Should I Iron My Sewing Pattern Before Using It?

There are a whole host of old wives tales in life, but there are also some in sewing alone. One of which is ironing a sewing pattern before using it.

Whether it is ironing it or simply leaving it out and placing on weights, which ever way you choose to do it, getting rid of the wrinkles and folds are imperitive.

You should iron or at least use some form to smooth out the wrinkles and creases in a sewing pattern before using it. This is due to the patterns being so compact in the envelope they often hide important details in the creases. Without these details your project can go off course.

In this article I am going to talk you through some of the burning (we won’t be burning our patterns) questions and give you some tips and tricks to help you get wrinkle free sewing patterns.

Can I Iron Sewing Patterns?

Yes, you can iron your sewing patterns without a problem. I would advise folding out your pattern fully and laying it along your ironing board to give it somewhere sturdy to rest.

This will help it sit nicely and prevent any tears in the paper, especially if you are using a traditional sewing pattern which is made from flimsy tracing paper.

Is It Safe To Iron Sewing Patterns?

Yes, it is completely safe to iron sewing patterns as they are made from paper, though I always advise to use a lower heat and sometimes use a piece of scrap fabric or tea towel over the top to help keep the paper from catching or burning (sometimes irons can cause marks no matter the heat settings).

Make sure you have a test piece or test your iron isn’t on too high before plunging in.

What Heat Should I Use To Iron My Sewing Patterns?

You iron should be set to a very low heat as you want to avoid any scorching of the paper itself. Also make sure your steam setting is turned off as this will cause your pattern to absorb the moisture and essentially get soggy, loose shape and be unusable.

Make sure your setting is low, if you find it isn’t working you can turn it up a touch to slowly help relax the fibres of the paper and press out the wrinkles.

If you have any patterns that are held together with tape make sure you either use a cloth to cover when ironing or avoid that area all together.

Ironing over the tape will melt it, ruin your pattern and ruin your iron which nobody wants especially when you are in the mood to sew.

If you are unsure, use a similar piece of paper which is not your pattern to test the heat before go ahead on your official sewing pattern pieces.

Benefits Of Ironing Sewing Patterns Before Using Them

Of course there are some drawbacks to ironing sewing patterns which mostly come under the pattern getting scorched or soggy from the steam option. But there are so many benefits to ironing a sewing pattern which I will list below;

Reduces Mistakes

I used to never iron my sewing patterns and would justify it somehow but then I would often find I had cut the pattern out wrong, missed something as it was hidden under the smallest fold or the shape was slighly off becuase it wasn’t fully pulled out and flat.

Ironing your sewing pattern can reduces these mistakes and give you a better head start of your sewing project before you have hit the machine.

Makes It Easy To See The Information

Like I said above, ironing your sewing pattern can bring out some of the smaller hidden information such as size lines (primarily if you are cutting your pattern or tracing from the large sheet) or joining sections.

If you plan to reuse your sewing pattern you will more than likely be creating a copy of the original and so you will want to trace the original and so you will need to be able to see every single detail in the pattern to enable you to copy over to the new one.

Easier To Store Again

One of my pet peeves with sewing if trying to fold the patterns back into the packet using the fold lines that were already there. It is near impossible, or atleast I find it impossible.

So when I iron the large sheet of pattern pieces I find it easier to fold and put away again, especially having to put it in that small envelope! You can then create your own folds and make life easier on yourself in the long run.

Easier To Use

Whether you are tracing your sewing pattern or cutting out from the original if you have too many creases and folds it can be hard to get it to lay flat and work with it.

I find it easier to iron out all the crease and lay it out over my dining table (luckily we don’t use it often so it can stay there for a little while if I get distracted by fabric choices).

It is easier to work with as the paper is more relaxed and will flow easier with your workspace, especially if you are limited on space and need to move it as you go.