Thursday, 25 September 2014

A butcher's tale

Please welcome the newest additions to the Sewing Dutch family...

..a sausage and ham! Not of the meaty variety though, cos that ain't my bag ;)

I made these bad boys using the free Victory Patterns' pattern on Tilly's blog. For a long time now I had been using a rolled up towel whenever I wanted to press a sleeve seam or anything curved, but I've never got amazing results with it so have been meaning to make these for ages. I also hate throwing things away, so had been hoarding fabric and thread scraps which needed turning into something useful.

I'd read that it's best to use wool on one side and cotton on the other for tailor's hams/sausages, so that it what I did. These were both bits of fabric I had leftover from other projects. The cotton was a fairly thin lawn so I lined it with a layer of cheap polycotton (I think?!) that was 1 euro a metre at the local fabric market. This meant sewing quite a lot of darts - 24 in total! I think this would be a good project for a beginner who wants to practice sewing darts and curves. 

Matching darts!

I thought the sleeve roll looked a little short on the instructions so I lengthened the pattern piece by 4cm. It's now about 32cm in length.

I thought these would be fairly quick to whip up but actually they took a lot longer than I expected! I think this is mainly due to the stuffing, which seemed to take forever. As I mentioned I used fabric scraps rather than sawdust, which is the traditional filling. I cut up any big scraps into smaller pieces before stuffing to try and get more in and have a more even finish. I think the disadvantage of using fabric scraps rather than sawdust is that you are likely to have to add more stuffing after a while. But having seen the amount of mess the sawdust causes on Lauren's post I'm pretty glad I didn't go down that route!

Hmm, I wonder if this is where I sewed the seam closed?!

Lumpy sausage stuffing

It was a bit difficult to get a smooth finish on the sausage as I struggled to evenly distribute the fabric scraps and also get it tightly packed. The key is to constantly compact the filling as you go - even once you think it's full, there will still be more space!

I'm pretty pleased with these guys. I used the sausage for the first time yesterday to press a sleeve seam and hem and it was sooo much easier. Will definitely speed up some elements of pressing and get a better finish. I'm just wondering why it took me quite so long to get round to making them!

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