New Ironing Gadgets for Sewing - Product Review

By Lauren Guthrie

I’m a huge fan of the iron when it comes to sewing. In fact I couldn’t sew without ironing! When I sew at home I always have the ironing board set up and use it almost like a standing workbench.

Ironing and pressing, I think, is one of the main things that will give you super duper neat and professional looking finish on your handmade garments so any new gadgets that make that process easier are a winner in my book!

This week I’ve got two new Prym things that we have road tested in the studio.

The first one is great if you are looking for a space saver. It’s this Prym Ironing Blanket. I totally love that it's called a “blanket’ - makes it sound so cosy! 

What is it?

It’s a light and heat reflecting ironing underlay for ironing on all even surfaces. It is reversible too so you can use it on the sliver side or with the printed centimetre grid and angle markings facing up. It measures 90cm x 60cm and costs £25. (Find it in the shop here).

What are the benefits?

  • As it has a special heat reflective surface that bounces the heat from the iron right back at you it’s ideal for getting nice crisp presses seams.
  • It is lightweight so you could also stretch it round a tailor’s ham to get the heat reflective benefit when pressing darts. This would be especially useful on fabrics that are a bit trickier to press.
  • It’s great if you don’t want to keep getting the ironing board out. You can have it on the table, or even floor next to you.
  • Really handy for small, quick jobs if you don’t want to lug your whole ironing board get-up out. Or if you are travelling!
  • As one side has a cm grid and angle markings you can use it to help get your hem even.

How easy is it to use?

Everything is pretty self explanatory with this one. You just take it out the packet and your ready to go! As with most Prym products there is a handy YouTube video to give you the jist as well.

We did find that it had a bit of a funky smell on its first use but that will likely fade over time and it’s not too offensive.

The next little tool to get scrutinised are these Prym Silicone Finger guards.

Over time I think I’ve developed asbestos when it comes to ironing and pressing but these little guys are great for avoiding burns on your fingertips. 

What are they?

They are made from silicone and are like caps that you just slip on top of your fingers when you are pressing seams to hems. They cost £4.35 for a set of 3 (small, medium and large size in each pack) and you can find them in the shop in this link

What are the benefits?

  • No more fingertip burning!
  • They also have a ridged surface on them so they help to grip the fabric as well. This is especially useful if you are using a slippery fabric or tend to have quite dry hands and find gripping the fabric difficult.
  • I tired ironing right on top of one (when my finger wasn't in it you'll be pleased to know) just so I could see what happens. The iron didn't singe, melt or mark them at all - it was great!
  • I find that even if you are careful and keep your fingers away from the iron when pressing, the fabric itself can become really hot to touch sometimes, so having the guards on is great as you can touch or pick up the fabric straight away. 

How easy are they to use?

Really easy, just slip them out the packet, put them on and pump that steam button on the iron with no fear!

The picture on the packaging shows them on the first 3 fingers but as one of them is quite big I found it more useful to use on my thumb instead. 

In the background of this picture is another really awesome ironing thing that I've started using too. It's a cover for your ironing board that has a grid printed on it. It's great! I'd highly recommend it. You can find it in the shop in this link. It costs £20.50 and can fit wider ironing boards up to 50cm wide - it has a draw string to pull it tight round the board. 

What ironing gadgets do you use? 

The Summer Dress Season!

By Lauren Guthrie

 I absolutely love making dresses but I’m not quite as good at wearing them that often. I’m not sure why, but I know I’m not alone!

I really enjoyed the Simple Sleeveless Top Challenge I set myself for the month of May where each week I shared a different version of the Simple Sleeveless Top from my book.

I really liked the motivation it gave me to try new things so I’ve decided that July is going to be............

Each Friday on the blog I’ll feature a different type of summer dress and talk you though:

  • The design and variation options
  • What I love about it
  • How to style and wear it
  • My top fabric picks
  • My top construction tips
  • My Customisation Ideas

For the following week after the post is published that featured pattern will be on special offer, as well as my top fabric picks too! Yay!

I’ll leave it a surprise as to what each dress will actually be but I’ve given them a sterotype so you know what’s coming up…

  • The Super Comfy Dress
  • The Big Swooshy Dress
  • The Simple Classic Dress
  • The Cute Everyday Dress
  • The Breezy Maxi Dress

To top it all off I’m hosting a special Summer Dress Event in the Shop on Saturday 25th July so save the date!

Come along for a fun day browsing all the different dress patterns that we sell (there are over 30!) and samples of them.

We can properly measure you and give advice on choosing a size and any fitting alterations that might need done, then help you pick out the best fabric!

And of course there will be cake and refreshments (measuring can be done before or after – your choice!)

Let us help you find your Perfect Summer Dress!

It’s free to come along and there is no need to register. We will be open from 9.30am-5.30pm so just drop by anytime! 

We also have two Summer Dress Workshops planned over the summer. Join Claire to make the now sold out everywhere ByHand London Anna Dress (link here) or join Layla for the 'You Choose the Dress' Workshop where you can choose to make any one of the 30+ dress patterns we stock! (link to details here)

Maker Gallery - All the lovely things you have made!

By Lauren Guthrie

Flicking through my Instagram feed and checking up on what's been tagged on Twitter to see what you have been making in one of the most fun parts of what I do. 

I've got endless ideas of all the things that I'd love to make with the fabrics that are in the shop, but getting endless time is another matter. But.... I've got you to help bring it all to life and you never let me down!

Here is a great selection of just some of the gorgeous things you have been making! 

There have been some amazing makes from my book Learn to Sew, including Lornas Yoke top. I love the contrast between solid and patterned fabric on this one! 

Claire made a really cute pair of PJ shorts with the contrast hem - great fabric combo!

Karen made a really lovely fresh summer Simple Sleeveless top with a pretty lace trim and a Pick Your Pockets Skirt. 

And Lisa used this brilliant Quinten Blake Fabric for her Pick Your Pockets Skirt! So nice! 

Gaelle used Liberty Tana Lawn to maker her flowerly Simple Sleeveless Top - doesn't it look so lovely?!

And Lisa made this amazing Have it Your Way Dress. I love the vintage style print of that fabric! The puff sleeves look so cute!

The Grainline Studio Morris Blazer has been so popular since is was released earlier this year. I've seen some really brilliant versions using lots of different types of fabric including these ones...

@petadrake made this super smart version using our Navy Ponte Roma


Gemma made this lovely version using a more stable woven fabric with a slight stretch. 

How awesome is Elizabeths whole outfit of a Spotty Ponte Roma Morris and spotty denim trousers?! (pattern from the lastest Sewing Bee Fashion with Fabric book). 

There have been some gorgeous makes coming out from the workshops over the past few months too. 

How colourful is this class of Coco Dresses from the Sewing with Jersey workshop!?

After 6 months of hard work in the Patchwork Master Class Workshop there was such a beautiful selection of blocks ready for making into a quilt. It's still not to late to join the current master class, or if you'd rather just make a start at Patchwork, we also have a Beginners Patchwork Workshop too! 

How fab do these snazzy trousers look?! Made in the Simple Trouser workshop - where it's easy to learn how to make them fit! 

Laura made this really lovely lampshade in the Drum Lampshade workshop using really pretty Atelier Brunette Fabric - great choice! 

Daisy made this lovely summery smocked top in the Girls Smocked Top Workshop

With the weather getting hotter (sort of) it's starting to hit prime espadrille season. Charlotte made this lovely pair of shoes. The soles now come in even more sizes (find them here) and we have set up lots of summer workshop dates where you can Learn How To Make Your Own Espadrilles! Yay! 

Elaine made this beautiful bag using our Craftwork Patchwork style fabric. I think the handles look so neat! 

You know I love a bit of contrast in a garment project so this Grainline Linden Sweatshirt ticks all the boxes for me! Soft and fluffy Blue Floral Ditsy Print with soft and slinky Ivory Ponte Roma - perfect combo! 

Inspired by my version of the Big Bow Coat Micheala and her Mum made their own version. It looks amazing and what a great fit too! 

Petrina made this really lovely tweed mini skirt from the Sewing Bee Fashion with Fabric book using some of our Raspberry Boucle Fabric

Thanks so much for sharing! If you've been busy stitching using our patterns and fabrics I'd love to see them! You can tag me on Twitter or Instagram @guthrieghani, post on the Facebook Timeline or send me an email [email protected] You can also follow the blog using Bloglovin! Yay!