Monday, November 21, 2011

Pressing matters, but don't burn the fingers!

As any sewist will attest, pressing does matter. In fact sometimes we press more than we sew. This is definitely true with the Shapes High Five Jacket designed by Louise Cutting and Linda Lee.

The jacket is basically a kimono with a jewel neckline and exaggerated drop-shoulder sleeve seams. It is composed of 5 pieces, approximately rectangular. The edges of the jacket are finished by folding under 0.25 inches, then a full inch, and then they are top-stitched close to the first folded edge. Corners are mitered. Pressing is the key to making all of this finish nicely. I love stuff like this!

A long time ago I learned a keen little trick for pressing a tiny fold without burning fingers. I use an ivory silk organza pressing cloth - it is easy to manipulate, loves the iron and is fairly transparent.

  • Place the pressing cloth on the ironing board first. 
  • Put the fabric to be pressed under, on top of the pressing cloth. The fabric should be wrong side up and there should be several inches of pressing cloth showing beneath the raw edge. 
  • Place a tag board template or straight edge 1/4 inch from the raw edge of the fabric.
  • Wrap the pressing cloth tightly around the fabric enclosing the template so that 1/4 inch of raw edge folds over the template.
  • Use the excess pressing cloth to hold the fold tautly while pressing.

I love little tricks like this.

This fabric has quite a bit of synthetic content and so requires that the pressing be done quickly. Otherwise it may melt. Despite the synthetic content, it seems to be pressing adequately to enable the needed top-stitching.

template in place for 1 inch press

template in place for 1/4 inch press
After pressing
Happy Thanksgiving to those of us in the states. And happy holidays to all.

1 comment:

  1. I was just reading through a pattern that recommended using tag boards for a hem (a 3" hem, no less!) & it occurred to me that I should probably have a whole set of different sized tag boards for this very purpose.

    I really love the tip to use organza as well to help roll the fold over - great tip, thanks! :)