Learning to Sew–Pressing

Learning to Sew—Pressing

Oh, do I have to iron it? For many of us ironing seems like such a waste of time while we are sewing. I remember when I first began sewing, most of the time I could not see any sense in pressing something immediately after you stitched a seam. Why not just wait until you have put the entire garment together?

Like so many of my ideas when I was first sewing, this one was wrong. Pressing as you go may seem dreadfully time consuming, but it will make your finished projects look more professional. Fortunately, there are ways to save time and not press after absolutely every seam. Also, there are some fabrics that don’t need pressing as you sew; some of these, such as tulle and chiffon would melt under the heat of the iron and should never be ironed.

Pressing Tips to save time and get a professional look:

 Keep the iron handy. A small pressing surface right next your machine is ideal. That way you save time because you don’t have to get up to iron.

 Sew your garment pieces in batches and then press them at one time. For example, sew the seams of both sleeves and the side seams of the bodice and then press them open.

 When pressing a seam open, there are tricks to make it look even more professional. First press the seam flat on one side and then the garment over and press it on the other side; this might seem like extra work, but it presses your stitches into the garment, which will help the seam stay open. Then, press the seam open.

 Always press a seam open, before you sew across it with another seam. Some fabrics can be finger pressed open.

 Enclosed seams, such cuffs and collars should be pressed before they are turned. You can press over a wooden point turner for a crisper edge.