Pressing: Put Your Hands Together for the Clapper

hands clapping


steam iron over fabricIn order to get that nice finish we are told to press every seam. Most of the time this works, but sometimes we find that the heat and pressure from the iron causes a discoloration or weakening of the fabric and still the seam is not smooth and crisp as a professional finish.  Unexpectedly this can happen to even sturdy fabrics that we thought could take the heat.

 Here is one solution.  Press with steam iron, then remove iron and quickly press a wooden clapper down on the seam.  You have retained the steam and a moderate degree of heat along with the force needed to press the seam.  The seam is getting the finish it needs and you have avoided pushing so much heat into the fabric that it is ruined.  

A wooden clapper.

 A beautiful crisp seam is very rewarding for the home sewer and I use this technique in nearly all of my dressmaking.  If, like me, you need to economize then buy a tool with a dual function.  I bought a point presser and use the base as a clapper.  

Point Presser

 If you are handy with wood, or know someone who is, both clappers and point pressers can be made at home.  Directions are provided on through the University of Kentucky Extension Office.

Next Post: Tuesday, February 9, 2010; Pattern Review: Vogue 2923 Donna Karan Jacket



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