Pressing Pointers

Careful and frequent Pressing is the key to great-looking garments. Pressing is not the same process as ironing. When pressing, lift and firmly place the iron – do not glide over the fabric, as when ironing.

  • Always test the heat setting on scrap fabric first to make sure the iron is the correct temperature for your fabric.
  • Press after completing each step of the construction process.
  • Always use a press cloth to prevent shine and spotting. A scrap of muslin makes a good press cloth.
  • Seam allowances might leave an impression on the right side of delicate fabrics, so insert strips of brown paper between the seam allowances and the garment.
  • Whenever possible press on the wrong side of the fabric.
  • When pressing curves, take care not to pull or stretch the fabric.
  • Press seams and darts before stitching another seam across them.
  • Do not press over basting threads or pins – they might leave marks in the fabric.

Pressing Straight Seams

  1. Press along the stitching line to embed the stitches into the fabric.
  2. Press the seam open, creasing the folds with the tip of the iron.

Pressing Curved Seams

  1. Press the seam flat along the stitching line, to embed the stitches. Clip or notch the curve, as needed.
  2. Press the seam open on a tailor’s ham or seam roll, pressing with only the tip of the iron.