12 November 2010

How to iron small things

Ironing is something I avoid as much as possible. It's not that I hate it (I actually think it's among the more gratifying of household tasks), but that it combines poorly with the main thing I do all day: get interrupted. I don't trust myself to remember to turn off the iron every time someone comes around wanting me to quit what I'm doing, and I would really be kicking myself if the house burned down, and I'm not going to buy a new iron that shuts off automatically when I have a perfectly operational iron already. I also get nervous having that big heavy hot thing up high on something structurally unreliable with so many people around here who can't really walk (a condition which affects children much older than the inexperienced might guess, and their mothers).

But into every life a little ironing must fall, which introduces another problem: small clothes are hard to iron. Or they were until this very post! wherein I commend to occasional ironers of small clothes the small iron. This sweet thing is perfect for all the tiny collars and shoulders and sleeves your burly old girl from college crushes like so many cornflakes on fish night. It doesn't get as hot, but some work with the spray bottle will make up the difference. And if you've got one of those little tabletop ironing boards to go with your little dress and little iron, well, you've really got it made.

"Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with Garanimals?"

15 comments:

Sue said...

In my opinion, "ironing" is not for clothes. "Pressing" is what you do to quilts when you are making them! LOL! But then my children are grown. Oh, yeah - about every 3 months I have altar guild duty and there is the inevitable "ironing" of the linens you had to wash - my very least favorite part of altar guild.

My Mom saved a few baby clothes from the 3 of us, including 2 sweet dresses she made (and I'm wearing one in the photo by my comment). I think of the ton of ironing that went into clothes like that - little puffed sleeves, all the gathers, the tie in back - no wash and wear back then!

Rebekah said...

Hey! That's something I've wondered about. I grew up hearing "ironing," but my MIL says "press." She also says "fabric" instead of "material." What gives?

Sue said...

I grew up on "material" and "iron", but when I learned to quilt the lingo had change. There is actually a difference between "iron" and "press". When you iron, you run the iron back and forth. When you press, you lift the iron from one spot to the other so as not to stretch your seams, particularly if you have bias seams. I learned this from the experts.

Leah said...

Clothes, quilts--I understand those need to be ironed or pressed from time to time. But sheets? Who ever decided that I should iron my sheets before putting them on a bed where someone would sleep and proceed to wrinkle them? And does it really make that much of a difference?

Bikermom said...

Sheets were made with a different fiber content years ago and had to be pressed if you wanted them to lay smoothly on the bed. My elder cousin in Sweden has a large press for her larger linens. Our 100 percent cotton dress shirts look like a disaster when not ironed so it is sort of the same thing. I'm grateful they have developed fibers which are not so work intensive. You would think I could figure out how to change the sheets more often.....8 kids at home equals competition for the washer......

Gauntlets said...

Wait ... you're supposed to CHANGE THEIR SHEETS?!?

:D

Sue said...

I'm with Gauntlets - CHANGE the sheets?! I don't do that near often enough (and only 1 bed to change) and when I do, I do NOT iron them!

When my then-teenage son decided he wanted to start wearing dressier shirts to school and not t-shirts, I taught him how to iron. No way was I doing that for him! After much growling and snorting, he got it figured out (with my help) and did a good job.

Melrose said...

That small iron is GENIUS!!! I could really use it for all the boys' suits and dress shirts! Sheets....oh wow I really need to change the sheets...

etem said...

i iron sheets. but only the duvet cover and the pillow cases. not the fitted sheet.that would just be crazy.

Bikermom said...

Fitted sheets are a modern phenomena too. So DO any of YOU iron your sheets??? Iguess I should carefully read through these comments and see. People used to know how to make a bed with flat sheets only.

Rebekah said...

See, this is why I read the comments on this blog. Thanks, Sue!

I had a housekeeping job once where we were often called upon to make beds with only flat sheets. Easier on the folding end, so they've got that going for them.

Again with the MIL--she and her sisters used to have to hang out the laundry to dry, bring it in, sprinkle it wet again, roll it up and leave it overnight, and then iron it in the morning.

And people say they only like "natural" fibers.

Sue said...

I remember having flat sheets only - I was a little girl when Mom first bought fitted sheets. And I learned to iron on pillowcases and my Dad's handkerchiefs, when I was 8. I can't remember anymore if Mom ironed sheets back then.

Bikermom said...

Change the sheets......um....sure. The bedwetters get their sheets changed here. Time can truly fly by for the rest of us. It was bugging me the other day that some of my peeps don't even know what it is to sleep in a properly prepared bed with a bottom/top sheet, blanket and comforter. We had WAY too many bedwetters once upon a time so they received a bottom sheet and a blanket. We seriously had a family meeting on this issue as I needed help from the older ones to help accomplish this for the younger ones. Whether they are changed is the sad part. Not that often. Ours are sadder still.......we are in the same club. No worries.

Katy said...

I could enjoy sheet ironing if I didn't have all those other clothes to to iron (like Oxford shirts and linen skirts). It'd be like ironing tablecloths and napkins (which I do love to iron--to the neglect of the skirts and shirts). Satisfying yards of smoothness.

Why didn't they take them off the line when they were still damp and iron them (I do that with the cotton shirts)? What does "rolling" do? Doesn't ironing the sheets negate that clothesline freshness?

Clean, tight sheets are WAY better than a shiny sink. It's the only bit of housework I really do every week (all the other daily, weekly, monthly, yearly chores are hypothetical)

Rebekah said...

>>Why didn't they take them off the line when they were still damp and iron them

No idea. Made no sense to me either.