The New Dressmaker/Chapter 32

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Irons—Ironing Board—Sleeve Board—Tailors' Cushion—Steaming—Pressing Plaits

GOOD PRESSING is a very important part of dressmaking and tailoring. Special boards and tailors' cushions may be made at home or bought from any dressmakers' supply house.

IRONS. You should have either an electric iron and two ordinary irons, or else three ordinary irons. The two extra irons are used to hold the third in an inverted position in steaming velvet. An eight-pound smoothing-iron is the most satisfactory type for pressing.

The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0363.pngIll. 363. The Sleeve-board IRONING-BOARD. Skirts and coats can be pressed on your long laundry ironing-board or on your sewing-table. Seams should be pressed over the curved edge of an ironing-board so that the seam edges will not be marked on the garment.

A SLEEVE-BOARD which can be used for sleeves and short seams can be made from a board two or three feet long, and tapering from five or six inches in width at one end to three inches at the other. (Ill. 363.) The ends and edges should be rounded and the board should have an inner covering of flannel or a similar wool material, and an outer cover of smooth cotton cloth. (Ill. 363.)

The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0364.pngIll. 364. The Tailors' Cushion A TAILORS' CUSHION is used for pressing darts and curved seams. (Ill. 364.) It is ham shaped and is stuffed tightly with cotton rags. Cut two pieces, eighteen by fourteen inches, making them narrower at one end. (Ill. 364.) Round off all the edges. Stitch the seam with a close stitch. Seams should be pressed over the tailors' cushion so that the seam edges will not be marked on the garment.

In opening seams, dampen the seam, if the material will permit it, and press slowly, bearing down heavily on the iron. Very little dampness should be used on cashmere, as it flattens the twill and spoils the texture. Little or no dampness should be used on silk. A cloth, well wrung out of water, may be used on these materials, and their seams may be dampened slightly.

Velvet, velours and duvetyn must not be pressed, but should be steamed so as not to injure the nap.

To steam velvet, etc., heat an iron and place it face up between two cold irons arranged so as to hold the hot iron firmly. (Ill. 365.) Lay a damp piece of muslin over the face of the iron and draw the velvet over the muslin. The steam will have the effect of pressing the velvet without hurting the pile. Seams can be opened in this way, and this method The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0365.pngIll. 365. The Proper Way to Open Seams in a Velvet Coat can be used on velvet, plush, velours, duvetyn and materials with a high nap, satin and silk.

Velvet may be mirrored or panned by passing an iron over the surface of the velvet, ironing with the nap. After velvet has gone through this process it can be pressed as much as is necessary.

Nearly all pressing is done on the wrong side. Suitings and heavy cloth may be pressed on the right side by steaming. Wring out a cloth as dry as possible and lay it over the place to be pressed. Have the irons hot and press firmly until the cloth is nearly dry. Turn the garment to the wrong side and press until thoroughly dry.

The shine which sometimes comes in pressing may be removed by placing a dry cloth over the shiny place. Then wring out as dry as possible a second cloth which has been thoroughly wet. Place it over the dry one, and with a hot iron pass firmly over the spot. If the material has a nap requiring raising, the place may be brushed with a stiff brush and the process of steaming repeated.

Many fabrics retain the imprint of the basting-thread under heavy pressing. For such material it is necessary to give a light pressing first, removing all basting-threads before the final pressing.

PRESSING PLAITS IN A SKIRT OR DRESS. Turn the skirt wrong side out and slip it over an ironing board. Pin the top and bottom of the skirt to the board taking care that the plaits be perfectly flat underneath. In wool and cotton materials a sponge cloth may be placed over the skirt and pressed thoroughly until the cloth is dry. This method creases the material well and the plaits will stay in position for a long time.

In silk material press the plaits with an iron that is not too hot. Afterward the iron may be run under the plaits to smooth the part underneath. Slip the skirt off the board and remove the bastings.

When a plaited skirt is made of washable material it is not difficult to launder if one goes about it in the right way. The lower part of the skirt should not be pressed out flat, but each plait as it is pressed from the stitched upper portion should be laid in plaits all the way to the bottom of the skirt or dress, smoothed out and arranged with the hand, and then pressed into position. Afterward the iron may be run under the plaits to smooth the part underneath.

In laundering or pressing a skirt you will realize the value of shrinking the material and following the correct grain line of the weave.