Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Confession

I have a real confession for you today. I don't always press all of my seams open.

Now I do press open the long, straight ones that I want stitched open to reduce bulk when two pieces of fabric are sewn together.

But those little curved ones, that are hard to access and that eventually I want pressed to one side anyways (to tuck under some overlapping piece of fabric) - well, some of those never get pressed open.

How bad is this? I've heard that pressing a seam open "sets" the stitches somehow. But I don't know exactly what that means...

So, how about you? Do you press all of your seams open? Do you think it makes a difference?

19 comments:

julia said...

I must confess that I rarely ever pass up pressing my seams, either open or to one side, etc.... My ironing board is set up right next to my machine at sitting level so that I don't even have to get up most of the time. Yep, I'm that lazy. I really need a new iron though. I seriously think it makes a difference.

Julie said...

I used to skip pressing some seams in the past. After reading some of my sewing books, I decided to experiment with pressing and discovered it really does help. Pressing helps the stitches sink into the fabric. They aren't as obvious and it helps reduce some bulkiness in the seam. Also the pressing gets rid of any minor waviness that was caused by the stitching. I've also learned that you have to let the fabric cool after pressing and before moving the fabric or you lose the effect. I've developed the habit of moving on to some other minor task while the fabric is cooling. It has slowed me down a bit but I think my garments look much better.

BConky said...

I press almost all seams except in fabrics that can't be pressed. I don't always press them open, but press them.

gwensews said...

I press, press, press. I press each side of the seam flat. Then, I press it open. If the seam is going to one side, I press again in that direction. I also need a new iron. I've disliked every iron I ever had, including a very expensive professional gravity-flow iron!

Cindy said...

You need a tailors ham to press curves. I press everything! It's very important to get the professional look and not homemade. When I sew at home and not at my school I have a board right next to my machine too so i don't have to get up. I wanted to use the same at my studio except i was afraid everyone would get burned on irons so I make them get up to go to the ironing board to press. I too can't find a good iron. I've used several different brands. Now i just buy whats on sale. They don't last long but I don't pay much money for them. Even the best irons drip it seems.

ENJOY YOUR SEWING MOMENTS! :) hehe

Becky said...

I used to hardly ever press anything unless I had to-- as I've gotten older and more conscious of trying to make things look more professionally done, though, I press pretty much everything. I don't always press the seams open that go to a side, but I'll at least press them to the side.

mamafitz said...

you must press as you go, if you want your final garment to look great. i always press my seams flat first, then either open or to the side, and, like julie said, i let things cool before moving the fabric. i love to press and iron, it's so cool to mold the fabric, and i like the way the iron and steam smell.

press, press, press! you should be spending at LEAST as much time at the ironing board as you do at the machine.

knitmachinequeen (KMQ) said...

I always press all my seams. I try to sew as many seams as possible (as long as they don't cross another seam) before going to the ironing board.

Cindy said...

i was in between classes before but when i left my last comment - i thought of something while i was teaching - sorry no caps, my shift key is broke boohoo.
but if you don't press you will never get your seams to line up properly. sometimes i finger press if i'm doing something quick...depending on what kind of fabric i'm working with.

if i think of more i'll be back lol

CarlaF-in Atlanta said...

Not pressing all of my seams is like not breathing....it just doesn't happen. I'm using hams of different sizes to handle those curved seams. There's lots of things out there that will make the ironing process simpler (ham, ham holders, point presser/clapper, sleeve board, pressing cloths...etc)

Faye Lewis said...

Someone once called me a career presser, meaning that I press like I was getting paid to do it. Can't help it, I'm a press fanatic. I even press seams I've serged to one side - always towards the back, I'm a little fanatical about seams pressed toward the back. I don't however always press as I go, I let a lot of seams pile up and then I press. The iron is on during the entire sewing session - no matter how long the session is.

marysews said...

I almost always press my sew my flat, and then press them open. Some serged seams get pressed flat, then to one side.

Pressing open curved seams can sometimes be done on the edge of the ironing board or on the edge of a sleeve board.

gaylen said...

I always press all my seams - but I don't always press them open. I generally press them flat - the way they were sewn. Then press (either open or to one side) from the wrong side, then I turn it over and press again from the right side.

g

AmeliaSews said...

I have to say that I am in the pressing gallery, too. I always press them as they were sewn and then press them how they will lay in the final garment.

I have been known to be impatient and move the piece before it's cooled down. I think I'm going to follow Julie's advice though and do some other minor task (or maybe some cleaning :) ) while I let things cool from now on.

I will change the order of sewing mentioned in a pattern just so I can get a whole stack of things to iron before I get up from the sewing machine. As Faye said... the iron is always on.

patsijean said...

I press every seam I can get my hands on. "Sew with my Iron" is my motto.

Regarding cooling and iron issues, including regular replacement of worn out irons, last November I purchased a Reliable i300 steam generator iron and vacuum board combo from Allbrands and I love it. I get lots of steam and the vacuum board cools the garment in seconds. No affiliation, just a pleased customer. It was a worthwhile investment as I have other ironing chores you know.

Summerset said...

I press all the seams - it makes for a better final product. Whether they are pressed open or to one side depends on where the seam is within the garment.

Sarah said...

I'm terrible about pressing things, unless I'm in a strange "must press everything" mood, but the way my dorm is set up right now it's just impossible to have a sewing setup all the time. Sigh. One more semester....

meredithp said...

I also press all of my seams, first as sewn, then open, then to one side if that's where they're going. Nothing will make more of a positive difference in your sewing than excellent pressing. For those little seams you mention, get yourself a point presser. That was my first "expensive" purchase in the 70s when I was a young sewing pup. It made all the difference! Trust me! And in a related matter, Louise Cutting describes the best way of clipping inside seams. I can find a Threads reference or loan you a DVD if you're interested.

sewducky said...

I press all my seams without fail. My mother never did and I always could tell they were homemade, so when I started sewing I did the opposite.

I also french seam so pressing is vital. Side, open, depends on the garment.