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Thread: Spin-off on Wash Day Growing Up---Ironing Shirts!

  1. #1
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    Spin-off on Wash Day Growing Up---Ironing Shirts!

    My daughter is studying to be a nurse practitioner. Tomorrow she starts clinicals and has to wear a lab coat. She asked me to iron it because she said she had no clue how to do it. (I did teach this girl, 34, to iron!). The fabric was very heavy cotton, almost like khaki or twill. It reminded me of ironing my dad's shirts. When I was about 10 he decided my sister and I needed to learn how to starch and iron his white shirts. So my mom washed them in the wringer washer, put them in the starch bucket, rolled them up and put them in the refrigerator. Then after a couple of days we used the sprinkler bottle, a soda bottle with a sprinkler top. We would then dampen the shirt and iron it. They were hard to iron, getting all the wrinkles out, took forever! and my dad inspected them to make sure they were done right.

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    All I can say is thank goodness for modern clothes fabrics that come out if the dryer ready to wear. My ironing is saved for quilt fabric now.

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    I turned on my iron for the first time in months today!
    Yep, ironed quilt fabric.
    "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"
    Susan

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    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    I still iron my hubby cotton dress shirts.

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    Super Member kitsykeel's Avatar
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    I used to iron bedsheets and pillow cases when we lived at the beach. We often had guests so I pretended it was a bed and breakfast and made everything look special, even changed their sheets every three days. I enjoyed it then even though I was working full time. Haven't done that in years, although I do make sure when company comes they have clean sheets, although a little wrinkled. Quilting fabric and table cloths are the only things that get ironed here now.
    Kitsy

  6. #6
    Super Member slk350's Avatar
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    I remember my Mom washing in a wringer machine, then hanging the clothes on the clothes line and they froze solid in the winter, then she took them in , sprinkled them with water, rolled them in a towel and put them in the frig. Then ironing them in a few days...CRAZY !!

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    Had to iron dads work shirts also...start with the collar...then the shoulders, then the front buttonholes, then the button area, followed by sleeves....don't forget those cuffs, then front, working around to the back, then finish up on the other front side...now...hope it passes inspection!! LOL...those were the days!!!

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    when i was a newlywed, we were college students and he worked nights. we had no tv. so for 'entertainment', i used to iron his t-shirts! LOL
    Nancy in western NY
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  9. #9
    Super Member kateyb's Avatar
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    When we first got married I ironed my husband's dress shirts. Then while at a party with his co-workers he made the comment that he didn't like the way I ironed his shirts. (He never said anything to me privately.) I HATE ironing anyway. I'm a redhead with a temper. Soooo for the last 42 years he has gotten to iron his own shirts.

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    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    My mom had one of those big rolling press irons like they have at the dry cleaners and use to iron everything with it...especially the sheets. She would pull up a chair and sit there for hours pressing all of us kids bed sheets every week. What a dedicated mom she was. And she had Hodgkins Disease while she did this!
    Last edited by jcrow; 02-28-2013 at 05:54 AM.
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  11. #11
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    I hate ironing. I won't buy anything that's not wash and wear right out of the dryer. It's the only part of quilting I hate.

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    My grandmother worked in a laundry when a young girl and she taught me to iron shirts the easy way, on the broad end of the ironing board. Put the whole back up to the collar,then manover to the left and right, back done. then do the same for the front. Then all you have is sleeve and rest of the shirt is flat ironing. I ironed my husbands military uniforms and yes, starched them till like a board. lol

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    My grandmother thought everything needed ironed even dish towels and socks I am horrible at ironing my dh used to iron our uniforms because he did a better job with all the knife pleats I spit shinned the shoes and boots

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    Super Member Pinkiris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anniedeb View Post
    Had to iron dads work shirts also...start with the collar...then the shoulders, then the front buttonholes, then the button area, followed by sleeves....don't forget those cuffs, then front, working around to the back, then finish up on the other front side...now...hope it passes inspection!! LOL...those were the days!!!

    Either your mom and mine went to the same school, or there is only one right way to iron dress shirts! I do it in the exact same order that you do! I remember starting with ironing handkerchiefs to learn on. Then I graduated to ironing my Dad's cotton boxer shorts (wrinkles would be "painful for him" according to my Mom) and graduating to dress shirts.


    So glad that we don't have to iron clothes (much) any more. Phew!
    Sue

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinkiris View Post

    Either your mom and mine went to the same school, or there is only one right way to iron dress shirts! I do it in the exact same order that you do! I remember starting with ironing handkerchiefs to learn on. Then I graduated to ironing my Dad's cotton boxer shorts (wrinkles would be "painful for him" according to my Mom) and graduating to dress shirts.


    So glad that we don't have to iron clothes (much) any more. Phew!
    Honestly, I don't mind ironing. My dad used to make a really big deal about what a great job I did on his shirts! I think it was his way to keep getting his shirts ironed...I was #3 of 9 kids, so mom was always busy doing something else!!

  16. #16
    Super Member kitsykeel's Avatar
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    Now that's funny. Too bad you weren't into quilting back then, I'm sure you would have enjoyed ironing pretty fabrics a lot more than t-shirts.

    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltnNan View Post
    when i was a newlywed, we were college students and he worked nights. we had no tv. so for 'entertainment', i used to iron his t-shirts! LOL
    Kitsy

  17. #17
    Junior Member Wardy74's Avatar
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    LOl. I remember when I got my started my nursing in 1992 aged 18. My uniforms were so starched when I got them you could stand them up. Wish your daughter luck. I love my job.

  18. #18
    Super Member MaryKatherine's Avatar
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    My Dad was a doctor and his shirts had to be perfect or the nurses would talk about what a lousy wife my mother was
    ( her paranioa I'm sure ) She would wash and dry his shirts, sprinkle them with water and roll them into a tight cylinder. I can still see then stacked on the dryer in the kitchen where we ate lunch. About Thursday she would iron, (the whole day if you asked her) and my Dad's white shirts would fill the closet.
    She thought she'd died and gone to heaven when they brought out permanent press, and my Dad was just as happy with them. But all we girls, 3 of us, knew how iron shirts.
    I was shocked when I married my second husband to find he ironed his own shirts. He got into that habit because that was a quiet time for him while he memorized his Masonic rites.
    MaryKatherine
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    I ironed for my MIL in the '50's. She had a pin strip seersucker suit that made me sick to my stomach every time I ironed it. I think that started our problems that lasted for 30 yrs.

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    We didn't have a wringer washer but did hang out the laundry on the line. And I do remember the sprinkler bottle -- it was a recycled Aunt Jemima brown glass syrup bottle. Thank goodnes, though, Dad sent all of his shirts to the cleaners for washing, starching and ironing! How about darning? I remember darning and darning socks -- wow was that a project and it was all mine, for the whole family! Throwing them out these days or using as dusting clothes seems to make more sense.

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    I remember being taught to iron in Domestic Science class - thats Home Economics, or used to be, probably Family and Consumer Science now if taught at all. When I showed my Mother she said it was all wrong. So I did it one way at school and another way at home. I actually enjoyed ironing and ironed my father, husband and sons military uniforms. I had a little toy ironing board and iron as a child and passed it onto my daughter.

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    Forgot to add about darning. I saw a darning egg at an antique store and the owner said he had to ask what it was. it is now labeled so others will know. Darning and hand sewing was "quiet work" done in the evenings. When we got television it was still done in the evenings while we watched; actually mostly listened.

  23. #23
    Super Member donnajean's Avatar
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    I ironed shirts for $.25 each when I was I was in college in the 60's. That was gas money. 1st time I used automatic washer & dryer was in college. At home, I used the wringer type washer & laundry tubs to wash, hung clothes to dry, sprinkled, rolled & put in basket ready to iron. I darned socks too.

  24. #24
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    ha, ha. when i was about 12 yrs old i was ironing something and ended up ironing my left wrist! ouch. i called my Grandmother who lived in the house behind us and she told me to pray. I had a brown scar for many years but it's gone now. later I earned money from my Sister by doing her ironing. i still hate to iron today.

  25. #25
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    When I was young, I use to iron every Saturday after helping with the chores. We had a sprinkle bottle also...use to sprinkle the clothes with water, roll it up and put in the ironing basket until everything was sprinkled and then start ironing. Loved it. I still iron today. When it comes out of the dryer and I don't like it.. I iron it! I hang a lot of things up to air dry so they have to be ironed.
    Pam Riggs

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