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Pressing Equipment 101

Threads Contributing Editor Judith Neukam shares insights on necessary equipment for pressing as you sew. She reminds us that, to produce a well-made garment, you need to spend as much time at the ironing board as at the sewing machine.

Key features to look for are high steam production, automatic shut-off (for safety), and a reliable temperature adjustment. Judith also suggests ways to diagnose malfunctioning irons.

You’ll find out the difference between a steam iron and a steam generator, so you can decide which is a better choice for you.

Be sure to test the fabric to find out which heat setting is best. You’ll avoid scorched or melted fabrics.

Other pressing tools to consider are press cloths, spray bottles, hams, sleeve boards, and steam sticks. Judith also explains how to make some tools of your own.


Teach Yourself to Sew

Garment sewing expert Judith Neukam got her first taste of sewing when she took the free lessons that came with her mother’s sewing machine purchase. Judith was 9 at the time. Soon after, she was sewing her own clothes and feeding her passion for the craft. In her Teach Yourself to Sew series, Judith shares her enduring love of sewing and her invaluable years of sewing experience.

Getting started

She starts with discussing the equipment and the essential sewing notions for anyone who sews. You’ll learn about shopping for fabrics, choosing patterns (including selecting the correct size), and planning the perfect pattern layout. From machine-sewing simple seams to inserting zippers and stitching buttonholes, Judith demonstrates the key steps to making a custom garment.

Discover methods for clean-finishing seam allowances and applying facings so all edges are neat. To add shape to garments, Judith explains how and why to sew darts, and how to gather fabric…

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