Thursday, March 17, 2011

I never learned to iron...

I actually wrote this December 7, 2005.  I wanted to re-visit it...

Ok, so I know I have a lot of random thoughts, but this one really got me thinking the other day.
I was in my sewing room (this doesn't happen very often) and I was using the iron I got as a wedding gift.  I love this iron!  The filling portion actually comes away from the unit so you can fill it while the iron is still on in the other room!  It doesn't spit or sputter very often which is great when you are working with fabrics that you don't want white deposits on, or fabrics that will get ruined by water.
Ok, so back to the sewing room...  I have been trying to get smaller projects done, like some of my doll panels.  No pattern needed, how hard can that be???  I spent the day before washing and drying all the fabric, folded it nicely, but knew I would need to iron out the wrinkles.  Wow, did I get frustrated.  My iron has the setting printed on it, it even tells you the settings for the fabric types!!!  All my fabric was cotton, so I turn it to the cotton setting (the highest setting there is), I wait until I feel like the iron is as hot as it's gonna get, and I start pluggin' away.
This is where my random thoughts come in.  I start getting very frustrated because no matter how much steam I use, no matter how slow I move the iron, no matter how many times I go over the same spot, the fabric never looses all the wrinkles!  Yes, it looks much better than before I started, but it doesn't look like it just came off the bolt.  So I start thinking, I must be doing something wrong.  No one taught me how to iron!  In school, they teach you the inner workings of frogs, the square root of 5,836, and useful words like "quagmire" and "onomatopoeia" (that's Danny's favorite!!!), but no one teaches you how to iron, not even in my sewing class!!!
At home, mom never sat me down and said, "Today we are going to learn to use the iron."  I didn't even learn to sew except by just doing it!  So, how do we know how to iron?  The instructions that come with the iron, which I actually have, don't tell you much.  When did this ancient art begin?  Who decided to put a hot piece of metal on cloth to make it look nice?  When and why did they add water/steam?  What is the function of "fabric stiffener" and when is this necessary to use?  How do I get the freaking minuscule wrinkles out of the fabric!?!?
Ok, so that is my random thought for the week.  Slightly more interesting than the day I pondered how doors are made, and much less confusing than the Chinese/Italian restaurant that made me laugh so hard I nearly wet myself, but challenging none the less.
Now that you have gotten a glimpse of the slightly disturbed mind of Heidi, I hope you still feel warm and fuzzy thoughts of me.
Hope everyone has a terrific Holiday season!!!
February 21, 2011, update...
So, eventually I purchased a "better" iron...  I put the money out and bought myself a (pink) Rowenta iron, which after some research is a really good iron, but PINK!!!  I also added some silver ironing board fabric to my ironing board which helps keep the heat and steam in.  Up until my mom used the iron I was having some really good results.  Of course AFTER mom used it, it now has some glue-like stuff on it...  
In retrospect ironing has changed me.  When I worked at the bridal shop, I came in with the attitude that ironing was a chore.  And a chore I despised.  I used a steamer at the shop, and ironing seemed like even MORE of a chore...  The steamer works so fast!  I have since learned the skill of treating ironing like a relaxation technique.  "How" do you ask?  Simple...  I don't do it very often.  When I do I think about the fabric, how it is being manipulated, how I want it to look.  I think about the quiet, the steam, the heat of the iron.  I take my time over each spot.  I wouldn't say it's my favorite thing to do every day, I still only buy wash-and-wear clothes, but I have to admit, with the right equipment, ironing has become less of a challenge...

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