Have you tried the clapper? Here’s how to get flat, crisp seams!

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This is not just a blunt instrument I keep in my sewing room, although I could put up a good defense with this.  This is a tailor’s clapper.

I was bouncing around in the internet world and saw a question posed recently regarding this handy pressing tool.  After asking around, I discovered that it is also not well known in the sewing world.  I decided it was time to give a shout out to one of my favorite tools.

These have been around in the sewing world forever.  It’s a heavy chunk of wood, unfinished, sanded smooth with grooves for your fingers so it is easier to pick up.  It is used to flatten seams.  If you try a clapper, you will wonder how you have gone all these years without one!

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This is a seam on a quilt I am making.  I have already pressed this seam open with my super duper Oliso iron, but it is not as flat as I would like it to be.  Clapper to the rescue!DSCN0662

The first step is to press the seam with a hot iron and steam.  Steam is the key here, it is what makes the clapper most effective.

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As soon as you lift the iron, while the fabric is still hot and steamy, put the clapper right on top of that seam.  Leave it there until the fabric cools

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When you lift the clapper, like magic, your seam will be flat and crisp.  That’s all there is to it.  Really!  Now look at the before and after photos together:

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Awesome, isn’t it?  Simple and effective.  Now look at the difference on the sashing of the quilt block:

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You can buy a tailor’s clapper online from Nancy’s Notions and other retailers.  Go ahead, you know you want one.

5 thoughts on “Have you tried the clapper? Here’s how to get flat, crisp seams!

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