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How-to

Press While You Sew; Iron When You Finish the Garment

There are four distinct times to press your garments while you are sewing.

Oct 10, 2008

Pressing requires an up-and-down motion; ironing, a back-and-forth gliding motion. Garments being sewn are pressed; completed and laundered garments are ironed. There are four distinct times to press while you are sewing:

Set the stitch on all construction features (even serged edges) by steam-pressing stitched areas flat. This allows the stitching to meld into the fabric and smooths any puckers.

Under-press garment features on the wrong side of the fabric. No press cloth is needed—press directly on the fabric.

Top-press garment features on the right side. Be sure to use a press cloth or an iron shoe to prevent the nap from flattening and producing a shiny surface.

Off-press on the right side of the fabric to remove shine or raise the texture. Place a damp piece of cheesecloth directly on the right side of the fabric and place the hot, dry iron so it just touches the damp cloth. This technique forces steam into the fabric and raises the textures. First make sure the fabric does not water-spot.

 

Excerpted from “Fundamentals: Going to Press,” by Cecelia Podolak, Threads #144, Aug./Sept. 2009.

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