Sewing Adventures: Keep it simple silly…

Posted by on November 9, 2014 at 8:44 am.

4x5 originalFor the past several months, I’ve been searching for a high quality tailors pressing iron. Unfortunately, I kept coming up empty.

It wasn’t due to lack of searching on my part. I did that also I was willing to spend up to $250 for a good quality iron. Why so pricey? I sew.  Seams need to be pressed as you create them. You need a good quality iron to accomplish a seam that is properly set. I was looking for a workhorse, so I don’t mind spending extra to receive that.  Simple enough, right? The problem is I wasn’t finding any that met my criteria.

Although I’d saved one or two pressing irons to my Wishlist on Amazon. I wasn’t impressed with them. Each one of those irons cost a little under $200.  But I wasn’t sold on either one and so I continued my search.




My quest landed me on a few tailoring forums that I frequent, and it confirmed what I already knew, my purchase would be a vintage iron. The only question was, finding the right fit for me.


I stumbled upon Rory Duffy’s tailoring series titled, The Making of a Coat and I discovered that he was using a similar iron that I wantedI’ve included one of the videos in the series. Shortly after the 1:00 mark, Rory explains why he uses a heavy (no steam) clothing iron and the importance of following the heat with a cool sadiron. If you don’t have one of those, you could always use a clapper.

American Beauty Iron

American Beauty dry pressing iron


Several weeks later, I’m happy to say, that I’ve finally scored the iron that I want! It’s a vintage American Beauty dry pressing iron. It weighs 16 pounds and was made in the early 1900s. I can’t wait to receive it!

I definitely prefer old irons. The ones I’ve used have been extremely durable, metal and all of them were heavy.  The first iron I used was an old 1940s General Electric iron. It was heavy, produced steam and was a workhorse. It belonged to my father. My complaint with many of the irons made today is that several don’t seem to have the same quality (or heft) of the irons made in the past.


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