I am so sorry I missed last week – I was waiting on 2 new pressing accessories for my collection and time just got a way from me! I read an article on these pressing boards a while back and then my notes were buried in my to do stack. When I started doing this series of pressing posts, I remembered them and decided to order them.
The first board I ordered was a new sleeve board. I know I reviewed one a few weeks ago, but when I saw this one, there were a couple of things that stood out that my other board was lacking. You can see that the board itself has a longer reach than the other one (see below). The metal board has the support rod about 10 inches into the board, where the wooden board give about 15 inches before you hit the wooden support. While 5 inches may not seem like much, it can be a great help on longer seams. Each end is rounded, with the front end being a bit narrower than the back end.
Another thing that I like about this board is that the base is not rectangular – it has 2 feet – one is squared, and the other is pointed, and these can be used for pressing different seams as well. Just turn the board over, or on its side. Always a plus when you get a 2 for 1, or in this case a 3 for 1!
The board is well padded with cotton batting, which I prefer over polyester padding. There were several options for the cover, but I went with the black and white stripe – if you look at the picture, you can see that the white strip looks like a tape measure (without the numbers). The board is sturdy and well made, and the wood is nice and smooth. I am very happy with this!
Next up is a shoulder ham. This is the ‘wide’ side.
This is the ‘narrow’ side. As soon as I saw this, I could envision how this would be helpful in pressing shoulder seams, armholes, etc. Live the sleeve board, it is constructed out of wood, with a quilted pad for a cover.
You can see here how I can use this to press the armhole seam of a size 4 jacket. Having the curve on a stand is really helpful – much easier than having to hold a sleeve roll with one hand while I hold an iron and press with the other!
I am very glad that I have added both of these to my pressing notions repertoire! I will still use my other sleeve board – especially when I am traveling to sew.
While I love my new wooden sleeve board, it is larger and bulky to travel with. You can see in this picture that this sleeve board folds down to make it compact and easy to fit into a bin or bag when traveling!
If you are interested in the wood sleeve board or shoulder ham, you can get them from Helen Haughey’s Etsy shop here. Keep in mind, they are an investment. I think the prices are reasonable – $60 for the sleeve board and $55 for the shoulder ham, plus shipping. They each came well padded in their own shipping box, and while the shipping may seem high, I do ship out a fair amount of packages, and the cost of shipping has really gone up over the last year or 2.
Next up is a needle board. This is used for fabrics with a pile – velvet, velveteen, corduroy, etc. You lay the fabric RS on the little pins to keep the pile from being crushed and having the seam line show through on the RS of the fabric. If you want to invest in one of these, they are expensive – $60-$100+. Mine (made by Dritz) is from Joann’s with a 50% off coupon. I just did some research on these – they are not listed on the Joann website, so maybe you can still find them in the store in the notions section near the irons. I also checked with my distributors, and they are not listed anymore. Amazon is out of stock, although with everything going on right now, that is not unusual.
Seam sticks are next – these come in different lengths, and are made from wood.
They are flat on the bottom and rounded on the top. You can set your seam on the top (rounded part) and press the center of the seam without having the sides of the SA make an impression on the garment fabric – very handy!
These actually have a slot on the back so you can hang them up if you want, to keep them handy and out of the way!
Someone sent in a question about padding for ironing boards. Cotton batting is on my big ironing board. I have been using my wool pressing mat and really like that as well. I actually like having both – so if there is a time when I specifically want wool or cotton, I have the option. If you want wool padding for your ironing board, you can use old wool blankets as well as wool batting.
I don’t really care for poly batting, I would rather stick with the cotton or wool. I have used the shiny silver ironing board covers, but they get REALLYYYY hot, and prefer to stick with a good heavy cotton muslin.
Next week, I am going to do a few more pressing tools, and an ode to the Puff Iron, and that will conclude my Pressing Matters and I will be on to other topics!
I hope you are all staying safe. If you are in the path of Isaias, please be careful! I am thinking of you. We had record heat this weekend in Southern California, and the fires have started again – we could sure use some of your rain!