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How-to

Video: Make Your Own Tailor’s Pressing Tool

May 23, 2014

Evamarie Gomez and Judith Neukam; Shot by: Gary Junken

To get the perfect seam finish on wool fabrics a steam iron isn’t always enough. Luckily, there’s a better way.

Stanley Hostek, master tailor from Seattle, Washington, shares his technique for making this pressing tool. It’s called a dauber. A dauber is a strip of soft or medium woolen cloth, about 3-1/2 inches wide and long enough to roll tightly into a cylinder about 1 inch thick. The long edges are unfinished. After rolling it up, whipstitch the dauber closed with a strong thread. One dauber should last a lifetime, and it will get better with use.

Simply dip it into water and wipe it along the area needing to be pressed to help concentrate the steam right where you want it. Then, cover the garment or fabric with a press cloth and steam it.


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  1. catstexas August 16th

    Thank you, Judith. Love your tips and presentations. You're one reason I'm an INSIDER!

  2. simplypat June 3rd

    I have been sewing for over 60 years and this is the first time I have heard this tip! Thanks you.

    Love the video.

  3. user-574200 June 3rd

    Thank you so much. How nice to see helper tools we can make ourselves.

    There is a difference between dauber and "spritzing the seam."

    Thank you Judith Neukam always a pleasure to see you and your presentations.

  4. User avater Sewmarj May 29th

    I love watching Judith Neukam explain things. This is the best quick tip so far. Well done!

  5. The music, the title segment, and judicious use of a studio staple with star power - all add up to why Evmez is the Selwyn of our time.

  6. dreamie May 27th

    I made my own tailors ham over 30 years ago and still have it. It doesn't get used too often but is irreplaceable when it is needed. It was a lot of work, not hard, but many steps, including cutting strips of wool, soaking them then hanging to dry. I enjoyed it, but I can't see the difference between using the dauber or just spritzing the seam or whatever, then using a press cloth over it to finish. Can anyone tell me the advantage?

  7. calsew May 27th

    My husband made me a clapper for pressing seams.
    I have a handel on my clapper....would not be without it at my iron board

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