If you’ve learned one thing about me during the course of reading this blog, that one thing will more than likely be just how clumsy and dangerous I am. I can quite easily stub a toe, fall down the stairs and smash several glasses just in the course of a week – it’s been done before! In fact, truth be told, there was even the single day that I smashed 2 glass bottles full of juice (not at the same time), cut my hand on the glass while cleaning up and then smashed a jar of pickled onions. So you can only imagine what I’m like with an iron – not so great would be an understatement. One of the first times I decided to properly try ironing some clothes, I picked up the iron and immediately put it down onto my thumb – not because I wanted to get out of the ironing, simply because I seemingly have no spacial awareness, even of myself, and my thumb became the unwitting victim.
So where am I going with this?! Well, it turns out that when you’re a “grown up” (which apparently I am now considering that I have a real job and a house, booo!), there are occasions where you really do need to get creases out of clothes, and my sewing habit has also revealed to me that a hand sewn garment will only look good if the seams are properly pressed – it’s the first rule of sewing apparently! So when I was offered the chance to review the Tefal Access Steamer, I jumped on it immediately realising just how useful it would be for my wardrobe and sewing days.
Of course, it arrived the very day we left to go on holiday, so I didn’t get to play with it immediately. But it waited patiently for my return, so Ben and I set to trying out the new gadget as soon as we could – although being ever so slightly untrustworthy of new things, I submitted Ben’s clothing to the test first!
And we were definitely impressed. These photos aren’t from our first test, but they do illustrate (to some extent, the lighting wasn’t brilliant!) just how well it works:
On the left is before steaming, on the right is after – note the creasing on the sleeves and around the bottom edge, plus the collar. That’s a definite difference, if I do say so myself!
These pictures actually illustrate very well one of the perfect uses for the Tefal Access Steamer. These were taken during our recent trip to the Peak District to stay in our friend’s holiday cottage. We weren’t sure whether they had an iron and ironing board (in fact, thinking about it now they actually maybe do have them as it’s used a bit more as a second home, but were you staying in a real holiday cottage, apartment, hotel etc. they probably wouldn’t!), so we took along the Steamer instead – I mean, it’s far easier than carrying an iron around, not to mention the ironing board! It’s lightweight enough to stash away in your bag and doesn’t take up too much room. Add to that the fact that all you need to do is fill up the water tank, wait 45 seconds for it to heat up (nothing at all really) then brush it down the garment to remove creases. It has a couple of handy features which make this easier including the brush head attachment that opens up the weave to allow creases to drop out more easily, and also a lock feature on the trigger so you can lock it in place, not needing to hold down the button the whole time.
I managed to get Ben to (willingly for once!) volunteer to help out with this post for the blog, so here he is demonstrating how the device works:
But what about with sewing, how would it help there? To be honest, I was a bit unsure about this after trying it on a garment since it’s not the same as sweeping an iron over a large area or pressing seams flat. It definitely couldn’t replace an iron and ironing board in that sense (and yes, I am getting better with practice – I haven’t burnt myself in weeks!), but it does still definitely come in handy with sewing occasionally as I found this weekend. I was sewing a dress out of printed jersey knit fabric and uncertain whether to use the iron on it. After practising on a scrap with the iron, I decided I was probably okay to use it, as long as it wasn’t too hot (as that was causing the jersey to roll up a bit), so I pulled out the iron on the first seam and, yep, it was a fail! Remember I mentioned that the fabric was printed…well, when I practised on the scrap, I only tried it on the back – when you’re pressing a seam open, those printed sides end up flat against the iron (just don’t tell Ben I’ve slightly ruined the iron…he doesn’t know yet!).
So Tefal Access Steamer to the rescue! I read online that someone suggested hovering a steam iron over fabric like this then pressing it down with your fingers – obviously a few seconds after the steamer is away from the seam, not while still in place, and don’t worry, I figured that one out with common sense (for once!). And it worked! So it turns out that the Steamer is good for seams that don’t need heavy pressing such as delicate fabrics or printed fabrics. But just to be sure, please make sure to test it on a scrap of fabric first!