With the case of the suspect fabric solved I stopped pretending to be a detective/crime writer and pretended to be a pet owner to purchase some sawdust. My local independent pet store was happy to oblige for £1.80 (enough to make 6 or 7 tailor’s hams!). I used the free pattern and tutorial available from Chance of Rain.
The pattern and tutorial are really simple to follow. Requiring 3 oval pieces of cotton that become the inner and won’t be seen, 1 oval of cotton and 1 oval of wool both of which will be seen on the outside. The downloadable pattern also has bonus kidney and large tailor’s ham outlines.
After basting the pieces together, the outer cotton and wool are placed right sides together, sewn around leaving a gap and curves clipped.
After turning right sides out, the ham is ready to be filled with sawdust. This part was quite tricky and a little messy! I made sure to pack down as I went, pushing the sawdust into the seams and curves. Then I hand stitched the gap with strong thread.
A quick vacuum (to get the sawdust bits off the outside) and it was ready for use. And… rather excitingly it matches ‘the office’ which my husband has renamed ‘the sewing room’.