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Brand New Pressing Station

February 14, 2014

This winter may very well go down in history as my “Winter of the Gray Colette Coat” because, in addition to the nearly finished Albion coat for my husband, I’m also hoping to make the Lady Grey coat that I cut out of another charcoal gray wool for myself some years ago. In order to set myself up for success, I decided to add some new tailoring tools to my arsenal.
Pressing stationMy first task was to freshen up my ironing board cover, which, in addition to being thoroughly water stained, was also very thin from 5+ years of use. It was just a cheapy ironing board from Target to begin with, but it had gotten to the point where metal grate patterns were pressed into my clothes because the padding on the board had compressed. I used Tasia’s great tutorial to recover my ironing board so that I wasn’t limited by the covers I found in stores, and I cut a few layers of cotton batting to fit for additional padding. Ever since this fix, I haven’t had any trouble with pressing that grate pattern into my fabrics.

I also knew that I wanted a tailor’s ham and sleeve roll, especially for my upcoming fully-tailored coat, but the ones I saw in the store were hideous and overpriced. I found the DIY tutorial over on Tilly and the Buttons and  asked Sweetie if he could hook me up with some sawdust for stuffing. After he stopped laughing–his studio on campus is right next to the wood shop–he agreed to stuff them up for me. As far as I’m concerned, these two were completely free! The cotton fabric is leftover from the ironing board cover, and the wool is leftover from my coat. 

A few notes if you’re looking to DIY your own pressing station:

  • Think carefully about the fabric you choose for an ironing board cover. I thought that a heavier weight would be best because it would wear better, but the little bit of texture in this fabric is kind of grabby. It holds on to garments as I turn them, and it picks up lint from the wool I’m using right now. 
  • I added some length to my sleeve roll. I don’t like repositioning a seam while pressing it, and having this extra length means I only have to move a seam maybe once.
  • Some extra tools to have on hand for the tailor’s ham and sleeve roll: a curved needle and a vacuum. I happened to have a curved needle around from a needle set I bought a while ago, and it was really helpful for sewing up the last opening after these were stuffed. And you’ll need a vacuum available to take care of the sawdust that gets everywhere

It might have been fun to use some crazy patterned fabrics for these projects, but I think that they have a classic look to them and should last me a long time. 


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