Thursday, March 1, 2018

Dressmaker's Ham - My Estate Sale Find

Last weekend I went to an estate sales in my neighborhood and found the most adorable little ironing board.  I know if must have been used by a dressmaker and needed to press cuffs and collars in her finishing process.  I was so excited since it truly looks homemade and very old. It will be great in my sewing room!

The sticker price on it was $8.00  and I got it half price on the last day of the sale.  Not a bad price for $4.00, all in the eyes of the beholder.

In 1858 the first real ironing board was patented which was an iron table.  Later they also included a removable press board used for sleeves and cuffs.  After further looking these miniature ironing boards were called "Tailor's Hams".  A dressmakers ham was a tightly stuffed pillow in the shape of a ham used as a mold  when pressing curves such as sleeves or collars. 

Here are a few pics of what I discovered.

 Notice that the one I purchased has four little legs attached to the base.  In my searching I didn't find one like mine, so can only assume it may be homemade.  The wood looks pretty worn, so who knows how old it is. 

Someone must have recovered it at some point and time.  I thought about taking the cover off but then to use it would have to pad it again.  Think I'll just leave it alone.

I also have an old ironing board like the one below that was given to me by my husband's mother.  It was her first ironing board I believe when she started housekeeping.  I know some of you have seen this one.

Fun to find something amusing in estate sales isn't it?  Happy hunting!