Making a New Cover for a Tailor’s Sleeve Press Tutorial

While cleaning up the sewing room today, I got side tracked by two projects. Both related to the cleaning up. In putting away spools of thread and bobbins, I realized that I could make another shelf for the bookcase where most of my thread is stored. After getting that done, and the shelf contents tidied up, I decided to tackle the top of the bookcase where ironing tools are stored.

tailor's sleeve board 1

I’m sure you see the connection to the tailor’s sleeve press, which resides on top of the bookcase. How I got sidetracked was seeing the pitiful condition of the cover on the old pressing tool. Every time I see it, I think that one day I should make a new cover for it, then forget. But when I do use it, I wish I had already made a new cover.

tailor's sleeve board 2

I rarely sew clothing, but it is a wonderful tool for pressing seams on things like a bag.

So, my cleaning was temporarily suspended for the lure of a new project. Now the tailor’s sleeve press has a new cover and you have a new tutorial.

Tucked away in a box of specialty fabrics under my work table is a large piece of ironing board fabric. This is a 100%-cotton fabric with an aluminized coating. I have used this for making ironing pads as well as quilting it for oven mitts. You can buy already quilted ironing board fabric, but for an ironing surface, I prefer a smooth surface with no quilting.

I took off the cover on one side, placed the uncovered wood on top of the fabric, which was placed wrong side up on my sewing table. The shape of the form was traced onto the fabric. Next, 1″ was added all around. Then this was cut out.

tailor's sleeve board 3

Note: If I had to do the project over again, I would have added about a 1/4″ more all around so that the fabric neatly covered the sides rather than just barely covered the sides.

Fold the fabric in half down the length and finger press a crease on the wide end. This is where the stitching starts and stops so the tie will be at the back.

tailor's sleeve board 4

Thread a cord or heavy crochet thread through a cording foot on your sewing machine. Then, using, zigzag stitch all the way around the piece of fabric, starting and stopping at the crease with a little bit of gap (about 1/4″) between start and stop. The zigzag stitch will create a casing for the cord. Leave several inches of cord at each end for tying off.

tailor's sleeve board 5

In the next picture, you can see that one side has been recovered. The original padding, which I kept, can be seen on the other side. Next to the press is the second cover ready to be slipped on and cinched into place by pulling on each cord end to gather up the excess in the curves and tying off the ends.

tailor's sleeve board 6

So that the sides of the cover does not slip back and forth and to create more tension on the fabric and thus a flatter work surface, the fabric is laced into place on the back side of the board.

tailor's sleeve board 7

The next time I use my tailor’s sleeve press, I will be glad it has been recovered. It was a short project, taking about an hour, so there is still plenty of time to finish cleaning up the sewing room. That is if there isn’t another project which draws me away from restoring order to the sewing room.

tailor's sleeve board 8



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