Tips for Your Sewing Pleasure:


Tiny Clover Iron Disaster: The Good—The Bad—The Ugly

This is the case of the deep doo doo disaster!
One I am relieved to say where the doo doo
became fertilizer for a solution!

I like to share tips from my actual sewing experience from time to time, and as you know sometimes it is a success, but other times a disaster! This one I would classify “ugly.”

You may have a tiny Clover Iron or “Mini Iron” that came on the market a few years ago. Its overall look reminds me of a curling iron—a handle to hold onto while using, with the metal rod ending in a tiny pie shape which is the actual business end. The pie shape sole plate is about 7/8” wide about 1-1/4” long, tapering to a point. Both the rod and the sole plate heat up so you have to avoid touching either to prevent burning your fingers!

It’s made to use on small items where a larger iron won’t work. Since most of my sewing is worked on “flat,” I only use it occasionally to press something in the finishing stages. It’s really nice to be able to reach inside a bodice, skirt or sleeve. When a press cloth is desirable (depending on your fabric), for such tiny spaces, I’ve used a small piece of fabric or even cut tissue to cover the area needed.

Recently, I was using a piece of tissue while pressing a waist seam on the inside (the garment was turned RSO). Because of the small space, the tissue mainly covered the seam (my piece of tissue was about ½” x 2” long). It was working beautifully, the temperature was just right (it’s adjustable). I had completed pressing when the tip of the iron touched my finger and on reflex jerked it away. I thought to myself, ‘Whew! At least I didn’t hit the bodice, which was a sheer nylon!” So I removed the tissue, took the item back to my sewing machine and was going to the next step. When I turned it over, I saw the “ugly” result—a huge gaping hole smack in the front of the bodice! Yup, the tiny iron had melted it!

Can you imagine my distress? The trama? The anxiety and frustration? This is one of those times when a micro second wrought irreparable damage. Might I add that this is a Black Francie Swimsuit—in pristine condition it would have been worth about $150.00! (Since it needed some repair on the waist seam it was probably worth less than that but that did not lessen my anguish!)

As I write this, it’s now about a week later and I’ve resigned myself to the disaster. In spite of being so careful, it had happened; I had to live with it. But now I was wondering how I can prevent something like that happening again. If I couldn’t change how I use the Clover, I knew I’d be “gun-shy” from now on. So this morning about 4:00 just lying in bed wondering if I’d go back to sleep, I figured it out! (I have to admit 4:00 am seems to be a time when I can think the clearest!)

Here’s my solution: I have made a “pressing cover” for my Mini Iron. Follow these steps:

Cut a 4” circle and place the iron sole plate in the center. Gather the material over the plate, around the rod. Tie a ribbon or cord to secure it. You now have a cover that is both a press cloth and a finger protector! Easily removed by untying the knot. My “disaster” resulted in this solution! Hope you enjoy it!

PS I’ve also learned from my friend Barb (thanks!) that finger tip protectors are also available for use with this iron. We recently looked for them in a local fabric shop without luck. After a search on the net, I did find that a leather thimble is recommended as protection when using the mini-iron, as well as usable as a thimble.

They can be seen at the following site:
JoAnn's Creative Notions

Click to read "the rest of the story"--the grovelling email I sent, the reply I received and the outcome of the disaster itself with lots more pics. A lesson well-learned, believe me!

Return to Main Tip Page

Return to Main Gallery Page

Animated flame is from bellsnwhistles