Monday, June 25, 2012

Something old, something new

This is my 'old, faithful' iron. I got it as a wedding or shower gift over 42 years ago. That's right, it's 42 years old! And the best thing about it is that it still works! It has served me well. When the kids were little, I sewed a LOT... clothes for them, for myself, for Grandpa, and even for dolls. Then it had a long "sabbatical" of sorts, when it was just simpler and faster to buy clothes, so the only use the iron got was for pressing an occasional pair of pants or something (hurray for permanent press!). But in recent years, I've gotten back into sewing, so my "vintage" iron has been back in use.

Not too bad looking, eh? (If you ignore the editing I did to the photo to cut out some of the glare from the flash.) It still works very well, but with all the sewing I've been doing, I've also occasionally wondered what I'd do if it decided to quit on me. (Do irons really make decisions?) If I were in the middle of a sewing project, I'd be "up a creek", as they say, since I don't believe our local stores even carry irons anymore (or if they do, I'm sure there's not much to choose from). My options would be to drive 30-40 miles or so to a bigger town or to order one online and either wait for it to ship normally or pay a fortune for faster shipping. None of those options pleased me, so I decided to plan ahead and play it safe.

I've read reviews from various sources about different irons, and I've found there are some very expensive(!) irons available, some of which didn't really have as good reviews as I'd have liked. As I was looking through the irons on, I came across this one that sounded interesting. It only had 3 reviews, but they were all 5 stars. It's a Hamilton Beach Smart Lift Iron with Built-In Stability. (No, I'm not writing this post for Hamilton Beach or Amazon.)

The neat thing about it is that it has "legs" that flip down when you pull the trigger in the handle, so rather than stand on end, like above, it sits like this, making it much more stable:

I've always been afraid that someday I'd wiggle the ironing board too much or bump the iron, knocking it off and wrecking something. I've had some close calls. This iron solves that problem. It really sits very solidly in place with those legs down. I like that a lot!

It takes some getting used to, though. After 40+ years of ironing, standing an iron on end is a deeply ingrained habit! (This iron does stand on end also, but that defeats the purpose of the design.) So I'm still working on breaking that habit. And I need to remember to pull the trigger while the iron is a little higher in the air, so the legs don't thunk down onto the ironing board. (More practice, Grandma.) They make kind of a loud thunk going down as it is. One more thing I have to watch out for is that the legs can catch on the edge of what I'm ironing if I don't watch out. I don't like that, but it can be avoided.

So far it's proving to be a great iron. It puts out a lot of steam and really gets the wrinkles out, and you can push a button for extra steam or one for a little jet of water if you need it. It also has an automatic shut-off for if you forget to do it yourself, but you can also set it to NOT shut off automatically if you prefer, which is nice if you're back and forth between the sewing machine and ironing board a lot and don't want to have to wait for it to heat up every time.

It kind of looks like a monster alongside my old iron, though!

I didn't know irons nowadays were so much bigger! It's nearly 12 inches tall, and the old one is only 9½ inches. How tall is YOUR iron?

I think I'll keep using the new one and put the old one on standby just for backup. I know it'll be there for me if the new one fails.

I practiced with the new iron on my last sewing project... the garment I made for Jess. If the post office cooperates, she'll receive it today, so when she gets somebody to take pics of her in it, I can show it to you. Hopefully that'll be my next post, so come back to see! Meanwhile, my next project is partially cut out... the hardest part of the cutting is done. I can't wait to get sewing on it, because I think it's going to be really cool!


Jessica Jones said...

This thing makes your old iron look like a toy!

The Luedtke Family said...

Hmm, I wonder how tall my iron is?

Yours looks like a grasshopper or a rabbit when not standing upright.

I think you need to name it.

Enjoy the new un-wrinkler or seam-opener!

Grandma G said...

Yah, Becky! With all the trouble I have naming my cats, now I should find a name for my iron?!? LOL Well... how 'bout "Legs"? ;)