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Embroidery Tips & Techniques

One Hot Partner

As stitchers, irons are really important to us. We are known to spend over $100 on an iron because pressing is an integral part of sewing. Many of us (including me) resisted this fact when we first learn to sew. But once embraced, the results are dramatic. And the results are what endear that hot little appliance to us. But like many hot relationships, they don’t last forever. It’s heartbreaking when one fails, when it just isn’t getting hot enough, shuts off quickly or spews dirty droplets over fresh clean fabric. Ugh. If you’re like me, you tossed the iron into the dumpster. But…it doesn’t have to be that way.

Appliance parts are just a click away. Really? On the internet? Then what? What do you order and what do you do with it? Well, let me introduce another hot partner of mine – Pete Kutsopias, my fiancé. Pete, sweetheart that he is, does his own ironing and does it really well. He owned a Rowenta before I met him. Wow – how many chicks can say that? Recently, his other hot little partner, a Rowenta Professional model DX8800, fizzled out. Pete loves a challenge so he jumped on the internet and found exactly what he needed to breathe some life back into Model DX8800.

So take a look at how easy it is to replace the innards of a high end iron.

First, unplug the iron. Unscrew the plastic housing and remove it.

Set yourself up for success by taking a digital image of the inside of the iron once the back plate is removed. Trust me, you’ll be so glad you did this!

Look inside – all of the guts are a tidy little unit housed in molded plastic that pops out of the socket. Remove it.

Throw it away. Unwrap the new unit.

Review your digital image to insert the white plastic part into the bottom channel.


Slide the green circuit board into the upper socket.


Place the light bulb into the left chamber.

Now it’s time to insert the electrical cord into the top groove.


Replace the back cover by installing the top edge first.

Snap into place.

Tighten the two screws on the back.

Tighten the two screws under the iron.

Plug in the iron and voila! It’s all hot and steamy again!

How much do you think those replacement parts cost? A whopping $19.99! How cool (or hot) is that? Now that’s one hot partner.

Resources: or

We are a throw away society but it doesn’t have to be that way. Today, with the internet, appliance parts are just a click away. Who knew?

Tell us what you prefer in your hot little partner, the auto shut-off or continuous heat? You could win a $25.00 coupon for any purchase from!  Just leave a comment below!

Last week we asked what your favorite type of embroidery thread was.  The winner of Smartneedle thread is…Betsy!

“I have an equal amount of rayon and poly threads but prefer the sheen on the rayon for some projects. Smartneedle has a winner with the built-in prewound bobbin!! I’ve tried all kinds of things to keep my matching bobbin with the thread spool. Currently, I use extra long golf tees through the holes of the bobbin and the thread to keep them together. To have the bobbin snap in under the thread spool….genius!!!!!!”

Congratulations, Betsy!




  • Jan C

    Thank you for posting this! I have a Rowenta I bought a few years ago on Black Friday for about 70% off. I was so excited to finally own one! Since a quilt retreat in the fall (I think someone dropped her) it’s been spitting. I haven’t had the heart to toss it. Now I won’t!

    The Auto Shut-off is definately my favorite feature. The ones that stay on always heat up my sewing room because I forget that they are on! I’m even more upset when I come to the sewing room after several days and find them STILL on….Oiy! Lucky it didn’t get knocked over by a cat and start a fire!

  • Pam M

    Thank you so much for this blog. I have been holding off buying a Rowenta because I was afraid that it was going to be just like all my other iron, just more expensive.
    I plan on purchasing it the next trip to the sewing store.
    I have a “cheap” iron now and if I am not careful, it spits and then puts out a brown water. I have to be alert at all times. I do not want my hard work being ruined.

    I have not spare expense on my machine and now it is time to upgrade my iron.

    Thanks so much

    • Pam M

      Almost forgot, the auto shut off is my favorite feature. I am a forgetful person so safety is a factor.

  • Birdie Cade

    A friend of mine bought one of those Olisio irons & has had it replaced 2 times already!! I’ve had Rowentas for a number of years. I guess I should have tried to repair the one before this latest one, but I actually won a contest & a Rowenta was the prize, so it seemed like it wouldn’t have been worth repairing the old one at the time.

    I do like the auto shut-off feature as I’ve forgotten to turn it off & don’t care to burn down the house. I know a lot of quilters that don’t like the auto shut-off feature.

  • Anne Marie Reilly

    The auto shut off is very important to me because I have left my sewing room and forgotten to turn it off. This way I don’t have to worry about a fire starting. I don’t have a Rowenta but after your post I will definitely consider purchasing one. My present iron is a Sunbeam and works okay but it does leak sometimes.

  • Susie Mackenberg

    I have a Rowenta with the auto shut off and generally use it when I’m ironing laundry, because it is heavy and I’m consistently using it so steam ironing isn’t a problem.

    Irons without the auto shut off are becoming harder to find but I prefer them for sewing needs. I want my iron to be hot and ready to go when I am and I hate to wait the minutes it takes for the iron to warm up throughout the day! I always use a dry iron and spray with water or Mary Ellen’s Best Press, then there is no chance of iron spit-up or leaks.

    I use a surge protector for my iron and a light that is controlled by the switch at the door so it’s a good way of not leaving the iron on when I leave the room.

  • sharon

    I prefer the automatic shut off. I love my Rowenta.

  • Peggy Johns

    My favorite feature is the auto-shut off & the burst of steam. My last two have be the Shark. They are less espensive than the Rowenta & I find after a year or so most irons leak & put out less steam plus I have been known to knock them over.

  • Gail Beam

    The automatic shut off is a Must for me! Before the automatic shut off feature that is now available on irons and coffeepots, I absentmindedly left the iron and coffeepot on for hours on several different occasions.

  • Judy Williamson

    My iron preference is the Black and Decker Digital- approx $35 or 40 at one of their outlet stores. Over the years I’ve used most of the major brands and this is the one I recommend to my students and purchase as prizes for our Make It With Wool Competition. It has 7 or 8 heat settings, automatic shut-off (a favorite feature), time to clean indicator, uses tap water and has 30 steam vents. And, it has been the top rated iron in Consumer Reports. I use it for all my sewing projects from bridal attire, wool garments, and more.

  • Vicki

    I really like to have the automatic shut off feature. I have used it for so long that I am afraid if I didn’t have it I would forget to turn it off.
    I like the Black and Decker, and I did get a nifty little number on the Vermont Country Store site. It doesn’t have any steam holes, so there are no marks when you fuse, or use freezer paper. It does not, however, have auto shut off, so I never leave it without turning it off after I use it.

  • Sue Anderson

    I love my Rowenta. I had to replace my other irons every year. My mother and husband thought I was nuts when I insisted on buying such an expensive iron but I had the last laugh as my Rowenta is now almost 4 years old and going strong. My favorite feature is the automatic shut off.

  • Marianne

    I like this iron. I am for ever leaving my iron on. I have gone back 2 or 3 days later, sometimes longer and then I find my iron is still on. Yes, I probably should unplug my iron, but at times that isn’t in my thoughts as I am walking out of the room. Thanks for making and improving products like this.

    • Eileen Roche

      Marianne, I, too, have been guilty of that. Now, I have my iron plugged into a strip along with a light. When I turn the strip on, the light and iron go on, when I leave the room I turn off the strip. If I forget, the light is a nagging reminder – very helpful for me!

  • Sherrie Lilly

    Thanks for posting this. About 3 months ago my Oliso iron died. Too bad I did not have this article then. I probably could have fixed it instead of tossing it.

    In an iron for quilting I like a continuous heat. There is nothing worse than getting up form your machine to press a seam and the iron having to reheat. When I leave my sewing area I unplug my iron so I know it will not get left on by accident.

    The last iron I purchased was on sale at Walgreens for $9.99 but it is not continuous heat.

    Thank you for all of your articles on sewing related equipment maintenance and repair.

  • Shirley R

    I have to begin this comment with a word of caution given to us from the Fire Dept. after a fire started in the wall behind the electrical outlet of our daylight basement laundry room some years ago. Had we not been home, it could have been disastrous. Finding the iron had been turned off, but not removed from the wall socket, they told us that an iron should never be left PLUGGED IN, even if you have TURNED IT OFF. Now, maybe this has somehow been resolved with the new electrical wall outlets, but I never leave my iron plugged in when I am through using it. The old saying, “once burned, twice smart” literally holds true for me. That being said, the next iron I purchased after the fire was a Sunbeam Self-Cleaning Shot of Steam iron, and that was well over 25 years ago. It’s still working, does not spit water or leak and does not have an auto turnoff. This iron has given perfect service for so many years that it will remain a faithful and well-used friend until it is no more, and whatever brand I buy will still, hopefully NOT have an auto shutoff, because I would not like to have to wait for it to reheat, and my iron is alway unplugged when I am through with it. Who knows, maybe that has prolonged the life of it!

    • Eileen Roche

      Hmm Shirley, that is good advice. I do that with my hair dryer and flat iron (for hair) but not my iron. Go figure.

  • MrsFredPed

    I love my Rowenta – it’s a heavy model so I don’t have to push down – the iron does all the work. All I need to do is glide it over my fabric. It doesn’t shut off automatically. I personally find it annoying when I go to a friend’s house to sew and her iron turns off. It wastes a time waiting for it to heat up again!

  • Debbie St. Germain

    I love my automatic shut off, I am really forgetful;)


  • Jackie

    I too like the auto shut off….I do forget or get distracted from ironing the project.

  • Sandy Fidler

    I too prefer that my iron does not have the auto shutoff: I know it is a very good safty device but I don’t like having to reheat if I have to leave it for a few minutes: I also prefer a heavy iron because it does a better job. I also like a stainless steel base plate so I can clean it as necessary. I owned a Rowenta several yrs ago but it quit and I discarded it. I appreciate your posting this information about repairing the iron. Now I will get another Rowenta:

  • Anne H

    I must say I’ve not had the best luck with irons. I had one Rowenta for about 4 years and the electrical connection inside the iron developed a short in it. The second iron bit the dust when my daughter accidentally knocked it over and it shattered the bottom of it on the tile floor. I haven’t decided whether to spend the $100 now on another Rowenta or just get a less expensive iron that may not be as expensive to replace.

    I don’t care of the auto shut-off. If I’m doing piecing on quilts and wait just a few seconds too long, it turns off and then I have to wait for it to heat up again.

    I always unplug it when I’m through though, since I’ve got dogs, cats, and grandkids around and don’t want to take a chance of something terrible happening.


  • Donna G.

    First of all, congratulations Eileen and Pete! Hope you have many happy years together! I use a Rowenta for the majority of my pressing and ironing, and except for the occassional “burping” of water, it’s been very reliable. I also have a couple of travel irons I take to retreats and classes. Since I don’t want to have to wait for an iron to heat up once I’m sewing, I won’t buy an iron with the auto shut off. I clean up and put away all my “toys” after each sewing session, so I don’t worry about leaving the iron on.

    • Eileen Roche

      Thank you Donna! We are quite happy!

  • Katrina H

    I didn’t even know you could fix an iron! Wow. I have a Rowenta with auto shut off, but I’d really like one with continuous heat so I can iron when I need to without waiting for it to heat again.

  • Peggy B

    I prefer an auto shut off iron as I’m always leaving the room and may not go back to the room for a couple hours. Knowing the iron will automatically shut off creates less stress.

  • Beth Rowan

    I prefer the continuous heat – hate to start to iron a seam and find that I have to wait for it to heat up.

  • Alice Hook

    I love Rowenta pressure irons. I bought one used on Ebay seven years ago and only had to replace the temperature dial. It lasted until a couple of months ago. I replaced it with a Rowenta DG5030 pressure iron and I just love it. I cannot say enough about how well it presses, even stubborn wrinkles. My ironing goes much faster and my sewing projects have a very professional look when finished.

  • Bev Crabb

    I am an auto shutoff girl. I am simply too forgetful. I have one of the older Panasonic cordless models that is great to take to retreats. There are times where taking the iron to the project rather than vice versa can be a real advantage.

  • Dee Bratcher

    I love the Rowenta irons and am on my second one. My daughter is so spoiled to the Rowenta that she can’t stand using those lightweight ones in the hotel rooms.

    Thank you so much for posting about being able to repair the irons – may get that old one out that is about 20 years old and order the part – it had started sputtering after I tripped over the cord and knocked it to the floor.

    I love the auto shut off but I also unplug my iron when I am done with it for the night and I empty out the water.

    Love the tips!

    Contrats on your engagement! He sounds like a keeper.

    • Eileen Roche

      Thank you Dee!

    • Pete Kutsopias

      Thank you, Dee! Truly, I am the lucky one.

  • Antoinette

    Rowenta! My favorite! Son-in-Law recently bought one on my recommendation. It is a dream to use; however, the auto cut-off feature is a bit bothersome for me, since I always disconnect my iron when finished. Thanks to this article, our newest Rowenta will last forever!

  • Nancy S

    I have an auto shut-off iron, but actually prefer continuous heat so it’s ready when I am. Guess I’m just an impatient person!

  • Barbara

    I love irons !! I actually have 2 I use ..1 for sewing and 1 for everyday. The auto-shut off on my everyday iron is great..I never worry about burning the house down while I’m at work!! (Husband would NOT like that !) For sewing, I use a Rowenta commercial iron with 1750 watts. It has LOTS of steam and I love it !!

  • Mary Anne

    The irons I like to use are usuallly cheap and have the teflon coating. I like the coating because I’m sometimes messy in the kinds of craft/sewing I do. I look for an iron with the most vents to give me lots of steam. It’s hard to find an iron that does not have the automative shutoff, but that’s a good thing because I sometimes become distracted, and my present iron heats up in a jiffy.

    When it’s necessary to clean off the bottom of the iron I’ve been using the Mr. Clean white sponges, they work great!

  • Vicky

    I have a T-Fal that I got as a birthday gift from my husband about 15 years ago. Non sewists though I was crazy to ask for that as a gift! They thought I was going to iron shirts with it. It does not have automatic shut off, and never really shuts completely off. I have it plugged in to a power bar that also has a light stick plugged into it. So I know when the light is off, the iron is shut off.

  • Kathi

    Mr preference is the continuous heat irons. I find the auto-shutoff feature frustrating. They are never on when I’m ready to press something. I have one of the Rowenta steam stations and love, love, love it. Lots of steam. I always unplug the iron when I am done sewing. I also unplug my floor model OTT light. The power supply gets awfully warm and I’m hesitant to leave it plugged in when I’m not in the sewing room.

  • Elaine

    I have a Rowenta that iIbought years ago from Nancy’s Notions because no one here in my home town was selling them at the time. Now you can buy them in many different locations. My iron is having problems and I hate to give it up! So now maybe I won’t have to. Every time I use my iron I have to give it a love tap to get it going and then some times it just shuts it’s self off for no reason. Maybe all it needs is some new innards. Who Knew!

  • Mary Haggenmaker

    I have a Rowenta that decided to overheat on me. I called the authorized repair center and was told they don’t make parts for my model anymore. It’s only about 5 years old and I know if I could find the part I would be able to put it in. It has been a really nice iron and I do like the auto shut off because I’m kind of old and tend to forget sometimes.

  • Mary Coonts

    I have 2 Rowentas. I’m on my second steam generator. My husband took the previous one apart but it was truly dead. He then went out and bought me a new one (he’s a sweetie, too). My other Rowenta has a Teflon soleplate. I actually use that one a lot. I use spray starch for heirloom sewing. The steam generator soleplate seems to need constant cleaning.

    I prefer an iron without an automatic shut off. That would be fine if you were actually ironing. For sewing it seems like you would have to heat it up every time you needed it.

    I have all my machines and irons plugged into a UPS (uninterruptible power supply). That is on a switch. When I leave the sewing room I can just turn everything off at once.

    Congratulations on your engagement, Eileen!


    • Eileen Roche

      Thank you Mary!

  • Janice Beitz

    I’ve had both and I am going to stick with an iron without the automatic shut-off. Suits my sewing style better.

  • Kari Kechter

    I love my steam iron (with the separate tank). The amount of steam it puts out just cannot be beat. And I like the suction of the ironing board as well – great to set creases and cool off fabrics quickly.

  • ruth thompson

    I like the auto shut off. Now that my daughter is a quilter, but not an unplugger, I appreciate that it will turn off even if she doesn’t do it. It doesn’t take too long to reheat and with the safety it provides I can wait 30 seconds.

  • Sharron P

    Hey Eileen, I’m a little late reading your blog, but boy am I glad did. I really appreciate all your tips. Thank you, I didn’t know this was so easy to do. I think I’ll see if my Oliso can be fixed, the steam button is stuck in the steam position. Does your Pete have any suggestions on this fix?
    We were so please to hear the news of you engagement. Our prayer is for you two to be happy and in love forever.

    • Eileen Roche

      Thank you Sharron! I’ll check with Pete on the Oliso fix.

    • Pete Kutsopias

      I’m on the case, Sharron! I’ll search around and see what I can find. My guess is that it can be fixed. It’s a mechanical part malfunction of some kind. If the part is available, it’s fixable. A lot of people don’t understand that most things aren’t that different from light bulbs. If your light bulb goes out in our Green Bay Packer room, we don’t throw away the house, do we?

    • Pete Kutsopias

      Sharon: I came up dry on finding parts for Olisa steam irons in general. But, I think that you would have better luck if you search with the model number, search for the manual for that model, etc. Or, contact Olisa Customer Support via email or at: (415) 864-7600. I’ve got to believe that they are compelled to sell replacement parts. Or, if it becomes a crusade, purchase the same model used on Ebay with a working steam valve/switch. That’ll teach them!

  • Wendy Scott

    I love the auto shut-off feature, mine waits 30 mins then shuts off. To restart all I have to do is push the red button and it gets hot fast.

  • Betsy

    I have an inexpensive Black and Decker that I’ve just recently started using after putting it away a couple of years ago. I got frustrated with my auto shut off Shark that only gives me 7 minutes before it shuts off. I found I was always racing to finish a seam before the iron shut off…not a relaxing way to sew! Eileen, I’m going to take your idea of plugging the iron into a strip with a light. Thanks for the suggestion. I was last week’s winner of the Smartneedle thread and can’t wait for it to arrive. Thank you!

  • Sara

    Just read the article about one hot partner, wish I had know this a few years ago, I had a Rowenta iron that started spitting little brown nasty spots, I tried everything and wound up tossing the iron in the trash. If I had only known I could save it. LOL As my mom has always said live and learn.

  • June Coddubg

    I have a Rowenta that I really do not like It is only about 2 years old and never sprayed well, should have returned it to the store. – the steam factor is almost nonexistent, which is frustrating to say the least. My old one had the separate tank and started to spit. I use it now to fuse etc and don’t have to worry about getting adhesive on it as long as I use a press cloth and a spray bottle.

  • Michelle Weger

    dude. thank you. my roommate sent mine to the floor and I couldn’t figure out how the heating element was supposed to go back in. Your photos saved my life!

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  • Gale Cooley

    Auto-shutoff! I don’t know how many times I have been called away from my sewing/embroidering and forgot to shut off the iron. If it didn’t shut itself off I am sure I would be replacing the irons guts from burning it out!

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  • Ruth Hampson

    I NEVER buy an auto-shutoff iron! I am too impatient to wait for an iron to heat up over and over again!!! I need to iron NOW!!LOL

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