Recently, my sewing friend, Esther Grant of Tiger Swallow Tales left this comment on my facebook page: "Laurie, could you please tell us a little about those round/egg shaped irons that are advertised in older Sew Beautiful magazines and were used to iron smocked bishop sleeves? Did they work well and are any still available anywhere? I sure could use one".
Perhaps you too, have seen advertisements, like shown above in old issues of Sew Beautiful Magazine or Creative Needle (no longer in publication), and wondered about the odd egg-shaped iron.The advertisement reads "The unique oval head reaches those "hard-to-get-at" pockets, puffs, and ruffles. Shapes contours and seams while sewing. Great for dressmaking, smocking, needlework...even for doll clothes".
So to answer Esther's question, Yes! I do use and I like my puff-iron. It's a valuable tool in my sewing room! I have had it for many years. This wonderful little iron solves the problem of ironing those "hard-to-get-at" places, ruffles, and especially puff sleeves. It has a high and low setting, but be careful, you can easily burn yourself on this iron!
It clamps to a table or your ironing board, so that both your hands are free. All you do is slip the sleeve over the egg-shaped iron and with a back and forth motion, you can easily iron a puff sleeve that you can't iron with a regular iron.
It also works great on a baby bonnet!
Another great use for this iron is when you have curved seams that need to be ironed - it's easy to just iron those curves on the puff iron, helping you to shape the contour of the seam without the risk of tearing seams or fragile fabric.
You can also puff up velvet by using a damp cloth between the iron and the velvet as you press it over the head. A slight steam will result and any velvet that is crushed or has folds in it will iron out and look like new again!
Now the question you all are probably wondering....where do you get one? Well, the bad news is that the Vin-Max Puff Irons are no longer available, as the factory that produced them burned down at the end of 2007. At that time they did not anticipate continued production. The good news is that often times you can find them on ebay!