Darlings, Sewing Kittens,
Minions Dearest Readers,
Your beloved Pressinatrix would like a word with you. Dears, it has come to The Pressinatrix’ attention that there has been some inquiry in the blogosphere lately about pressing and pressing tools. Well never you fret, my pressing poppets. Your Pressinatrix is here for you, with information that while being witty and pithy, is also going to make sure that you always, always have results that will elicit coos and gasps of admiration from the
hoi polloi non-sewing masses – and even (especially!) from the sewing cognoscenti – when you wear your perfectly pressed garments in public.
First up, let us review the basics. Of course, you all read religiously The Pressinatrix’ posts about proper pressing technique and tools, no? Of course you do. But just to remind you,
Click Here to See a Compendium of The Pressinatrix’ Posts on Pressing and Pressing Tools
And if you prefer your information in a more videographic medium, Click Here to See a Video About Pressing.
There, isn’t that refreshing? But that’s not all that The Pressinatrix has to share with you. Currently, Ann, The Pressinatrix’
lesser self alter ego, is working on a marvelous Marfy coat. Very Burberry, darlings, but with a longer capelet. She will, thanks to The Pressinatrix, look fabulous in it. Why? Because The Pressinatrix is making sure she properly performs each pressing process with particular precision. Oh, The Pressinatrix does amuse herself!
This coat requires work to make sure that it looks like the many-thousands-of-dollars garment to which it is equal or superior. That means much time and care will be spent shaping it with steam, heat and pressure. Not all of these are applied at the same time, which is a very important point. Remember, kittens, it is possible to over-press a garment, and your Pressinatrix would never want you to do that. So here are a few illustrations to show you how to use your plethora of pressing tools to help you achieve great results. First up, let’s talk about the biggie – your iron. Believe it or not, when working with many fabrics: wool, cotton, linen and more, you don’t have to press down hard, or even apply the iron directly to the fabric. You can let the steam do most of the work. Steam is a wonderful tool for shaping natural fabrics (and even many synthetics). You don’t need to slam your iron down onto the fabric. In this picture, The Pressinatrix is holding the iron a teensy bit above the collar seam. Note the ham, darlings, note the ham. Always press curved seams over a curved surface. After blasting the seam with steam, flat on both sides of the sewn seam:
Please pardon The Pressinatrix’ cell phone pictures. Now hold your iron about a quarter inch above your garment and blast that puppy with steam.
then open, the results are simply, well gorgeous.
Oh, isn’t that seam just glorious?
Next up, The Pressinatrix used a marvelous little tool called a clapper. The Pressinatrix bought hers from a wonderful eBay seller, but you can use a smooth block of hardwood (maple, oak or cherry, for example) with great results. To give a crisp edge to the finished cape pieces, The Pressinatrix simply holds the iron right above the edges and steams thoroughly. Immediately after taking the iron away, The Pressinatrix takes the clapper to the edge and lightly applies pressure until the fabric has cooled to the touch.
Light pressure will do the trick.
Contrary to what you may have heard, you don’t need to lean on it with all your body weight. Yes, there are some wools (meltons, very heavy boiled wools are two) where you need to put a lot of pressure on the fabric, but it is most definitely not the case in every instance. So The Pressinatrix urges you to test some scraps of fabric. After all, we want your garment to look couture, not, “pressed to death”.
Now, isn’t that Gorgeous?
And finally for this evening, let’s talk a little about darts. Your Pressinatrix sewed the darts in the sleeve cape and pressed them open over a ham:
It is important to position your dart carefully on the ham to match the curvature, thus avoiding the dreaded “dart end bubble”
As with the rest of this garment, I have used lots of steam and a modicum of pressure to get the results I want. And this is the result The Pressinatrix wants:
A no-bubble dart
My dears, The Pressinatrix is tired, and has much to do on her
lesser self’s alter ego’s coat before it is done, so I shall bid you bon soir, bon nuit, and