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Burning finger with steam from the iron

Geegwhiz | Posted in General Discussion on

Hidee! I just join Gatherings and look forward to the discussions and help I know I’ll get here. I was on Sewing World for a long time and regretted it’s closing. This is the first place I’ve found that is simular in format. I’ve been reading Threads a long time, always ready for the next issue way before it’s release. This is the first time I’ve visited the web site, and I’ll be honest it was in desperation I came. I’ve started my own small business Geewhiz Designs (Gee has been my nickname my whole life so it only seemed natural) Anyway my biggest and first customer is a kennel/grooming business. I’m making different size bandanas that I fold over a sleeve for collars. When I turn under the raw edge I’m burning my finger constantly. When you are only doing this a few times it’s no big deal, but I’m doing this anywhere from 25 to 30 times in a row. OUCH! I’m sitting here typing with one hand because I have a glob of aloe on the finger of my other hand. I seem to remember a notion I read about that protects the finger from the steam but haven’t a clue which issue it was in. Does anyone remember what it was? Thanks so much!


  1. alotofstitches | | #1

    I remember seeing the idea to use the silicone oven mitt for that but i thought that too clumsy but I did try the finger tips that I had bought for gripping fabric when machine quilting. they work great! I did have to get used to them but but they do protect my fingers when doing a lot of pressing.

  2. KharminJ | | #2

    Good Morning, Gee, and Welcome! Welcome!

    Since you're (presumably) doing straight hems, perhaps using a template of some sort would help?

    Hold a piece of heavy cardstock or the stiff plastic that's sold for use with hot-glue guns, at the fold line - and use the edge of the iron to do the turning-and-pressing in one pass... I've done it, but not sure I'm explaining it well...

    Good luck to you, and Bright Blessings!


  3. Ceeayche | | #3

    Welcome to our community!

    There are a couple of products available, I'm not sure how you are pressing but here are two.

    The hand press pad:


    The finger protector: http://www.createforless.com/Sew+Unique+Cool+Fingers+Protector/pid32316.aspx?utm_source=googlebase&utm_medium=cse


  4. Teaf5 | | #4

    Do you stitch after you turn the raw edge? If so, you can use a rolled hem foot and eliminate the pressing altogether. The foot curls the edge so that it slides beneath the needle completely folded.

    If you're not stitching and just pressing, a bias tape folder will work; it's a metal, flanged device that you slide along the fabric, pressing the fabric as it comes out, neatly folded and a few inches away from your fingers. It costs less than $5.

  5. Tatsy | | #5

    There is absolutely no reason to use an iron to turn narrow hems. Either a narrow hemming foot or a rolled hem on a serger will do the job without going near an iron. The hemming foot is very cheap, probably under $20 or even less.

    A good serger can be had for a few hundred dollars. Either one is a taxable business expense and will do the job more quickly and easily than ironing and turning.

    Personally, I prefer the rolled hem on a serger and just finished a dozen for one of my sons' dogs. If you're not interested in purchasing a serger, the narrow hemming foot will do the job nearly as well, just remember to cut the first part of the hem at a 45 degree angle to avoid excess bulk.

  6. Geegwhiz | | #6

    Thanks for all the input! I'm sure between all the suggestions I'll find one that suits my purpose. I do have a serger, Tasty. Wouldn't live without it. I'm putting sleeves on some of the scarfs to run a collar through. I know I can serge the edge and not turn it under but I'm kind of old fashion I guess. I like the finished look turning the edge of the sleeve gives. On the rest of the edges I'm using wooly nylon that complemets the fabric. It fun playing with all the colors. The last person who worked for them used pinking shears to finish the edges. I use to not be able to live without my pinking shears but since buying a serger about 14 years ago I haven't pick them up.

    I've been meaning to get the gadget that you use to make bias tape and just haven't ordered one. I like using matching bias in a lot of my projects. I guess now I need to get serious about finding one. Hey that could mean a trip to Atlanta and JoAnn's! I'm way up in Northeast Georgia with the only store being a Walmart that will soon have no fabric! JoAnn's is 90 miles away. Good thing I like shopping the internet!

    Thanks again so much for the warm welcome. I'm gonna try my hardest to get here at least once a week


    1. Ceeayche | | #7

      No need to wait til you can get to ATL! Do it online!

    2. krichmond | | #8

      Hi Gee:

      Have you tried making your own finger dauber? I've never made one, but it seem pretty easy. You need a small piece of wooden dowel (a little less than finger thickness) and you just wrap it with a little piece of wool suiting. I can't remember it you need to pad the tip of the dowel first. You can handstitch the fabric onto the dowel, or if you're in a hurry to just see if it would work for you, just wrap a rubber band around it to secure. You need to keep a small container of water handy to dip the dowel tip in before applying it to your seam (instead of a moistened finger). I've never tried this myself, but I remember reading about it somewhere. It seems simple enough; the hardest part is breaking the habit of using your finger.

      Hope this helps.


      Kay R.

    3. thumbsx10 | | #9

      What about stitch witchery (narrow), then sew it if you wish.

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