I bet you wish you came to my place for Sunday dinner.
We run a regular salon over here once a week, discussing important and serious topics of the day.
Last night it was ironing. With a sidebar on hand washing.
The whole concept of "doing your ironing" made sense to my mother-in-law who is of the coke bottle with the shaker on top for dampening clothes before they were ironed generation - the concept meant nothing to my sister-in-law, daughter, and step-daughter.
The three of them are of the if-it-can't-go-from-the-washer-to-the-dryer I won't wear it school, and they iron nothing.
Myself, sort of in middle, am horrified by this. I think most sewers are. You just can't press as you sew and than forget about ironing after that. And you can't spend good money on good fabric and trust it to jumbling around with Mr. Bounce sheet at high heat.
I mean we know where that leads.
Fades and pills kids, fades and pills.
Myself I iron what I wear, although it tends to be on a case-by-case, day-by-day basis at the ironing board set up in my sewing room. And I admit when I do a tired morning rush out the door, more than a few times I grab a knit or something that doesn't need ironing.
This cheats my wardrobe resources and every once in a while I think I need to "do my ironing" and get ahead, be prepared more for emergencies.
My mother-in-law and my mother were of the school of ironing everything after it was washed, this was a routine and they did it. They both sprinkled clothes and put them in the freezer if they couldn't get it all done (every Canadian household always had a chest freezer downstairs at least 8 feet long) so it wouldn't mildew. I even remember my mother, at some stage we all were wearing her particularly out, had an "ironing lady."
This involved my dad packing it all up, tablecloths, and shirts and kids clothes even, and driving it off to some poor soul who ironed it up for my mom. My dad was a teacher so this is no indication of our affluence, but of the trauma of being behind in her ironing that got to my mother, never a domestic natural, and I think tears were involved.
Anyway, women did their ironing.
I remember once being sent over to do wild little boy relief for a family friend who had four of them. She was in position when I arrived - ironing board set up on the beige broadloom, in front of her afternoon "shows," drinking a vodka and orange in the afternoon (which I thought was the height of sophistication and something I made a mental note to do when I grew up, as I only ever saw my own mother drink instant coffee).
I watched her iron tea towels and sheets and even her husband's underwear and we both ignored the boys who I am pretty sure were killing themselves somewhere in the backyard.
I understand that vodka and orange now more than I did then.
What I am sure of now is that her clothes were all set in case she had to run out the door early some time, although I realize now she probably didn't go out much.
So maybe it is OK I only half have the ironing situation under control.
Well that was last night over the dinner table and the natural second course was hand washing, something I am a great believer in. My step daughter (who confided the only thing she has to hand wash is a sweater she got from me) wanted to know what you do to get the soap bubbles out of a hand washed sweater.
This brought on a dissertation from me on the virtues of rinse water.
And everyone went home after that.
Tell me what is your position on ironing and how much hand washing do you do at your house?
- I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon