The Ham and Sausage Challenge

The Ham and Sausage Challenge

Welcome all!

Before you get started, have a look at the amazing ham and sausages that you lovely people have created. Perhaps you can find inspiration from them, or just marvel at their awesomeness, either way, go have a look!

If you’re here, it means you’ve heard about the ham and sausage challenge that I started to get beginner and experienced sewers alike involved in something fun.

If you don’t know what ham and sausages are then let me tell you; they’re probably one of the best things you never knew you needed! Not only do they provide unrivalled nourishment to a hungry stomach, they taste absolutely exquisite!


A tailors ham is a tool used to press curved seams, while the sausage, aka, a sleeve pressing roll, is used for sleeve seams.

I chose this project because of it’s simplicity and cost-effectiveness – anyone can do it! And at the end of it, you get something that will be of use in many future sewing projects!


There really isn’t much to it. All I ask from you is to make them as fun, as lively and as beautiful as you can! Let them represent everything you are.

Then post them online on any social media platform with the hashtag #hamsausagechallenge to let the world see what you’ve created!

Tell your friends, tell them to tell their friends, who should also tell their friends and let’s start a sewing revolution!

Materials and tools needed

  • Any fabrics of your choice
    • Although due to their role as pressing aids your fabrics will need to be able to withstand heat. So 100% cotton or wool would be the preferable choice.
  • Wood shavings/sawdust
  • Scissors/rotary cutter
  • Thread and needle
  • Sewing machine

The sewing pattern

I’ve made a sewing pattern to make this challenge a little bit easier but you’re more than welcome to create your own. All you need to do is assemble the ham and sausage pattern and add your desired seam allowance.

Download your free pattern here.

If the pattern isn’t being printed at the correct size, save the PDF file and open within a PDF reader. In the file menu, click print. Under the Page Sizing & Handling section, make sure Actual size is selected.

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  • Print out the sewing patterns for both sausage and ham and cut two of each from your fabric.

Cutting the fabric

  • Place your fabric pieces right side to right side, stitch your chosen seam allowance round the perimeter but leave an opening for stuffing in the wood shavings as shown below by the dashed lines.Sewing area
  • Turn your stitched pieces inside out.

Tip 1: You may want to press in the seam allowance of your openings so that it’s easier to stitch together once stuffed.

Tip 2: Perhaps a makeshift funnel could help?

Empty ham and makeshift funnel

  • Stuff your ham until it’s bursting at the seams… literally! Keep stuffing and when you feel that the fabric is about to tear, STUFF SOME MORE!

Tip 3: Smack it a bit to allow the wood shavings to pack together more tightly at the bottom of the ham.

Stitching the ham closed

  • Once stuffed to your satisfaction, add more wood shavings then close up the opening with some hand stitches.

Tip 4: Try and keep the stitches as close together as possible.

Stitched opening

And that is it! You should now have an amazing ham and sausage to join your other sewing tools!

Ham and Sausage Challenge

Don’t forget to hashtag #hamsausagechallenge and share this around so that others can get involved. I’d also love to see your amazing creations so let me know once you are done:

Happy sewing! Any questions or problems, let me know 🙂

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  1. Thanks for the pattern. I’ll start looking for fabric (which is the easy part) and shaving or sawdust (the hardest part).

    • Hi Sonja,

      If you search online for ‘Wood Shavings Small Animal Bedding’ you’ll probably find many stores selling it. Good luck with your ham! I look forward to seeing it 🙂

  2. What a cute tutorial and awesome idea for a challenge. I made a ham some years ago and haven’t finished the opening yet *shameonme…. So I guess it’s the perfect time to start over again 😃 I will definetively feature your challenge over at and tell my class mates at fashion school that they also need one… At least 😃

    • That’s really lovely of you, thank you! The more people involved the better! I think a ham is a great tool every seamstress needs to have, so all the more reason to get that unfinished opening stitched up! Haha I can’t wait to see what you make! 😀

      • Right, pressing tools are awesome 😃 I even choosed the fabrics and Thursday I’ll get some saw dust from hubbys working place. Can’t wait tó make them an tag you in the picture 😊

  3. Your ham and sausage set looks great! I was lucky enough to be gifted with a set in the traditional red tartan covering but it would be lovely to have a personalised set, too. Thanks for sharing the pattern – I may be coming back to use it one day.

    • You should definitely make one! You could give it to someone as a gift or give away your old ones 😉

  4. Hi there, Doja! Thank you so much for inviting me to be part of the ham and sausage challenge. I will be saving this patter for later use, because at this time my plate is full with projects. I love the fabric you chose to make yours. I have a set that I purchased and use all the time. They really are great tools. Thanks again, and be blessed.

    • That’s really lovely of you! Thank you. It would be great if you could share it around so that others could get involved. 😙

  5. Thank you Doja, love the challenge, thank you for sharing your knowledge – as a beginner, ‘am sure it will be fun 😀

  6. Thanks for the pattern. I have been wanting to get/make a ham for year and now I can. (I already have a sausage from my aunt.)

    Until you use one, you don’t know how you got along without one!

    • Exactly! I feel like I’ve been introduced to a whole new world and I don’t want to leave! Good luck with your ham, I’d love to see it 🙂

  7. Hi Doja!
    Thank you for inviting me! Will try to gather the supplies and join the challenge! Feel free to post this a challenge on the vlogger FB group 🙂

    • Hey Judith! Thanks for stopping by. I’ll definitely do that. It would be great to get the others involved 😀

  8. Hi Doja,

    What a brilliant idea, I’m a newbie sewer and had these items on my christmas wish list – now I can make my own. Thank you for sharing the pattern, I will definitely post. 🙂

    • Thanks so much! Haha it’s definitely much cheaper making one than buying one! I look forward to seeing it!!

  9. Great minds think alike.Ive been needing to make these for when I make my bags.-at the mo I’m using rolls of fleecy fabric!! Will have yo get the wood shavings next time I’m out!!😆

  10. Hi Doja. Ive recently been given some African wax print and was curious to know if it would be a good fabric to work with to create my ham and sausage. Trying to be thrifty and use what I have. Looking forward to hearing back from you.

    • Hi Lia,
      I think wax prints would be lovely! They’re usually 100% cotton anyway, so they should definitely work! Have fun with it! I’d love to see how they turn out! Make sure to send a pic in 🙂

    • Hi Ola,

      Yes fabric can be used. As long it’s something that can withstand high heat. If you’re looking for saw dust, animal wood shavings work and they should be available in pet stores.

  11. Hi,
    Excuse my ignorance, at first I thought these were pillows and was wondering about their filling. Then someone mentioned the word “tools”. What is the purpose of the ham and sausage – is it to hold sewing needles? Thanks

  12. Nice project! 🙂 I’m presently taking a Craftsy class where the lady (Gail Yellen) explains why and how to use these tools : that’s how I found your pattern and challenge. Thank you! (By the way, she says they are usually made out of wool on one side and cotton on the other in order to use them with various fabrics. Apparently the wool side is better for certain kinds of fabrics). I was wondering if smaller wood shavings (or even sawdust) would be better? Perhaps easier to stuff and less ‘air holes’? Any idea?

    • Hi Diane,
      Yes, I’ve heard about the wool and cotton being on either side. I think doing it that way is a good idea – I know others have too. Sawdust works just as well. I haven’t had any problem with using wood shavings so it’s really just down to you.

  13. Thanks! Just what I have been looking for! I will let you know and see how it came out!

  14. Hi, I have been wanting to make these. So thank you so much for the vid. I do have a couple questions before I start, though. Must I use wool on one side? Can’t wool fabric be ironed on cotton? Also, I like your idea of using sawdust. But I do happen to have cedar shavings on hand that I use for refreshing my chicken house. Can these be compacted enough to use?

    • It’s up to you how to make it. Many people do use wool on one side and cotton on the other – I just use cotton on both sides for mine.
      Yes, I do think those shavings should be fine 🙂 Good luck!

  15. Just found your blog , Yeah ! I’ve wanted a ham and sausage press for a long time but couldn’t afford them . Now , thanks to you I can make my own . I’m so excited and looking forward to checking out your blog . Have a fantastic day !

  16. I’m a little late to the party, but I’ve just finished my ham and sausage. I loved your pattern and instructions. I think they came out great! Thank you x

  17. I am so glad to have found your tutorial, it’s very well laid out. I’ve be thinking I need something to press seams and voila! you show us how. I was thinking I need to buy a pair but to make them would mean so much more. My sister and I are now in the process of construction. Thx

    P.S. BTW you have a beautiful smile.

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