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Mar 28, 2013

The (Endless) Tedium of Sewing a Jacket + My Iron Is Clean!



Friends, remember this, from just two days ago?

Well feast your eyes on this!



Sure, a few spots remain, but it's a whole lot better.

What was that crud-like build up on my iron exactly?  I'm not entirely sure.  Even though I never iron fusible interfacing wrong-side-up, my hunch is that some of it is fusible adhesive, some of it is minerals from my water, and some of it is sizing or other similar finishes on the fabric I sew with.  Any other suggestions?

I tried a few cleaning methods: regular fine salt, coarse salt, and baking soda (I won't use chemicals) and I had the most success with the baking soda (made into a paste by adding a bit of water and rubbing it into the cold iron with a cloth, really hard).  This time I was careful not to get the baking soda in the steam holes.

The salt method, which according to what I read online you do by pouring a tablespoon of salt onto a towel, turning up your iron to the highest setting with the steam off, and ironing the salt granules, didn't work too well for me.  It's a time-tested method so I must have been doing something wrong.  My first attempt I used fine salt, then I tried coarse salt but it didn't make much of a difference.





Anyway, my iron is clean again, which is good, as I have a lot of pressing to do to finish this jacket.  I somehow forgot how much work is involved in making a jacket, especially a lined jacket.  That's right: what was originally just a muslin for my gray cotton-mohair suit is now a full-fledged sewing project!

I have already performed the "turn of the cloth" -- flipping the facings and upper collar to the outside of the jacket, which came out pretty well.  Of course when you first flip it there's always that moment of panic since it initially looks like a mess and will need a lot of careful pressing.

This (which isn't half bad to begin with, I must say)...



Soon looked like this:





The back of the jacket will be only half-lined, but I'll have full side and sleeve linings.  Right now I've pinned a sleeve, which I'll have to hand-baste in.

Since this cotton-poly sheet does not ease at all, all the extra ease in the sleeve cap has to be eliminated.  I do this very intuitively: I pin the sleeve in the armscye from the inside, edging in the excess sleeve cap height until the sleeve sits smoothly in the armhole.  I then try on the jacket and see how it all looks, making sure the sleeve retains sufficient mobility.   I've done this before and it works for me. 



I hope to have the sleeves attached and all the lining in place tomorrow but we'll see.  What is certain is that I am obsessed with this vintage bed sheet!

Have a great day, everybody!

Caption needed!

38 comments:

  1. I've cleaned my iron by boiling a bit of vingear and salt together until it forms a white paste- then using that paste on a cloth to scrub the iron. It worked a treat. Of course avoid the holes is a bit tricky.

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  2. I don't know if you use dryer sheets, but I find that ones that have already been through the dryer with clothes make excellent cloths for cleaning up my iron - just turn it on to the lowest setting and lightly wipe the used dryer sheet across it. I've haven't tried it with an iron that has a lot of build-up on it, but it works really well on residue from fusible interfacing and fusible web. Plus I'm getting a second use out of something that is designed for a single use, so that's always a good thing in my book.

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    1. This is a great method! I love this one, and it isn't smelly like the chemical cleaners.

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  3. Love the jacket! It is fabulous! Love the clean iron, I hate cleaning my irons so much!

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  4. Wow, great job -- on the iron and the jacket (which I really wish you were making for ME)...

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  5. I hope there's going to be a dramatic photoshoot when this ensemble is done.

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  6. Love the jacket, fit and fabric!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I clean my iron with hot white vinegar, on a clean, soft rag. using Q-tips in the holes (which need cleaning too). Cathie, in Quebec.

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  7. I find that with certain iron ons like weft faced that when the glue melts to fuse some of it creeps through the holes and on to the iron. Also sometimes its starches and finishes from the fabric itself.

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  8. Peter, there's always powdered fusible on the back side of fusible products. Do you use a silk organza press cloth? ( I need that so I can see what I'm doing)
    The jacket looks WONDERFUL!!!

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  9. I have to admit, I really dig that sheet!! The pattern and colours are really cool. And your jacket is really looking sharp, it's a fantastic fit.
    That last photo of you in the iron is priceless! thegarmentfarmer nailed the caption.
    Bill J's right about silk organza press cloths, they're fantastic. I use mine all the time.

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    1. I should treat myself. How do you finish the edges of the press cloth (or don't you)?

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    2. I wouldn't finish the edges on a press cloth. If the edges are over-locked or folded twice a 1/4" and stitched, the edges more than likely will leave an impression on the fashion fabric.

      Also, depending on the thread fiber (I.E. polyester, nylon, etc.), the thread will melt if the iron setting is too high.

      To avoid the troubles I explained above, I use a 100% cotton muslin that's been pre-washed, and the edges unfinished. I hope this helps! :)

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    3. my press cloth has pinked edges--nice and flat and no unraveling.

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    4. That's a good idea thegarmentfarmer! I should of thought of that, hmm. :)

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  10. Your tailoring skills have really come a long way Peter! This looks great and it's fun. You've mastered the lapel and flap pocket with a welt no less! All of the more difficult parts of a jacket! The perfect spring jacket.

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  11. Lovely job. Now I am going to clean my iron.

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  12. I've been trying to clean my iron for five years now and the battle is still 4-0 for the iron. What I got stuck in there is: Melted cloth. You read correct. Melted cloth. I had bought a syntethic fabric, but the ironing instructions for the fabric were faulty (in here you get cleaning and ironing instructions with fabrics) and I ended up ironing it with a little too much heat. And as soon as I laid the iron on it, I melted a hole in the fabric and got bits of it stuck onto my iron. *sigh*

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  13. Peter- after a trying and somewhat emotional day at work today(not to mention it's Good Friday) your last photo brought a smile to my face, just when I needed it :)

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    1. You and me both! Except I had family issues to deal with. :)

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  14. You might be entertained to hear that the traditional Victorian method for cleaning tin and other delicate metals is to rub them with a slice of potato dipped in baking soda. :) Looks like you've found a similar way.

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  15. Caption? Hmm...

    Iron iron on the board,
    Who's the fairest sewing lord?

    And yes, the sheet is FAB as a suit. If Michael could wear it, he should take Cathy to a big 60's flower child event. Or maybe Cathy has a friend you could escort while wearing the suit. It just seems to open up a whole new venue for you.

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    Replies
    1. Cathy and Peter have never been seen in the same place at the same time ..

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    2. Like Jethro and Jethrine.

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  16. Peter, would you ever use a wet steel wool pad to clean your iron? I use steel wool when my pots and pans get too smudgy, it works extremely well.

    I buy the cheapest I can buy at the supermarket and they work as well as the more expensive steel wool pads.

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  17. I had the same problem with my brand new iron. The interfacing was the proper side, but it still stuck to my iron. I had forgotten to use my press cloth. My husband cleaned it using a magic eraser. Voila! All done in 2 seconds.

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  18. Quotable quote offering:

    "The Church of Irontology"

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  19. That jacket is da bomb! Love it! I bet you could turn this vintage-sheet-into-jackets into a bonafide business!

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  20. this jacket seriously reminds me the male barbiedolls btw the fit looks awesome!

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  21. that jacket is going to be really cool when it's done

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  22. Awesome jacket! Now to go clean my iron...

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  23. I can't think of a quote, but the image of you with all those steam vents radiating around your face reminds me strongly of those Guadaloupe Madonnas with the sunrays coming outta them.
    You may be a bit holy, but you ain't no virgin, I am thinking!

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  24. I cleaned my iron with a pot scrubber a few days ago, it seemed to work.

    Cool jacket. It reminds me of the Mystery Machine.

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  25. Perfect jacket for Easter Brunch in the Midwest...(no kidding). On the serious side, I really like it!

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  26. I use a JML Magic Eraser to clean my iron - sometimes dry, sometimes wet - depends how bad my iron is. Occasionally infomercials are actually true :)

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  27. My iron died after many years of faithful service; the new-fangled 'top of the line' seems to have an endless parade of burned-on black who-knows-what gunk of. I've found that mixing just enough white vinegar into baking soda to make a paste, apply it and leave it for a few minutes and I can wipe most of it off with a paper towel, and what doesn't wipe scrapes off with a toothpick and a little patience...

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