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Ironing during sewing
A Note to Beginners
jynclr
jynclr
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Texas USA
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Date: 9/16/12 4:52 PM

As I've read through the forums over the course of the several months I have been here, I've read many helpful tips. Sometimes some just stick, for whatever reasons, others I forget and when I read them again I think, "Oh yeah."

There is one that I remember so very well simply because when I took Home Ec. in 8th grade (early 80s! ) was taught to do this and the teacher always knew, she just KNEW, if a student took a short cut and did not do this while sewing. We could never understand how she just knew.

It's ironing while you're sewing up your projects.

I remember a PR member saying that she could tell when a beginner didn't iron their seams or other pieces as they sewed. She could tell right away and immediately. I don't remember what exactly this PR member said but I just remember the feeling I got from reading the post was, "poor thing didn't iron!" Something like that.

Now, I have done a project or two where I was just making a quickie thing that wasn't going to be worn so I didn't bother to iron my seams. For one, my current backpack that I am using as a bag/purse. But clothing, even costumes, I always made sure to iron my seams and when I was following a pattern I'd iron when the pattern mentions to iron. Over time you learn when to just go ahead and iron without checking the pattern instructions.

I'm sitting here taking a look at some sewn garments on Flickr. I'm not going to call out anyone person specifically but I simply wanted to know that I can now see how my home ec. teacher, and that PR member, can totally tell when a piece has been ironed during the sewing process, and when it has not. There's just something about the garment, it's not ... sharp. The edges are soft. I don't know how else to explain it. I think that over time and if you see enough very nicely sewn garments, and others not so nicely sewn, you get to learn the difference and start to get an eye for them.

So. Iron those seams as you work! I admit, and I know, there may be times when a some part of the item could be skipped when ironing, or even a muslin may not necessarily need to be ironed, but I would rather take the extra time. I can certainly see the difference in MY projects.

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Evelyn: Pfaff Creative Performance
Helen V: Babylock Companion BL1550

Vintage Joan
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Vintage Joan
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In reply to jynclr <<
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Date: 9/16/12 5:11 PM

Excellent advice! I think it's also kind of calming to press seams as you work through a project -- a little pause between steps.

Quote:
(early 80s! )


Late 60's here. (i.e. that's when I took home ec)

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my shield and my very great reward ~ Gen. 15:1

marec
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Date: 9/16/12 5:13 PM

thanks for the reminder. I do get lazy at times because my ironing board is downstairs and the sewing room upstairs.

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my blog: http://kf-biblioblog.blogspot.com/
Sewing through my pattern stash-145
completed.

heathergwo
heathergwo
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In reply to marec <<
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Date: 9/16/12 5:37 PM

OH, you've gotta get an iron & board in your sewing room! That's a necessity.

I had VERY limited space until recently and had one of those small boards that sits on a table top. I used that with great results until just recently when I upgraded to a full size board.

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Brother Innovis 1250D
Babylock Enlighten
Singer Curvy 8763
Brother 1034D
Janome 385.19606
Brother 2340CV

Vintage Joan
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In reply to heathergwo <<


Date: 9/16/12 8:10 PM

Quote:
I had VERY limited space until recently and had one of those small boards that sits on a table top. I used that with great results until just recently when I upgraded to a full size board.

I have a small space too (office/sewing room together), but I moved my ironing board up here and it tucks in neatly between a tall dresser and the wall. Slightly off-topic, but maybe the trick is to make a pretty cover for it, so you don't mind if it has to be slightly on view. I made a cover for mine a couple of years ago out of some lovely red floral cotton duck I had bought ages ago to make window shades. (Even more off-topic!!: Do they even still sell cotton duck?)

-- Edited on 9/16/12 8:12 PM --

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my shield and my very great reward ~ Gen. 15:1

Marie367
Marie367
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In reply to Vintage Joan <<


Date: 9/16/12 8:20 PM

The do sell cotton duck-in lots of cool patterns and colors! I always regret it if I don't iron. I try to do as many seams as I can before I iron and do it all at once. Ironing does make a huge difference and takes a garment to the next level.

CraftAddict
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In reply to marec <<


Date: 9/16/12 8:40 PM

You might even try one of those ironing mats if you have the table space.

experience has taught me to press every seam. even when i muslin i press. when i go into my sewing room the first thing i do is turn on my iron. when i cut out a project i press my fabric and the pattern pieces. it really does make a difference.

Lynnelle
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Date: 9/16/12 8:45 PM

1. Be sure to press the seams, not iron. Ironing involves a back & forth motion and may cause stretching in some places.

2. Make sure your iron is plugged into a dedicated outlet, preferably one not shared with your sewing machine or serger. Irons should produce steam, not smoke. Ask me how I know...



solosmocker
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Date: 9/16/12 8:46 PM

I underline in bold everything you say, jynclr. Ironing cannot be stressed enough yet it is the one process many people seem to slack on. I recently watched a video by a well known blogger and still haven't gotten over how awful her top looked on the mannequin. I swear, it didn't have a single pressed seam. Don't ever settle for that type of "inexperienced" look when it is so easy to get a professional look with pressing as you sew.

I often use my daughter's "college" little ironing board when I am stuck for space.
-- Edited on 9/16/12 8:47 PM --

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PattiAnnJ
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Date: 9/16/12 9:42 PM

Rookies!

Home Ec, circa mid fifties.

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"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

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