Want To Press Faster? Get A Bigger Iron!

Lazies, In all of my 30+ years of sewing, I’ve never used or owned a steam press. So why would I need one now? I’ve always persevered with a household iron. But with all of the fusing I’ve been doing lately, it occurred to me that I could iron faster with a bigger iron. We’ve talked a bit about pressing and irons lately. So I thought I’d tell you about two new additions to my ironing toolbox: a steam press and a ‘Big Board’ ironing board.


Singer ESP-2 Electronic Steam Press
Click the image above for details.

Steam Press
I called each of my sewing-centric friends and not one had ever had or used a steam press. So I thought to myself if they’ve never needed one, why do I?

I’ve used fusibles extensively in Miranda, Mini Miranda and Claire, my last three bag designs. I don’t like the amount of time it takes to fuse things. Gosh, I have better things to do. I thought a bigger iron must be the answer and therefore a steam press might be a time saving tool for me – and it has been.

I bought this Singer ESP-2 Electronic Steam Press a few months ago. And it has not disappointed. I based my choice of this item on the reviews at Amazon.

Time Saver
With a 9″ x 24″ pressing surface, I can fuse interfacing or batting for a bag project in about a minute. Wow, that’s a huge time saver for me. The bottom pressing surface is an ironing board. The top surface is the heated ‘iron’. The white handle gently clamps down to put pressure on the ironing surface.

Steam-less Goodness
And amazingly, I don’t use the steam option. You know I love steam. But with this press, I don’t need it. The iron does its job quite nicely with dry heat – a first in my sewing experience. This confirms what Carolyn Griffin told us two weeks ago when she guest blogged about her ironing set-up and love of dry ironing.

Big Board Ironing Board
My ironing board was beginning to sag in the middle. Must be a mid-life thing. Again, I turned to my sewing buddies for input and finally ordered a ‘Big Board’ ironing surface to sit atop my ironing board. I ordered this through my local quilt shop.

You can see and read about the Big Board at their site here.

The Big Board is 22″ x 59″ – a nice sized ironing surface. I love that I can press an entire fat quarter on this board. You could actually do two side by side, but I keep a bunch of ‘stuff’ on the end of my ironing board. You know the stuff, scissors, point turner, pin cushion, spray bottle, garbage/debris – a mess of good stuff.

I made one modification to my Big Board. I added one layer of padding under the cover using a crib sized batting from Warm and Natural.

Keeping an Eye on Reliable
I’m quite interested to know more about some products by Reliable after reading this post at the Checker Newsletter blog recently. I’ve heard good things about Reliable. I’d love to try their iron and I’d love to see their spiffy ironing board in person.

Lazies, do you have any of the products discussed today? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


Leave a Lazy Comment

16 Responses to “Want To Press Faster? Get A Bigger Iron!”

  1. Kim Jones — July 20, 2009 @ 7:15 am

    Good Morn’n Joan!
    I don’t own one of these, by a local quilt shop here in town has one in the back room. They swear by it in pressing things FAST! It is an invaluable tool in the quilting world, too bad we didn’t come up with the idea first!

    Have a GREAT day! Putting this on my Christmas list – if I’m a good girl, maybe Santa will bring me one! 🙂

  2. Denise — July 20, 2009 @ 7:16 am

    A member of our American Sewing Guild who also happens to be a professional seamstress has one of these. I can tell you if you also sew garments it is a dream to own. If interlining a jacket or other pieces it is fast. The same would hold true on totes and purses. If you can afford one and have the room, I say go for it. Thanks for sharing, Joan,

  3. Judi — July 20, 2009 @ 7:21 am

    I have a Singer Magic Steam 7 that I hardly ever use. I have a small sewing/laundry area and the thing is just too heavy to lift on and off the table. I bought it years ago because I grew up ironing on a rotary mangle ironing machine, and thought this would be an improvement. I worked in a dry cleaners for a year and used those really big presses and loved how fast they got the job done . Using it for quilting and craft projects is fine but doing shirts, blouses etc is tedious. Burned fingers and arms can happen frequently when doing small pieces because the heated area is the upper part of the unit and you have to reach under that to place and remove your project. Before you run out and buy one (expensive) try it out several times to see it it meets your needs. Judi

  4. Gail — July 20, 2009 @ 7:33 am

    I have had a press for many years to do all the fusing on my paperback book covers that I sell in my etsy shop. I love it! It has saved me hours of time in front of the ironing board- and it does a better job because the heat is evenly distributed over the entire surface at one time. Try it, you’ll like it!

  5. Susan — July 20, 2009 @ 7:46 am

    We just got the Reliable ironing board to use in the classroom at the quilt shop. Everyone loves it! It is great for ironing fat quarters, boarder strips, bindings, etc.

    I have a homemade big ironing surface that my husband made for me. It sits atop some cabinets for extra storage in my sewing room That extra space makes fusing so much easier. However, like you, I have a bunch of “stuff” that resides on the end of my ironing surface. What is it about horizontal surfaces that attracts piles of “stuff”?!

    I have used a steam press at a friend’s house and loved it for fusing. Just don’t have the space for one of my own right now.

  6. Penny — July 20, 2009 @ 7:54 am

    I don’t own the press (but I want one!). I do have the big board, however I found that it was too heavy for my very very cheap ironing board and someone lean on it OUCH! So hubby placed it on an ol desk we have and it fit perfect. I bought another ironing board (wide one) for all other pressing, but I love the big board. It is fabulous for large pieces and yes plenty of room on the end for all the goodies you talked about. At the MidAtlantic quilt show I purchased one of the covers that is fiberglass and it helps heat from the bottom up and I don’t have to turn my iron up so high but the surface is slick and things can slid around but it does do a nice press. (I will try and think of the name but don’t have the paperwork with it). Thanks so much for sharing Joan!
    Penny D in Chesapeake

  7. jenny tribout — July 20, 2009 @ 9:02 am

    I wish I had more money….

  8. Sheila Perl — July 20, 2009 @ 11:23 am

    I tested the Singer Steam Press several times but didn’t purchase it.
    I wanted it for help in ironing yardage but I found it was a real hassle to get the yardage on straight and not “steam myself” to death!!
    I was selling precut squares of quilting fabrics at the time.
    Also once I pressed in a crease by mistake…yikes, it was hard to get out!
    Same for pressing my husbands shirts.
    But it would be absolutely ideal for interfacings and fusings!!!
    I have that strange accumulation of “stuff” at the end of my board too and I even purposely have a storage bin at that end to “hold” all that stuff but it jumps over to the end of my board!!
    Sheila in sunny Ontario

  9. Annie — July 20, 2009 @ 11:46 am

    I’ve used a Reliable Velocity iron for several years and LOVE it.

    It looks like a regular iron, but inside it is a separate steam generator which takes it miles beyond a “regular” iron. Usually the temperature of your iron’s soleplate determines your steam — the hotter the soleplate, the better the steam. Since this iron has a separate steam generator, you’ve got great steam even at the lowest setting. My iron has two settings for steam. Seldom do I use the high setting as the low setting is more steam than I’m used to. The only drawback I can think of to the iron is that it really goes through water with all the steam.

    Another thing I like is that the soleplate has small holes — with this iron I don’t catch the edges of my pieces in a whole and press in a wrinkle like I did so often with my last iron.


  10. mary — July 20, 2009 @ 2:41 pm

    I have had a Reliable steam generator for about a year and a half and I think it is great. I can use steam continuously because it has a removable reservoir. Hours without running out of steam!! You can’t beat it. The only thing to improve would be to get a vacuum board, but the wattage requirements of the iron and board exceed our breaker box limits. Some day we will have to update that so I can have my dream ironing setup. The best price on Reliable I have found to be at Allbrands.com. It even came with a free extended warranty!

  11. KJ — August 10, 2009 @ 12:31 pm

    HI Joan!

    I have the Simplicity Digital Steam Quick Press. I’ve had it for about 8 months and have barely used it. I would love more tips and uses. Trying to press large fabric pieces or yardage is a real bear! I’m so glad you’ve started using one and have the willingness to share with us Lazies.

  12. Samantha — March 15, 2010 @ 11:26 am

    I don’t have a steam press, but if I were using fusibles more, I would definitely look into it. It can be so time consuming! My husband and I made a huge ironing surface for my sewing room. It is a 4×8 sheet of plywood that we covered with batting and canvas and it sits on top of some shelving units. I got it so I could iron yardage and make vestments for him (he’s a priest). It is so wonderful to be able to lay all of the fabric out and all of the pattern pieces for an entire dress. I can put a cutting mat up there when I need to rotary cut. I love having it!

  13. radwan mallas — October 29, 2010 @ 2:19 pm

    the Singer ESP-2 Electronic Steam Press is availble at syria and 50-60 hzs 220 v
    if not available how i can get one in my home at syria waht is the full cost

  14. Chris Lawrence — June 30, 2014 @ 8:49 pm

    Hi there. How much is this if I wereto buy it to be used in Singapore?

  15. Mordechai Sobol — December 7, 2014 @ 4:25 pm

    Hello gentlemen
    I would like to find out:
    1. How much does your product cost
    2. Can it work well in 220-240V
    3. Are you willing to send this product to Israel and how much it will cost

  16. deane — September 16, 2015 @ 1:24 pm

    So, How does it work? What if you already have a big iron and you just want the press side? does the iron detach?