Monday, February 27, 2012

Do you press or smooth?

I was pulling out some pattern pieces to work on a garment last night and I had this thought..."Do you press your folded pattern pieces before laying them onto your fabric or do you just smooth them out and lay them down?"


See sometimes I press and sometimes I smooth.  It depends on how heavily creased the pattern pieces are.  If I can smooth them out, I do 'cause I'm really quite lazy.  All I really want is to get to the sewing...so how about you?  Do you always press your pattern pieces first?  Or are you a smoother?


This is the Question of the Day, so talk to me, okay?


...as always, more later!





83 comments:

  1. I with you. Smooth if I can. Press if I must!

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  2. Mostly, I trace! Tracing gives me a brand new, smooth pattern piece. But on the occasions when I work with patterns that I've previously used, I press.

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  3. I'm mostly a smoother. Like you I only press if they are very creased and as I'm a bit of a fanatic about folding the pattern pieces nicely that hardly ever happens.

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  4. I have just started pressing. The first few items I sewed I just smoothed but with my red dress I decided to go "all the way" and press it to try to be as "professional" as possible. I will probably end up like you - pressing the really creased and smooting otherwise. Although I am starting to think tracing might be the go - decisions decisions.

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  5. I pretty much always press my patterns. It only takes a few minutes and I never have to deal with wrinkly paper. It makes it easier to fold up the pattern pieces to put them away too.

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  6. Lazy smoother all the way for me!

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  7. I iron my pattern pieces and then i trace them!
    Habit of a long time - in wanting to preserve patterns for reuse in the different sizes and not to mention that the cost of patterns are expensive here in Australia. so if i cut into the tissue and messed up, i didn't have to rebuy!
    I've since discovered the BMV site and buy patterns from there - i can buy 7 patterns at a time for $25.00 postage

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  8. I don't press before I cut, as I don't have a cutting table anyway - my cutting method is pinning the fabric and the pattern to the carpet and then cutting.

    I do, however, press patterns that I copy to other paper. I found that's the way to get accurate copies.

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  9. I'm a presser - I do the fabric and the pattern at the same time. It's good to start a project properly before it goes down hill and I'll take any shortcut known to humnankind to finish it!

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  10. it's funny that you say that you just want to get to the sewing, cause that's exactly my thoughts! But i do press with iron, because I need the extra help having matched up seams LOL

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  11. I used to always smooth but I've started pressing all my patterns - it sucks if my iron drips!

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  12. Compulsive presser here. It drives me nuts when there's a wrinkle.

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  13. Smooth most of the time...

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  14. I am with you the smooth or press method.

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  15. If they're folded, I press 'em. If they're rolled (as many of my TNTs are), no need to press.

    Have a great week Carolyn! :-)

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  16. I mostly press, but sometimes smooth.

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  17. I almost always press. My pieces are usually so creased I have no choice.

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  18. I'm a pressing fool . . . I iron everything, including my patterns before I cut them out. As the daughter of a Marine officer, I was brought up to abhor wrinkles of any kind!

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  19. I press them (most of the time...), when I'm done I wad them back into the envelope. Never trace a paper pattern.

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  20. I always press the tissue or paper. I trace every pattern, so it really must be absolutely flat. The tracing medium I use doesn't usually need to be pressed, however, except when I first unroll a length as it has a crease in it.

    And I don't know what this stuff is. We found it, abandoned and untagged, but it's really cool stuff. Quite see-through, takes a hot iron, can be stitched. One drawback is that whatever I use to write on it goes through it so I have to be careful of that.

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  21. It depends on what I'm making. If I'm making my daughters wedding dress I press. If I'm making my grandkids pj pants smoothing is fine. I warm my hands by rubbing my palms fast together and smooth the pattern.

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  22. I am surprised there are so many people who don't iron their patterns, it has never occurred to me not to iron. Always.Iron.Patterns. Or the sewing gods will smite you. 8-)

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  23. I always press. Seems to me that very smooth pattern and very smooth fabric will give me a better chance of coming as close as possible to perfection in sewing.

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  24. Since I have to make so many modifications (FBA, lengthen everything, widen parts often), I'm a smoother & tracer. One thing is my iron sometimes sounds like it's going to start steaming, even when steam is off.

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  25. This is why I have a wall of patterns. I use push pins to hang my TNT patterns.

    There are problems with that, though - lots of holes in the wall and lots of holes in my TNT's.

    And I still have lots of patterns (usually traced version) in zip lock baggies, envelopes in different sizes and general disorderliness.

    to answer the question, I do like you- I smooth when I can and press when I must :)

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  26. Rarely do I have a pattern that I don't press. It makes them easier to work with, more accurate to cut, and re-folding is a snap. (If I plan on re-using the pattern lots, I'll trace it onto paper or interfacing, and put the original away for safekeeping.)
    PS. I love your blog!

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  27. Another presser here. I'm still new enough at the other skills that I want any advantage I can get...

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  28. Usually I smooth my pattern pieces. If the pieces are very winkled then I press.

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  29. Press! If I don't press and it come out wacky later on, I'll blame myself for being lazy.

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  30. Smooth unless it's really a mess. My iron isn't so good at staying dry unless there is no water in the resevoir at all. I'm pretty hesitant to press paper.

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  31. Smooth. I'm lazy.

    I'm also not very good at sewing, so maybe this is one of the short cuts I need to stop taking...

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  32. Press, it's part of the process.

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  33. I am a smoother! Whenever I get done cutting out a pattern I always try to fold it as rectangular as possible. I, also, always have the piece number face up so it makes it easier to pull the pieces I need.

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  34. I'm a smoother because I don't want the deep crease lines to go away. My OCD makes me have to put the pattern back into the envelop nice and neat.

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  35. I'm with you there too! Smooth most of the time, and only press when it's too wrinkly. That's one of the reasons I like Jalie patterns, they are printed on heavy paper and it's folded in a large size. Kwik Sew too, easy to smooth out the heavy paper. Of course I trace everything first, habit now that I've been using Burda Style patterns so much. It doesn't help that my ironing board is in a tight area, and I'm afraid of tearing tissue paper patterns.

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  36. I always iron the pattern. (The term "pressing" is used for the way the iron is used during the construction of the garment.)

    Next, I usually trace it onto Swedish Tracing Paper or a similar medium. Sewing is so expensive that it makes sense to preserve a pattern whenever possible.

    I'm not fond of all the prep work, but the results are usually better.

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  37. I iron my folded pattern piece. It's now a part of my sewing routine.

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  38. I'm a smoothie unless they are unintelligible. Now though, I have these thick paper patterns from Hot Patterns and they are harder to smooth.

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  39. I smooth, then trace! My traced pieces are then very smooth (unless I pull out a TNT, but even then I tend to smooth). If it is really, really bad I will press (I have done this twice) but I must agree - this is one step where I get very lazy!

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  40. Most of the time I smooth because I just want to get it started. But, if the fabric is really slippery and the pattern is really crinkled I will press.

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  41. Pressing pattern pieces was something stressed by my 7th grade home economics teacher. Once I escaped from her clutches, I never pressed again unless the pattern came to me wadded into a ball. That means 40+ years of only smoothing. I do weight my patterns on the fabric rather than pinning -- I find it distorts the grainline less. (Also, Miss Brooks would not have approved, which is in my book STILL a valid reason to rebel. I must have been such a trial to her.)

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  42. I press because my patterns are static-y for some strange reason

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  43. Ironer...definitely an ironer. It's about the only thing I don't skip ;)

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  44. My pattern storage and ironing board are upstairs, but the cutting table is downstairs. I press my patterns out of the envelope so I don't have to run up and down if one turns wonky. I think this makes my cutting more accurate, but I say, go with what works.

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  45. I have never thought to press the pattern pieces! Haha, so I am definitely a smoother.

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  46. I'll be honest that I've never felt the need to press my tissue patterns. A nice smoothing works fine for me and I always fold my pattern pieces carefully when finished. I am, however, a stickler in pressing my fabric before pattern layout and cutting.

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  47. I used to be a lazy seamstress. Now I take the time to do those little details, and my results show it! Press. Always.

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  48. Smooth if I can- I have only pressed one pattern.

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  49. Press. Unless it's a project that just doesn't matter (like a costume or a random thing someone asked me to do and I couldn't find a good reason to say no!)

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  50. I'm a presser, I learned to sew back in the late 60's and I guess I'm still ingrained with pressing the pattern pieces. I did drop the teacher habit of trimming the pattern to the black line before cutting out the pattern.

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  51. Ha, I just finished pressing some patterns from the 60s. If they're new, I just smooth them out. But I get a lot of mine on eBay and from the thrift stores, sometimes they are 50+ years old, and boy do they need pressing.

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  52. Mostly I am a presser. I have a few patterns draped over hangers & if they haven't incurred too many cat faces (a/k/a wrinkles...lol) I will hand smooth it.

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  53. Mostly press. I'm of the "trace off" school, even the .99 cent McCall's since I always have to adjust for length, forward shoulder and the like. I don't pin either, but use great big metal washers to hold the pattern down. My most used pattern has been transferred to oak tag and gets chalked around before cutting.

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  54. I always iron the patterns when I take them from the envelope AND I iron them when I store them away. Is anyone else as obsessive as I am?...lol

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  55. I'm a smoother and a presser. It all depends, if its a small piece with not a lot of wrinkles it gets smoothed, bigger always gets pressed and these are my traced patterns. But on new pattern they get pressed automatically it has become part of my routine on new patterns.

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  56. I'm with you in that I could go either way depending on the condition of the pattern pieces and what type of fabric I'm using.

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  57. I used to press. I can't remember when I switched to the dark side.

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  58. Smooth always. Press if absolutely necessary. ;-)

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  59. I too am a tracer which then gives me smooth pattern pieces. If, however, I decided to use the pattern from the envelope, I smooth.
    Marie

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  60. I press, then trace. In my dream sewing studio I would have the space to then hang the original pattern envelope with the traced pattern (which would not be folded) on a hangar with clips. At least for my favorite and most used patterns.

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  61. I mostly just smooth. But there are times I've found it necessary to press, especially when using vintage patterns.

    What's the score so far? :)

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  62. I don't press the patterns that I draft but everything else gets pressed. I have a Black and Decker iron that I only use as a dry iron for pressing patterns.

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  63. I like to press it,I love to press everything,lol

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  64. Usually smooth. I store my patterns in 9X12" envelopes instead of smooshing them back in the pattern envelope. I write the pattern number in the upper right hand corner and store them numerically in a tote.

    I cut the envelope that the pattern came in apart...I tape the front and back to a sheet of copy paper and insert it in a non-glare sheet protector. Those are stored in a zippered note book. It's great...when i go fabric shopping i take the notebook with all the patterns in it...i don't have to guess at the amount of fabric to buy. AND when i'm buying fabric on the internet i can flip through the notebook to see what i want to make and how much fabric i need instead of going through a bunch of tattered pattern envelopes.

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  65. I smooth and only press if I absolutely must!

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  66. Being european, I find patterns to be horribly expensive. Magazines are the most likely source of patterns for me, so tracing is the way to go.

    Therefore the question is a bit academic, but I would be a smoother, if at all possible :-)

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  67. I smooth the first time and then press before folding them back up into the envelope. That way, they are always nice and crisp for the next use.

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  68. I almost always use my iron to press out the wrinkles in my pattern pieces; I find them easier to handle. Small, not very wrinkled pieces I will often smooth.

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  69. I'm with you... let's get on with the sewing! The sooner the better! If I have to iron I will... but otherwise I just smooth... Since I don't have tons of room all the time in my sewing room I made myself an ironing board to do small ironing things like seams... facings etc... It's a piece of plywood about 22" x 16"... I put a thin layer of batting on it and then covered it with heat resistant cloth. The stuff used to make oven mitts with... that grey stuff. I covered the entire thing and just stapled it on the narrow edges really good. It's gives me a place to quick iron these items without pulling out the ironing board each and every time I need it!

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  70. I press--and I have an iron dedicated for tissue-paper pressing (ie, it has never been used as a steam iron).

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  71. I smooth, but iron when I must

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  72. Wow! You had quite a lot of comments on this one. I follow the same practice as you.

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  73. I always press, cause that's the way Mom taught me. I think I would get twitchy if I didn't press the pattern before laying it out. :)

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