Beside your sewing machine, what’s the most important tool in your sewing arsenal? I use my iron at least as much as I use my sewing machines. Without an iron, it’s impossible to create neat, crisp seams and professional looking sewing projects. In this article I plan to tell you how to get professional quality results sewing for all your sewing projects.
Some beginners don’t realize the importance of an iron in sewing. If you don’t press out every seam, iron every fold or hem and square up your fabric, your finished product will have a homemade look.
This isn’t the same as a hand crafted appearance. Homemade leaves people thinking of amateur sewing with less-than-stellar results, while hand crafted work has folks wondering where you found that great item.
It’s a real ego booster when someone comments on a garment or accessory you’re wearing and can’t believe you made it.
Some sewers prefer using the steam setting on their iron. I’m not a fan and don’t ever use steam. If you don’t religiously use distilled water, the iron eventually clogs with minerals and sediment.
This means you’ll be attempting to clean your iron often or replacing it on a regular basis. I’m just not that fastidious, and I decided it was far cheaper to use it sans steam. I also tend to steam my fingers, as I often work with my left hand near the area I’m pressing.
In lieu of the steam feature of your iron, get a spray bottle of water and a pressing cloth. With the spray you can dampen your fabric as much as you choose, and by using the pressing cloth for delicate fabrics that tend to melt you can use a higher heat setting and a firm pressing action to ensure a crisp seam or hem.
If you consistently use a pressing cloth for synthetic fabrics and fabrics that you’ve sprayed with starch, your iron will never wind up in the garbage can due to a burned pressing plate.
Using a Teflon protected iron may help, but I’ve seen many Teflon coated and burned irons at thrift stores and yard sales.
For inexpensive pressing cloths, I serge the edges of two-foot square pieces of muslin. I have several and switch off regularly, as I use a lot of starch and it builds up on the muslin.
The next time you take out your Singer 8500Q Modern Quilter, get out your iron as well. Your project is worth the extra effort and you’ll be impressed with the improved quality of your work.