½” x 1”

In my tool arsenal I have several such cushions (hams). My favourite and most useful shape is egg in 6” x 5 ½” x 1” size. And today I’m going to share with you the process of its creation!

So let’s get started!

The overall process is sewing and stuffing basics using stitching by hand or sewing machine if you prefer. The basic process is to cut the fabric according to the material list, trace the pattern, stitch  and stuff to create the perfect pressing tool!

Materials and Tools


  • 8” x 6“ 1 piece of cotton;
  • 8” x 6“  1  piece of terry cloth (or canvas/ flannel/ linen)


  • piecing thread (40 wt)


  • Non-stick universal needle  
  • Pinking shears (optional)
  • Wooden chips/ wood dust (or fabric scraps)
  • Pencil and chopstick
  • Scissors 
Tip 1: For easier stuffing and better shaping use mist spray to work with wooden chips/ wood dust.
Tip 2: Use only cotton fabric scraps. Avoid synthetic materials such as polyester and acrylic materials: they’ve got plastics in them and that’s going to melt over time and smell synthetic/burn.
Tip 3: Try different fabrics for sides. One is usually 100% cotton for higher heat and more rigid things. The other side could be: a wool/flannel fabric for delicate fabrics which required lower heat (silk for example); a linen fabric could take the highest of heats for best rigid garments; a terry cloth is perfect for velvet fabric and projects with embroidery and decorative elements.
Step 1. Print and cut the template. Trace the template to the wrong side of the fabric.
Step 2. Put the fabric pieces right sides together. Pin.
Step 3. Set up the length of the stitch 2.5 and adjust stitch speed to your comfort speed. Stitch around the shape leaving the opening. Cut with ¼” seam allowance.
Step 4. Turn the right sides out with a stick.
Step 5. Fold a piece of paper and pin as shown for easy stuffing.
Step 6. Start stuffing with a spoon.
Step 7. Use the mist spray to briefly wet the wooden chips and stuff as tight as possible.
Step 8. Blind-stitch the opening.
Step 9. Press with the steam to form the shape.
Try different shapes, sizes and fabric mix to create your perfect pressing tool!!!

As a bonus you can FREE download tutorial in step-by-step pictures in PDF format here (click): Tailor’s Pressing Cushion or Tailor’s Ham

Click the link: Store Locator for your local shops for this adorable Sew In Love fabric collection by Nicole DeCamp.

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Stay Quilty!!!

Always yours,


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