It may not be something you think of when considering major sewing tools, but your iron is a really important one that you use for almost every sewing project..
Every sewing project requires ironing or pressing at some point. It is important for the finished look of the project, and assists in achieving accuracy and neatness to the item.
Here is a confession. I hate ironing. When my husband and I first moved in together years ago, I made it clear that I did not iron. Anything. I hang my clothes out strategically to avoid creasing, and I don’t buy garments that wrinkle easily. I couldn’t even tell you the last time I ironed anything I wear, and my husband irons his own shirts.
Then I started sewing. And the iron got a new lease on life!
Here are a few terms and techniques you need to know.
Ironing – moving the iron back and forth over the fabric.
Pressing – Placing the iron over the fabric and pressing down with your weight. The iron does not move.
Set Seams – Setting seams is a method used to smooth out any wrinkles or puckering caused during stitching. In many projects, especially patchwork and quilting, it is a good idea to set your seams before opening them.
To set seams, place the fabric under the iron, in the same position as it came off the sewing machine.
Press directly over the stitching for a few seconds.
Your seam is now set!
Pressing to the side – some garments or quilting require seams to be pressed to the side. To do this, open out the fabric that has been sewn together, wrong sides facing out. Gently press the seam allowance over to one side.
Pressing seams open – This is probably the most common way to press seam allowances, and it allows your garment or fabric to lie nice and flat.To achieve this, open out your fabric with wrong sides together and open out the two sides of the seam allowance and press.
For a neat finish with either technique, I like to press the seam on the right side of the fabric as well.
Iron settings – make sure you are aware of the fabric you are using and set the iron accordingly. Cotton is pretty forgiving but synthetics like polyester are not. Polycotton blends and polyester develop a shiny mark if the iron is too hot or the fabric is pressed for too long.
Steam is great for getting out tough fabric creases, but in some instances steam is not helpful – I find a dry iron is best if the fabric is already wrinkle free, and when ironing on anything fusible, like interfacing and applique paper.
As I mentioned earlier, my iron is used solely for sewing projects, because I am a very lazy laundress! So the iron I had been using was a cheap old thing my husband purchased as a teenager in boarding school. That would make it around 17 years old! Luckily for me, the lovely people at Kambrook recently provided me with their Steamline Auto Off Iron to review.
The two main things that made a huge difference for me were the non stick plate and the auto off function. My previous iron had neither of these. The non stick plate takes so much of the effort and elbow grease out of ironing out stubborn creases in the fabric. It is much quicker and I don’t need as much steam or water spray to get a wrinkle free finish.
With my two little girls running around the place, I am easily distracted and often interrupted during ironing. This iron will switch itself off after about fifteen minutes. The auto off function is great for me – I’m quite forgetful – and is also an excellent safety feature of this iron. At $49AU RRP this iron is great value and I’d highly recommend it to anyone looking to upgrade or replace their current one.
For more sewing tips and tricks, don’t forget to check out the rest of my Back to Basics series!
Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. Kambrook provided me with a Steamline Auto Off Iron for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.