Nobody Told Me I’d Have to IRON

So, I’m on my journey to becoming a Sewing Goddess, I’ve got a couple of cool books on the subject, some core supplies, I’ve jumped in and done a simple project or two and then I notice it, one terrifying word: press. At first I think it’s an anomaly and I move on to the next pattern. But there it is again. And again. And again. On almost every pattern that dreaded word appears somewhere in the instructions. So, I do a couple projects without following that particular instruction, and quickly start to realize there may be a benefit to it. Perhaps, just perhaps, there is a reason for that particular instruction. And once I realize this I start to panic.

Here’s the thing about me: I. DON’T. IRON. Period. Sure, there were a few times back in college when I experimented with it but it always ended badly.

On one occasion, forever burned (pun intended) into my memory, I tried to iron the collar of a brand new, oh-so-lovely, favorite dress I’d just gotten for Christmas from my oh-so-stylish grandma. It was black with a bold white collar and cuffs and buttons all the way down the front. It fit just beautifully and I felt beautiful in it. But it was a little wrinkled after the travel back to school, so I lay it out on the ironing board for a little TLC. I adjusted the fabric just so. I looked at the instructions – “cool iron”. No problem. I got out my iron and looked at the settings, going from low to high to steam. Hmmm…no “cool”. But “steam” puts a bit of water into it, right? So that’s gotta be cooler, right? (Not sure where I got that idea. Totally wrong, I know, but there it was.) It is at the top, though, above the hot setting, so I’m not so sure…Oh well, let’s just try that………Minutes later a cry erupted from my throat so agonized, so distressed, so heartbroken that, well, it is said no such sound has been heard since. Ironing connoisseurs can probably guess what happened when I steamed that fragile fabric – it MELTED. And SINGED. My beautiful new dress was ruined! I quickly called my mom, relayed the story and asked through choked-back tears, “When it says ‘cool iron’ does that mean I’m not supposed to TURN IT ON?!?” It was lucky she didn’t have her mouth full at the time, as she probably would’ve choked she laughed so hard (hopefully you didn’t either; if so, sorry and self-Heimlich instructions can be found here.).

Since that horrible moment, I have steered clear of ironing. I avoid fabrics that need ironing like the plague and on the rare occasion I do (mistakenly) buy something that needs ironing it is typically worn once or twice then sits at the bottom of the laundry pile forever or until it can be taken to the cleaners. If there is any to be done in this house, my dear husband does it (it’s mostly his stuff anyway).

So, with all that in mind, pardon me while I have a bit of a nervous breakdown and ask, “WHY DIDN’T ANYONE WARN ME ABOUT ALL THE IRONING?!?”

Deep breath. OK…

Well, today I finally did it. After weeks of letting a favorite project languish in my sewing box, I finally got out the six little tubes that needed to be pressed, set up the ironing board (another frightening aspect of this whole thing, don’t get me started), turned the iron on (a low setting this time) and successfully PRESSED the tubes! They aren’t perfect, but they are smooth and flat, not melted or singed, which is pretty much the point. I think. Aren’t they beautiful?

Notice the brand name of the iron. Anyone else hear the Jaws theme song?

Lesson learned: Don’t touch the metal part of the iron after it’s been turned on. Even if it’s on Low.

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