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Hot Off the Press – Free Pattern for Portable Pressing Board

Doesn’t it seem that the amount of stuff we haul around to classes continues to grow not only in size but also in weight? Soon I will need a truck to get myself around. I am always looking for an easier way to transport and lighten my load as I am preparing for class.

I think this type of portable pressing board has been around for a while but when I saw one that Alethea Ballard made for our Kids Sewing Camp I couldn’t resist making one for myself. It’s easy, lightweight, recycles empty bolts of fabric and most of all, so darn cute. You know from previous posts that I’m the Queen of Pressing, so I got right on this project.

Empty fabric bolts are perfect for this handy pressing board.

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own Portable Pressing Board:

Two empty fabric bolts

Outer fabric: 3/4 yard of 44” wide

1/2 yard (21” x 22”) Insul-Bright heat-resistant mylar/poly batting

Cotton batting: 20” x 22” piece

Tie: 1 yard of 1” wide ribbon

Sewing machine


Large hand sewing needle


Masking tape

Fabric glue or glue stick

To make your Portable Pressing Board:

  1. Wrap the tape around the bolts to hold them together.

  2. Wrap the cotton batting around the bolts. Trim off any excess, as needed. Secure with either large hand stitches or tape.

  3. Wrap a layer of Insul-Bright around the batting. Use large stitches to hold the ends together along one side.

To make the Cover:

1. Cut one 21” x 29” piece of outer fabric.

2. On one of the short sides (this will be the top) measure down 3-1/2” from the top edge  on both sides. Then make a cut 1/2″ in to this point, as shown.

3. Use fabric glue or glue stick to hold the cut flap secure, as shown.

4. Fold and press the top edge 1/2″ to the wrong side of the fabric. Then turn and press again 1-1/2″ down. Stitch close to the folded edge to form a casing for the ribbon tie, as shown.

5. With the right sides together, use a 1/2” seam allowance to stitch the two pieces together along the sides, from the bottom of the casing to the bottom edge of the cover. Note: this tube should fit snugly around the bolts. If not, adjust the seam, as needed – fabric bolts vary in size. Then stitch across the bottom edge using a 1/2” seam allowance.

6. Cut a 3/4” square from each corner on the bottom edge, as shown.

 7. Finger press the bottom seam open and then fold to align raw edges. Pin and then stitch the opening closed using a 1/4″ seam allowance. This will create boxed corners.

8. Turn the cover right side out.

9. Use a safety pin to thread the ribbon through the casing.

10. Insert the board into the cover.

11. Tie the ribbon into a bow and you’re done.

Helpful Hint:  A clean, light colored towel or piece of freezer paper can be used on the top of the board to keep it clean and free from spray starches or fusible web products.

Congratulations to Angela Smart from the UK, winner of the book and pattern pack by Alethea Ballard.

Until next time, enjoy and happy pressing!

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