Stashbuster: Ironing Board Cover

Image of an ironing board with a cover made of a fabric with vintage sewing machines print.
The New Cover

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.

Image of an old, stained ironing board cover
The Old Cover

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.

Image of detail od ironing board string coming undone
The Offending String

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.

Pattern

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.

Fabric

Image of fabric with vintage sewing machines, thread spools, and buttons as print against a grayish background.
Cute Fabric from the Stash

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.

Construction

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.

Image of beige bias tape pinned to the fabric
Future Bias Tape Channel

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.

Image of the elastic channel made with bias tape
The Bias Tape Channel

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.

Image of bias tape detail
Bias Tape Channel Entry

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.

Inserting the Elastic

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.

Image of an iron of an ironing board with a cover made of fabric with vintage sewing machines print
A Nice Addition to the Sewing Corner

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.

3 Comments

  1. Lodi
    April 27, 2020 / 6:05 pm

    I had to chuckle a few times reading this post! My two grandmas were diametrically opposed. One was outwardly warm and loving, and actually seemed to enjoy cooking, cleaning and all things domestic. The other deplored pretty much every domestic task. But that grandma taught me the most important sewing skill ever – ironing. I remember that she told me this while I was sewing and she sat on the sofa and read. :=)
    Fond memories aside, my IB cover is a bit toxic looking and I just remembered a black/teal cat print fabric that would pretty that bad boy up. Thanks for the inspo!

    • SewGoth
      Author
      May 4, 2020 / 4:46 pm

      This is really funny! As a teen, I refused to learn anything that I considered domestic—including cooking and sewing. My dad’s mom was a sewist, but I never cared to learn any sewing from her. I really regret it today. I am happy you listened to your grandma 🙂

  2. April 29, 2020 / 8:24 pm

    Such a nice project! The fabric is just perfect for it. I have such an ironing board from Ikea (similar to yours, but I think mine’s smaller?) and hate the imprint from ironing. I really should fix it! Using bias tape for the channel is a great idea.

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