Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Clap On, Clap Off

(Or, When Peter Found My Round Tuit)

On Monday, Peter posted "The 14 Shirtmaking Tools You Won't Want To Live Without!" Ten minutes later, I had already bought and paid for one of them via Ebay. Today, it arrived. (Take note of the fast shipping, Hmprf.)

What did I buy? A Clapper. Well, more precisely, a Point Presser/Clapper.

I've wanted one of these for a while (anyone watch Family Guy and know the "a WHHHile" line? Cool WHHHip? Anyone?? No?? OK, then nevermind), but it's been on the back burner because I don't remember I want it until I need it. Kind of like those extra pattern weights I mentioned the other day. Getting old and losing brain power sucks, but Peter's reminder was finally the needed impetus.

I have had its cousin for a long time, but I've never been really and truly happy with it. It's OK, but it has shortcomings. Jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none.

The smaller cousin is meant for pressing curves as well as points and the curvy end of this flat point side gets in the way more than it helps. When I'm pressing a long pointed seam open, I don't want that darn valley there but the flat length is too short to easily avoid it.

It's often not quite long enough and it's sometimes fiddly to get a seam flat on the edge. See the difference in length and width between the two?

It came with printed instructions on it, blue ink. Well, I had to sand that off in a hurry because the blue transferred onto the item I was pressing one day. THAT was a surprise I didn't need, thankyouverymuch.

And, I went all out and bought this nifty padded cover with it and I HAVE NEVER USED IT. OK, that's not really a shortcoming for the board per se, but it still irks me. I had to dig it out and dust it off for this photo. ;-) I don't use it because you can't get a flat surface with it on. It doesn't fit the board tight (enough even though I've steam-shrinked the crap out of it). Which means it shifts when I'm pressing and it's just not worth the PITA factor.

Plus, I've never had a real clapper. I have a hardwood seam roll stick thingie (flat on one side) that I've been using as a substitute, but this actual clapper is just a little bit heavier and less cumbersome, and should work even better. It's funny how a block of wood can make a girl so happy, but it does. I can't wait to try it out for real.

In other shopping news, these ITY knits arrived yesterday and the order with Michael's fabric and my jacket pattern is due on Friday. It's looking good for some activity in the sewing room this weekend.


  1. My pointer/presser clapper is one of my favorite tools. I think I got it for Christmas several years ago. I never thought I would use it as much as I do. I'm glad you were able to get a good one!

  2. It's always fun to find a new toy recommended, and then get one. Bravo, Debbie! Enjoy your sewing weekend!

  3. My pointer clapper is definitely one of my favorite and most used tools. I have the other and it's useful for curved seams, but it's awkward to use the other parts of it. My clapper must be nearly 35 years old. It has a nice patina on it and I hope that yours holds up as well. Once you start using it you'll wonder how you ever got along without it.

  4. I love my point presser / clapper! I also have the tailoring board but am ambivalent about it. I had the foldable one but sent it to Ariel in Haiti. The one like yours also has the pads. Well, some of the pads. I've lost one. Not that I was using it. But, still...

  5. Thanks for reviewing the clapper's cousin. I was torn between the two but bought the point presser/clapper awhile back. I don't know how I ever pressed without it. It's rounded cousin would have been yet another tool collecting dust.

  6. I love your clapper, and now I'm jealous that both you and Peter have one, and I do not. Hmmmm, what to do?

    Those knits are TDF!!

  7. I've only had my clapper since Christmas (it was a present from Hubby :)). I'm only a beginner - but even when I used it on some homemade bias binding (from a medium weight denim) it really helped the creases stay in lovely 'n' sharp, and they don't bounce-up & spring-open like the first batch I tried without the clapper.

    @ Jacki I listed some sites that sell the 'point presser & clapper' on Peter's blog :)

    P.S. I have a tailor's board too (another gift LOL!) and was eyeing up those pads - is it worth making my own rather than buying them? I've started myself a topic on so I can find out more about how I can make the pads?.

  8. Oh, you will love that new toy. I've had mne for several years and can't do without it anymore. Great for collars and other hard to get areas.

  9. I use the point press for pressing points and hard to get corners but have never used the clapper aspect. For that, I have a small hammer, a trick I learned from Ron Collins in his jeans video. Works fabulously. You might want a hammer too - VBG!

  10. I bought mine at a garage sale. So it was used to start with and then I've had it for a good 20 years myself. But it's still as good as the first day it was made. I use it frequently. Never even considered buying the other one because my pressing ham takes care of curves.

  11. Fabric looking good! I have an order too and I see you have one I had my eyes on!

  12. Yet another tool to add to my wishlist. Thanks a lot Debbie! ;)


Thank you for each and every comment. I appreciate them all, but I have to be honest and let you know that I'm usually bad about answering questions. I hope you understand that there just isn't enough time in the day to do everything I want to do.

To help keep spam comments under control, any comments to blog posts that are more than 30 days old are moderated and will not show up immediately.