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Press For Success

Hate ironing? When you’re piecing, try these effective pressing tips. All you need are a few extra minutes and a few simple supplies to notice a difference in your finished projects.

A few simple supplies for pressing.

  1. Steam iron – all four of us at See How We Sew use Rowenta irons set on cotton setting with steam.

  2. Firm, lightly padded pressing board – I’ll share instructions in a future post for making a simple and portable one.

  3. Spray Sizing –  I like Mary Ellen’s Best Press; it doesn’t clog, add stiffness, or leave a flaky residue on fabric.

  4. Dressmaker’s seam roll – great for pressing seams open.

I call this the two-step pressing method (sounds kinda like a dance step!).

Step One: press the stitching line on the wrong side, with the darker fabric on top. Use an up-and-down motion to prevent distorting the fabric. This step “sets” the stitches, allowing for a sharp crease on the right side. Lightly spray with the starch alternative.

Press with an up-and-down motion to prevent distortion.

Step Two: turn and press the darker fabric open over the stitching line. Use either the tip or the side of the iron for a nice, sharp seam. The seam will fall automatically toward the darker fabric.

Press firmly over seam line on right side for sharp crease.

To eliminate bulk, press seam allowances open when multiple seams meet at one point. A dressmaker’s seam roll provides a firm, curved surface that eliminates seam-allowance ridge marks on the right side of the fabric.

Press seams OPEN using a seam roll.

Here’s my favorite way to press half-square triangles; you’ll never be pressing on those stretchy bias edges.

With the darker fabric on top, position the units on the pressing board as shown for either left-handed or right-handed pressing. Place the iron firmly onto the fabric to set the stitching line.

Left-handed or right-handed placement.

Lift the top fabric triangle, place the iron onto the bottom corner of the underlying fabric, and then move the iron straight up and away from you, as shown. Continue pressing beyond the upper corner.

Move iron straight up and beyond upper corner of fabric.

Next, without lifting it, move the iron straight across the fabric.

Glide iron directly across the fabric.

The units now are ready to be trimmed, including the “dog ears” at the corners.

I hope this helps.

Happy and successful sewing-

Congratulations to Pat Dicker, the winner of our first giveaway of a Moda Charm pack.

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