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Press as you go (Tip/Technique)
Viewed 5537 times
Review rated Helpful by 6 people   Very Helpful by 18 people   
Posted by: GorgeousFabrics
About GorgeousFabrics starstarstarstar
Member since: 8/12/02
Reviews written: 63
Sewing skills:Expert/Couture
Favored by: 255 people
tips added: 23
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Posted on: 1/1/03 3:16 PM
I'll credit Georgene for inspiring me to share this tip. After sewing a seam, I immediately press the stitching line on each side of the fabric. This effectively "melts" the thread into the fabric, creating a ridgeless seamline. After pressing both sides, I then press the seam open, and it gives a very flat, very professional looking seam. This takes only slightly more time, but the results are really worth it.

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13 Comments      Login to Add a Comment
Everyday Sewist said...
Ann, I totally agree with you. I have been doing this since the day I started sewing. As a beginner, I make up the very simplest patterns. But people who see my work are always amazed that I made them myself on a simple little Kenmore. It's not that my clothes are fancy, or that I use any special techniques. I think it's because of my pressing. I press every seam just as you described. I think it makes the clothes drape better too.
1/1/03 4:02 PM
Marita Kinnula said...
Ann and Betty, this is one of my alltime favorites, it really makes a lot of difference in the end, the garments really hang better when you have put some extra time to do this little chore, Betty I'm very glad that you are doing this as a beginner in no time at all you'll be making more complicating things and with this one very basic technique already familiar to you, you can start learning something else, happy sewing hour to you both.
1/1/03 6:00 PM
Sherril Miller said...
I learned this tip in a beginning quilting class. My teacher called setting the seam. I think it is even more important to do when doing garment construction. Thanks for sharing this very important tip.
1/1/03 10:15 PM
Georgene said...
Thank you Ann for adding this, it makes such a difference in your finished garment. Underpressing is THE secret to a beautiful garment.
1/1/03 11:20 PM
Holly said...
When I started sewing back in August, I read somewhere that you are supposed to press the bobbin side of the seam only. It was probably at About Did I get it wrong or is your technique more up to date, Ann?
1/2/03 3:09 PM
GorgeousFabrics said...
Hi Holly, I don't think my technique is more up to date, since I've been doing it since the 70s :). I press both sides because I notice a distinct difference. First, run your fingernail along the stitch line without pressing. You'll feel the bumps of the thread on both sides. Now if you press the bobbin side, that will press the thread into the fabric. But if you go and run your nail along both sides again, you will, in most cases, feel a difference between the side that has been pressed (smooth) and the side that has not been pressed (smoother than before, but not as smooth as the pressed side). Now, is bobbin only better than pressing both sides? I'm not sure. And I'd love to hear if anyone else has an opinion. I'll probably keep pressing both sides since it's part of my sewing habits. And you know what they say: old habits die hard! -Ann
1/2/03 4:02 PM
Dale C said...
Ann, on my nice garments, I also press both sides before pressing the seam open (or to the side). For other everyday stuff and those endless yards of home dec seams, I just press one side.
1/3/03 4:18 AM
Sharon Barnes said...
I also press the outside of the seam, using a press cloth, after the three passes on the inside. What a difference correct pressing makes. Great tip!
1/5/03 4:21 PM
Holly said...
As a newbie I read everything I can get my hands on. After seeing techniques duplicated in different ways, it's confusing to know what to use. Looks like this technique is a good habit to have and one that I'll be incorporating into my sewing. Thanks for taking the time to explain. :-)
1/5/03 6:25 PM
CArol Jean Berrett said...
Do you press the seam at first without opening it, then? Do you press both seams to one side initially (on both sides of fabric), and then press the seam open?
1/19/03 9:46 AM
Annette H said...
I've been sewing for many years but never thought to press in this way. it sounds like such a great idea, I'll be trying it today! Thanks - simple techniques can sometimes make a huge difference.
3/7/04 7:30 AM
inkyannie said...
Thanks for this tip. It is something I have never heard before. I will definately do this from now on.
1/25/06 1:08 AM
Calendria said...
I am soooo gonna try this. thank you
7/22/12 4:30 PM

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