Non-traditional Ironing Boards, and New Issue of Classic Sewing Magazine!

Hello Everyone,
I hope all is well and you are having some stitching time!  I am continuing my ironing thread – to emphasize again that pressing matters!  On to boards.  I have several, and each is for something specific.   For many years, I had a little ironing board that had 1 leg and screw attachment that connected to my sewing table.  I recently got a new sewing table (yeah!), and my little ironing board would not work, so I came up with something else.

I have a small laptop table next to my sewing machine.  We have had this for years, but they are still available at Staples for less than $40.  Since I am still in the process of organizing/reorganizing/redoing and getting everything situated, I have not decided whether or not I am going to pad and cover this (more on that in a minute), but if you do not have a pressing mat, you can easily make an small ironing board out of this.  The wheels on the bottom do have a lock, so it won’t roll while you are pressing.

Do you remember TV Trays?  What a HUGE treat to be able to eat dinner or desert when a special movie came on – like The Wizard of OZ, during the Thanksgiving season.  We waited all year to see that movie!  At Target, you can even get 1 individual tv tray, instead of a set of 4!
You can also make a little ironing board out of a TV Tray.   I like the laptop stand better for my sewing room, but a TV tray is perfect for a portable class ironing board!  Pad the top and away you go!

I have a wool mat that I have been using for the last year or so, and I really like it.  Just like other wool pressing tools, it helps you get a better press.  One of the reasons it is able to do that, is the wool absorbs and holds the heat, so when you press, your fabric is getting heat from the top (iron) and the bottom (wool mat).  I just lay my mat over my laptop cart, which is why I have not had to pad it yet!
The cart top is 24″ by about 14″ and you can see that my wool mat is a bit shorter (it is 12″ x 18″).  I have on order a mat that is 17″ x 24″.  It is from a newer company and I want to test it out – if I like that one better, then that is what I will be stocking.  Look for a mat that is 1/2″ thick.  Many of the mats are square, which are targeted to quilters for their blocks, but I have found that I get more use out of a rectangular shape for the clothes that I sew.

A couple of things to note:
– If you are using steam (which is perfectly fine), it can go through the wool.  If your table will be affected by water, put something under your mat.
– Don’t set it on a cutting mat, as the heat can cause the cutting mat to warp (just like you should NOT leave a cutting mat in a hot car).
– Smell – the only drawback that I can find…. it does have an odd smell, especially if you are steaming, but you get used to it (at least I did).

Next up is my sleeve board.  You can see in the picture that you can place a sleeve about half way down the board.  It is padded, and comes in handy for pressing long, skinny things (sleeves!).

I have also been looking at this sleeve board.  2 BIG advantages of this board:  1) the tips are very narrow and 2) the connector is way back at the end, so I can stick longer, skinnier things on here to press.  Drawback – it does not come with padding 🙁
If (or when) I end up ordering this, I will let you know how I like it.  A note on wood pressing products – make sure you are getting them from a reputable company.  Sometimes the really inexpensive tools are coming from overseas and they are not finished well – the wood is not smooth.


My last ironing board is a blast from the past – a doll ironing board that I got from Linda’s Silver Needle, probably 30 years ago.  For those of you who were not around then, LSN was a mail order heirloom sewing shop.  This was in the days before internet.  Every month or so, Linda sent out an email newsletter (yesterday’s version of a blog) that was filled with notions, fabrics, tips, and recipes.  You could call or mail in your order, and then you would wait… and wait… and wait…  No Amazon 2 day delivery for us!  About a month or so later, a package would arrive in the mail with your treasures – like Christmas!
This doll ironing board was one of the things that I ordered from Linda.  It is about 5 inches high and about 8 inches long.

I put one of my bobbins on the top so you would have a comparison.  The end is really tiny and very helpful for getting into tight places!  I sure wish I could give you a link to get your own.

That is all of the pressing matters for today, I will continue more next week!

My Classic Sewing Magazine arrived this week!

My dress in this issue focuses on granitos – one of my favorite stitches that I learned when I studied with the embroideresses at Imperial Bordados, and embroidery factory in Funchal, Madeira.  The fabric is 100% cotton, 45″ wide, and is Pink with Grey and White stripes.  You can find it here.  I used Petersham ribbon to accent – it is such fun to work with!  I will also have kits available later in the week.

Things have gotten away from me this week – I am still editing my video on the long stitch.  I had a couple of questions – there is not a stitch number as it is considered an editing stitch.  It stitches every other stitch, not just elongating the stitch.  Hopefully that video will be posted this week.

I hope to see you all in the near future!

Happy Stitching,


6 thoughts on “Non-traditional Ironing Boards, and New Issue of Classic Sewing Magazine!

  1. Dear Vaune–thanks for this excellent blog on alternative ironing boards. I need one by my sewing machine! I love the doll ironing board. Had never seen one. Thanks for the good info.

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