Ironing -it’s an essential step in sewing that can transform a me-made garment from looking handmade to professional. About halfway through a Bra Making Workshop, usually after the first seam or bust dart is sewn, I get the question, “Do you press seams in lingerie?” It’s a great question and I wish the answer was crystal clear. Different fabrics, different trims, different silhouettes – it all determines whether or not I press. However, I have a few tips and suggestions that I want to share with you as well as a new iron I’ve been using at the studio for the past few months – BLACK+DECKER™ Light ‘N Go Cordless Iron, ICL500.
First, let me go out the specs for B+D’s new iron:
Overview, straight from Black + Decker
Discover a new way to iron! The BLACK+DECKER Light ‘N Go Cordless Iron makes it simple to remove wrinkles without the hassle that comes with traditional corded irons. The cordless design gives you the freedom of movement, with no power cord to tangle or get caught up on the ironing board. It’s all possible with the charging base, which heats up the iron fast and includes a light ring that indicates when the iron needs to recharge and when it’s ready to use. The nonstick ceramic soleplate retains heat well and smooths out wrinkles on a variety of ironable fabrics, and the steam and spray mist controls let you quickly remove tough creases and wrinkles. Other features include: vertical steam, auto shutoff, large water tank, self-cleaning function, 1.8m (~6ft) power cord, 2-year limited warranty.
My Thoughts on the Light ‘N Go
The first time I used the iron was at the September workshop. Set up after opening was a no brainer. All I did was take it out of the plastic and plug it in. That was on a Friday night after a long week – so if I could figure it out, you can too. The day of, when a student needed to press the vertical and side seam of her Barrett Bralette, I lifted the iron off the base and then put it back on, which triggered the iron to heat up. I took it off to press… now here’s the thing… it loses heat once you take off the base. “Now that’s stupid,” the student said. At first, I thought so too.Since the September workshop, I’ve kept it at the studio and it has become quite handy in ways I wouldn’t have thought. With no cord, I don’t have to worry about tangling or getting caught up on an ironing board. I can also heat it up, and then take it across the studio and use it somewhere else, like if I’m taking a flat lay photograph and need to press an area of the garment quickly. It does lose heat, but it heats up quickly. Like a minute. So, it has become a “no biggie” for me. I’ll deal. I haven’t used the vertical steam feature, mostly because I sew mostly lingerie (versus garments) and don’t vertically press. If you’re interested in this feature, head on over to Mimi G’s review – she loves it.
Ironing Lingerie – Do or Don’t?
Take it bra by bra, undie by undie. The fabric and trims determines whether I press or not. If I’ve sewn a seam and it is not lying flat, I will press. I always, always, always use the synthetic setting. Don’t you dare set it to linen/cotton. Most, I’m almost tempted to say all, fabrics I sew with are 90% nylon or polyester and 10% spandex. Sometimes it’s 12% or 8% poly or nylon, but the percentages are roughly the same. The fabric will melt as soon as you touch the soleplate to the fabric.
Steam is a must for me – it’s the cooling process that really sets the seam and makes it lie flat. I’ll press (on a synthetic setting) with a blast of steam. I’ll lay my hands over and use my fingers to press it down or into the curve shape.
Speaking of curves, pressing is especially helpful around them, examples being on the leg opening of a pair of underwear or at the underarm of a bra. A good majority of the time, it is a little wavy after sewing. Some pressing and a little steam will help it lie flat. If it doesn’t lie flat after pressing, then it’s your elastic that’s the issue.
Black + Decker’s Light ‘N Go is an affordable, handy, and convenient iron and I recommend it for sewists who need to press seams quickly. I will continue to keep it at Madalynne Studios and suggest it to students.If you’re doing hours of ironing though, I suggest standard machine and the only reason being that it loses heat once you take it off the base.
Large Water Tank
The large capacity water tank accommodates spray mist and steaming for long ironing tasks.
Spray Mist and Steam Burst Buttons
The side-by-side buttons offer total moisture control for quick removal of tough creases and wrinkles.
Light Ring Shows Charge Status
Solid red light = heating up; flashing green = ready to use; flashing red = recharge warning; flashing red + 3 beeps = recharge needed; slowly pulsing red = auto shut-off activated.
The charging base includes wrap-up storage for the 1.8m (about 6ft) cord.
The power cord is nearly 6 ft. long so you can conveniently place the charging base near your ironing board.
Use the iron’s automatic cleaning function to avoid scale buildup.
For added peace of mind, the iron shuts off when left motionless for about eight minutes.
Burst of Steam
Quickly blast away tough wrinkles with a burst of dense steam.
It’s easy to apply the right amount of moisture for quick wrinkle removal.
Use the iron as a steamer for quick touch-ups right on the hanger or for steaming curtains and drapes.