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Ironing en plein air: Mr Hiwell with Voldemort

Pro tip: PRESS. Press ALL the things.

Press the seams, the sleeves, the joins, the skirts. Press it good. Press it again.
Press as you go, and your clothes will fit better and go together more easily.
Press your clothes before you wear them, and they’ll look better.

I have a Rowenta iron affectionately known as “Voldemort” for its tendency to hiss and belch when waiting to be used. The iron is so noisy that my son once said, “Gesundheit” reflexively when it sat between seam pressings.

Voldemort himself

It’s a “Pro Master” model, from a clearance rack at Bed, Bath and Beyond (which is why I could afford it).  While it’s not the top of the Rowenta line, it’s heavier and steamier than my previous Rowenta, which was knocked to the floor by someone else too many times in early morning shirt-and-tie pressing sessions. That iron developed a nasty over-heating habit, and was eventually chucked into the yard where it burned a neat iron-shaped hole in the grass… don’t drop your irons, kids.

In addition to the Rowenta, I have a Sunbeam  with a retractable cord,  purchased to replace the overheating Rowenta. It, too, is heavy and steamy, and was my go-to iron until I used someone else’s better Rowenta at a sewing workshop.

The best steam iron you can afford is worth every penny for the difference it will make in the drape and finish of your garments.

Lance needles: the best I’ve used.

Bonus Pro Tip: Use the smallest, sharpest needles you can work with. Smaller needles = smaller stitches.