In preparation for the V1419 sewalong, I decided that my sewing area needed a spruce up. I bought a new iron, recovered my ironing board, and sewed some pattern weights. And while I was at it, I thought I’d write a post about my vintage wooden ironing board, an amazing piece of history that I own.
I first bought this about 10 years ago, when the leg of my then modern metal board somehow got bent. This made it unable to stand without wobbling and called for an immediate replacement. On a low budget at the time, I paid a visit to my local Salvation Army thrift store to see what they had. Low and behold, there it was! I had never seen a wooden ironing board before, and it looked quite primitive in comparison to the board I had just owned. Also, I had never given any thought to what ironing boards of the past were made of. I realized that it was old, and I was almost annoyed about the selection (I had wanted to buy another modern one), but I needed one and the price was definitely right. It had some water staining at the bottom, and a marker scrawl on the top, but it was still in usable condition. I remember thinking “it’ll have to do”. I paid the $6.oo asking price, took it home, and I’ve been using it ever since. It has a lot of character, and I’ve grown to appreciate it for its age and beauty.
Every now and then I take the cover off and apply Old English furniture oil to it. As a wooden object, it needs this kind of care. I did this recently and took some pics while waiting for the oil to finish penetrating. This takes about a day. I don’t want the cover to absorb any oil so I give it time.
As I mentioned at the beginning and in the title of the post, I also recovered the board. The old cover was ok but it was getting worn. It’s still good enough to use underneath the new cover because it has the insulating padding, so I washed it and placed it back on the board. I bought a yard and a half of ironing board cover fabric from Joann’s and began my work. I stepped outside the box and cut it on the bias because:
A) I didn’t buy enough fabric to cover on the grain without piecing. which I didn’t feel at all like doing, and
B) Ironing board covers require stretch in all directions, which justified the use of the bias grain.
Here’s the pictorial story:
My new iron is the Shark 1500 watt professional lightweight iron. My choice was between it and 2 others that both had a retractable cord, which is a really nice feature. However, this one had 3 features that trumped that. I liked the stainless steel soleplate and the tapered tip which allows for the iron to reach small areas, a must for garment construction. The others both had a teflon coated soleplate, which is what my old iron had. I found that residue from fabrics started to stick to it as it grew older, so I thought an uncoated stainless soleplate might be better. Also, although the retractable cord is an excellent feature, I thought that it could easily break, because one of the 2 store’s models was broken. The third thing is that it seemed lighter weight than the others. I didn’t want a heavy iron.
By the way, it works great so far, makes tons of steam on demand. I also like that the lower heat settings are well calibrated. It didn’t make my precious V1419 pattern pieces pucker!
If you’ve read this far, thanks for reading, and I hope you found it enjoyable 🙂