I made a ham.
Not the kind that you eat, but it does look like one (hence the name). A tailor’s ham is used for pressing curved seams, like darts. It’s one of those things you don’t know you need until you’ve used one. If you’re an occasional sewer, a rolled-up towel or washcloth will do, and that’s what I’ve been using for the last few months. But a ham is so very easy to make, there’s really no reason not to.
I used instructions from the ever-fantastic Make magazine, though I couldn’t get the pattern to print properly and ended up crafting my own. (Hint: it’s basically a big egg). I was able to make my ham completely out of supplies I already had: a piece of heavy weight printed cotton, a scrap of white velour, polyester batting, and a pair of old wool socks.
Both they polyester batting and wool socks got cut into little pieces to be used for stuffing the ham.
And that, my friends, is why I save things like old wool socks. I don’t hoard every piece of clothing that is no longer wearable, but I’m careful to save things made out of high-quality materials like wool. Denim is another one: it’s such a durable fabric, even if a few parts wear out, the rest can be used for something else. If you don’t have the tools, skill, or time to reuse things, you can donate them to a creative reuse center like The Scrap Exchange or find a textile recycling program (NYC’s is the absolute best).