How to iron a shirt
Learn the proper way to iron a shirt:
Ironing is less of an art than it used to be. Today, fashion rules accommodate wrinkles, recognizing that pure linen and pure cotton will get wrinkled one way or the other. Other fabrics need no ironing to look crisp and ready to wear. Dry cleaners provide laundry and ironing for washable items at reasonable rates.
For the purpose of this lesson, we will assume that the shirt is a 100-percent cotton, standard dress shirt - not button-down, not tux, not that favorite rayon number with the never-seen-in-nature palm trees. (One learning-experience at a time is enough.)
1. A clean, dry shirt needs to be dampened before ironing, even if you own a steam-iron. Use a spray bottle or flick water with your fingers, roll the shirt in a clean dish towel and set aside for 10 to 30 minutes. The dish towel will feel slightly damp. Bath towels work, too, though they tend to stay dry on the outside.
2. Fill the iron with distilled water for steam (you will use the steam setting on only as needed). Set iron at, or just below, the cotton setting.
3. Unroll the shirt, and turn it inside-out. This is the step that separates the women from the girls. Ironing all the double-fabric surfaces (the collar, yoke, cuff and seams) on the back side first will give the front-side surfaces the smooth finish you expect from a professional.
4. Beginning with the button placket (the front piece of the shirt with the buttons), iron all double-fabric surfaces on the back side. Move from the button-placket side to the button-hole side. Along the way, remember the backs of the cuffs, the sleeve seams and side seams. As you move the shirt along the board, check for a pocket, which also needs back-side pressing. If you encounter any dry spots, activate the steam setting long enough to press them. When you've finished your back-side work, the shirt should still feel slightly damp or steamy.
5. Turn the shirt right-side out. Starting again with the front button-placket, work your way across the body of the shirt, saving the sleeves, cuffs, yoke and collar for last. Remember that when ironing the sleeves, the iron used for most shirt parts in a commercial laundry looks like a large waffle iron. To copy their technique, fold shirt sleeves flat at the inner seam. Iron them like that; do not let the crease you form extend past the shoulder-seam. Iron the shoulder yoke round on the small end of the ironing board without creases.
6. Almost done and down to the pretty parts. Open the cuffs and iron them flat. Give an extra press to the buttonhole side of the front. Save your last love for the collar. Iron flat, immediately moving the shirt to a hanger. Button the top button to hold the collar shape.
When you're finished, your shirt will be crisp, dry and smooth. You've saved the day or the dinner or the romance. Enjoy that wonderful just-ironed smell floating through the room, and the fact that now you know how to iron a shirt.
Autograph collecting tips
Learn how to collect autographs from celebrities and famous people for almost nothing!
Ever wanted your favorite movie and TV star's autograph? How about your favorite author? Or sports personality? Here's a little secret: autographs of public personalities are quite easy obtained! All you need is some stationery, some postage and a few addresses. And it's a relatively cheap hobby to take up, too.
Most celebrities - actors and actresses, authors, sports personalities, politicians and other people in the public light - oblige through-the-mail autograph requests as a part of their public relations. In most cases, they will provide a signed photo of themselves or sign items you send them.
The first thing you'd want to do is find the addresses of celebrities whose autographs you want to collect. You can find mailing addresses of actors and actresses care of their agents or their show (you can find the address in the rolling credits at the end of the show). If you know of celebrities who are currently in town you could send a request care of their hotel or the theatre/stadium they are acting/playing in. Requests can be sent to authors through their publishers, and politicians generally have their mailing address well publicized. The best place to get celebrity addresses, however, is the Internet - there are a lot of sites online that feature autograph collecting and good addresses to send to. www.autographcentral.com is a good starting point for address lists.
Your through-the-mail requests should include your request letter, any items for signing and a SASE. Your request letter should at all times be polite, neat and short - no more than one typed or handwritten page. Also, it's good to be sincere when making your request - it helps to write about the celebrity's achievements. Your letter should make it very clear that you are requesting an autograph. You could include with your request a photograph or index cards you would like the celebrity to sign. Remember that at no time is the celebrity obligated to send you an autograph, although most of them do.
Tools of the Trade
Autograph collecting is relatively cheap; a lot of the money you spend will be on stationery. For starters, you will need 9" by 12" envelopes for your SASEs. These should have your address as both the addressee and the sender. It helps if you mark clearly on the corner the words "DO NOT BEND" so whatever sent to you doesn't get mishandled. Of course, you need envelopes large enough to contain the SASEs and request letter. Business-sized envelopes are recommended - the SASEs can be folded. Lastly, you need the required postage on the SASE. If you don't have the same kind of postage from the celebrity because you live in a different countries, try getting International Reply Coupons (IRCs) from your post office. These coupons can be exchanged for postage of equivalent value internationally.
Building the collection
Depending on how many and how frequent you send requests, you could get successful replies as early as two weeks to maybe a year. For most part, you should get authentic, sometimes even personalized, autographs through the mail. Be prepared, however, for unsuccessful replies; some of your requests might get rejected or be unreplied. The key to this hobby is to send requests frequently and regularly to ensure a steady stream of requests coming in.
You might want to start carefully filing and storing your autographs or frames them from display. Generally, you should keep them in a cool, dry place, filing them in clear pockets; if you plan to frame them and display them, remember that the images tend to fade in sunlight and time.