Ironing is not my favorite sewing-related activity. I know how important it is to have nice, crisp seams, so I invested in a good iron, and I love how well it does its thing. My ironing board, on the other hand, was a hot mess. I got it at Ikea for super cheap, and as with most cheap purchases, it left a lot to be desired. I had to add two layers of batting made out of an old bath towel so that my fabric did not end up with the imprint of the metal base. In a more recent development, the string that kept the cover tight disintegrated, so the cover would not stay put while I ironed.
I put up with this nonsense for a couple of months. I was getting really annoyed at the cover bunching up or slipping around every time I tried to iron. I would say words that shall not be repeated here and would huff and puff in indignation while trying to get the cover back. This situation was impacting my sewing practice and leaving me fuming.
I put my Googling skills to use, and I found two great tutorials on how to make an ironing board cover: a video tutorial by the Online Fabric Store and a blog tutorial by Tilly from Tilly and the Buttons. Neither one was exactly what I wanted, so I just combined the two tutorials into one to create an elasticated cover with the elastic channel made with bias binding.
The pattern was created by putting the ironing board face down directly on the fabric and marking out 2-3 inches from the board with a marking pen or pencil. If you are using a large ironing board, using the old cover might be a better idea—I don’t know if I would want to flip a full-size board onto the floor in a living room like mine. Once I “created” the pattern, all I had to do was cut it.
I have been trying to use my stash for most of my projects. This fabric was part of one of my very first fabric orders. This was a time when, after discovering novelty prints, I decided to buy all of them. I soon realized that the fun bright prints looked great as fabric, but not so much as a garment—keep in mind, my color palette is black. This fabric was meant to be a skirt, and as adorable as it is, I never felt it would never work as such. When I decided to replace the ironing board cover, I knew this was the most perfect fabric for the job.
This is a great afternoon project. It took me a couple of hours to complete because I have sewing ADD and stop every 20, 30 minutes to do some other thing that is completely pointless and will add nothing to my life. I have actually started setting a timer to get me focused on sewing because, really, this is just ridiculous.
I found some bias tape that matched the fabric perfectly among my supplies. I have organized my fabric, but I never really went through my supplies. I have packets of bias tape, trim lace, ribbons, zippers, buttons… but I don’t know exactly in what color or quantity. It is time to catalog everything. I used a whole packet of beige bias tape for thsi project.
To create the elastic channel, I lined the edge of the bias tape to the edge of the fabric, right sides together. The bias tape got bunched up when I hit the corners, but since a. that part was going to be under the board and b. the elastic was going to bunch things up anyway, I did not worry too much about it. Then, I folded the bias tape under, made sure that the seam rolled under by a little bit—just so that the tape is neatly hidden—and gave it a good press. I sewed as close the edge of the tape as I could, and the channel was created.
The nice thing about the bias tape is that you can create a nice point of entry for the elastic. I folded one of the ends of the bias tape and overlapped that end by a couple of inches. I only had wide elastic, so I cut it in half and sewed the two pieces to get my desired width and length. The elastic did not fray, so I am hoping that it last. Then, I used a safety pin to get the elastic into the channel.
Instead of cutting the elastic before getting it into the channel, I inserted the elastic and placed the cover on the ironing board. Then, I pulled the elastic until I got the fit that I wanted. This method made handling the elastic a much easier task.
Isn’t this ironing board cover the most adorable thing? It has made my sewing corner so much nicer to look at. Sewing has improved; I will not say I enjoy it, but at least I am not fighting the cover to stay put. I still have some of this fabric leftover, and I plan to use it to make a pillow for my new sewing/work chair or maybe a tote for sewing supplies.