The Pressinatrix Feels Compelled

Yes, my dears, your Pressinatrix feels compelled. Compelled to speak. Compelled to shatter myths. Compelled to preach pressing truth.

The Pressinatrix recently received an email from a lovely sewing friend. This friend, who is quite dear to The Pressinatrix, was appalled that a sewing expert declared that the validity of Pressing As One Sews is a myth. The Pressinatrix’ friend wanted to know what The Pressinatrix had to say about that?

The Pressinatrix’s eyebrows shot up to the ceiling, and after a moment she said, “Hmmm, isn’t that interesting.”

Now, those who know The Pressinatrix know that “interesting” is not a good thing. But she would never disrespect another sewing expert’s opinion, regardless of how muttonheaded that opinion may be much she might disagree with them. No, The Pressinatrix prefers to allow results to speak for themselves. However, since your Pressinatrix presses everything to perfection while she sews, she must look to her lesser self’s alter ego’s examples that she sewed long ago, when she had just met The Pressinatrix.

Admittedly exaggerated, but not by much

Admittedly exaggerated, but not by much

The top example was only pressed at the end, the bottom at every step.

The top example was only pressed at the end, the bottom at every step.

Imagine, my dear readers, how dreadful The Pressinatrix’ lesser self’s alter ego’s refashioned wedding dress would have looked if she had neglected to press it properly at each step. Unpressed princess seams, my darlings! The very thought is enough to send The Pressinatrix to her fainting couch.

Now, The Pressinatrix does not declare that you must do anything. Even when she wears her tiara, The Pressinatrix does not deign to force her will. But The Pressinatrix firmly believes that if sewing is one’s hobby, or even better, one’s passion, it is worth taking the time to do well. The cumulative effect of pressing (or not pressing) as you sew is clearly visible. The results do, indeed, speak for themselves.

Thats All

19 thoughts on “The Pressinatrix Feels Compelled”

  1. Cissie says:

    So funny. And you make your point, Your Highness!

  2. I respect that expert a lot, and I haven’t been sewing nearly as long as you or a number of your readers (~8 years), but the “you don’t need to press as you go” myth is definitely one that I know to disbelieve, if only from what I’ve seen with my own eyes. Sure, maybe you can get away not pressing a t-shirt until the end, but certainly not a blouse like the one in your example.

  3. Elle says:

    The dismissive finger waving is the delicious icing on the cake.

  4. Mary Rames says:

    I also recently saw that statement as part of a sewing “myth busters” email/video by a so called sewing “legend.” I about fell out of my chair stunned and was so steamed, NOT in a good way, that I wanted to reach through my screen and smack some sense into said “legend” … SNAP OUT OF IT! Thank you Pressinatrix for setting things straight. Pressing as you go is ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS well worth the few extra moments it takes for a superior outcome every time.

  5. rory says:

    Your original post on this helped me so much — thank you! And although I know it’s not a pattern review, which one did you use for this blouse? I love the lines of it.

    1. Gorgeous Fabrics says:

      It’s a New Look pattern that has been around for ever, Rory, and I just love it!
      New Look 6407

  6. Bunny says:

    This expert’s comments blew me away too. Thanks for once again standing up for quality effort and the result it brings.

  7. Ann T. says:

    I agree with you wholeheartedly, and could not have said it better. I might add, however, that, since I acquired some of my special pressing tools for sewing, such as the ham, ham stand, seam roll, clapper, point presser, and pressing cloth, I find myself using them to iron my laundry!

    1. Gorgeous Fabrics says:

      Your beneficent Pressinatrix wholeheartedly approves of using pressing tools for after-care as well. Bravissima, Ann!

  8. Really. For pete’s sake, it doesn’t even take any extra time or trouble – speaking as one who never lets her Bernina get more than two or three feet away from her ironing board. Sew every seam you can that won’t be crossed by another seam, stand, pivot and press. Pin your next batch of seams on the ironing board, sit down at your machine, repeat as needed.

    If i had to give up my sewing machine or my iron, i’d give up the stitcher. I can sew by hand.

  9. Beth the last woman she knows that sews says:

    That’s how Mrs. MacDonald the wonder 4-H and home ec teacher showed us, “Sew with an iron in your hand”. Makes all the difference. Mrs. MacDonald would approve!

  10. sewsy says:

    On point as usual, Ann.

  11. Sueann says:

    i wondered about this remark and feel fairly certain I know who is being referred to, so I thought I would research it. I could not find where she had said not to press as you sew. She does say to sew as many different and separate seams as possible before going to the iron. Did you research the reference that someone wrote to you about? I am very fond of your blog and would be very disappointed if I thought you had just taken someone else’s word and written a blog post that was unjustly critical.

    1. Gorgeous Fabrics says:

      I did, indeed, see the newsletter, and it is there for all to read if you do a little searching. As you can see from prior comments, I am not alone in having seen said newsletter, I did not make anything up, and I am fond of you too, dear reader. -Your (never disappointing) Pressinatrix

  12. Melanie says:

    I’m a big fan of StyleArc patterns. I can live with there sparse directions. The only thing that really annoys me about their patterns is that at the end of every pattern directions the last step is “iron your new top/pants etc”.

  13. Deborah says:

    I have a question I hope someone can answer. I was taught to stitch and press, so I get it. Buttttttt what about sewing factories where garments are never pressed after each seam? How do these professionally looking garments get that way by not following the rule? That’s my million dollar question for you. Unfortunately, I don’t have a million to give for the answer. 🙁

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Gorgeous Fabrics says:

      The professional looking garments are pressed at almost every stage. The factories that I’ve been in have pressers, and the pressers are paid more than the seamstresses. They may wait and batch press things, but they definitely press.

  14. Colleen says:

    Dearest Pressinatrix,
    I’m a fairly new to sewing and just saw this (and the original) post. I just wanted to let you know that your four-step pressing technique helped me achieve my most professional result to date on a silk charmeuse blouse. I’ve always pressed one side as-sewn and then pressed the seam open, but taking the time to press both sides, then gently press from the right side, made all the difference in the world. My seams lay beautifully flat — NO puckers or waves — and the entire blouse is just beautiful. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    Your new acolyte,

    1. Gorgeous Fabrics says:

      Colleen, The Pressinatrix is delighted that you find her advice helpful! Welcome to the wonderful world of fine sewing (pressing is sewing, after all). May your iron always be hot, your steam always be fine, and your ham always be handy!

      The Pressinatrix

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