My older daughter demonstrates today's principle while making a tablecloth.
|Step 2: Sew.
|Step 3: Press after sewing.
If you really want to learn how to use a sewing machine, I have an important tip for you. Set up your iron and ironing board close by. Everything–and I do mean everything–will look better, fit better, and stitch out more accurately if you press as you go along.
Carpenters use the phrase, "Measure twice. Cut once." A good mantra for all sewists would be, "Press twice. Stitch once."
Pressing your fabric before you start cutting is a must. And if you've pulled your pattern pieces from a tightly stuffed envelope, there's no shame is giving them a light once-over. (It's tough to pin and cut accurately using a rumpled pattern piece.) After stitching a few seams, it's a good idea to press the seam as it was sewn, and then (depending on the project) press the seam open or press the seam to one side.
When I first started sewing, I only pressed my projects at the very end–probably in anticipation of stitching up the hem.
I don't remember what article I read, or when the light bulb went off in my head, but once I realized that pressing was a part of the sewing process, I never looked back.
My iron and ironing board (actually, it's a padded desk top) are now two steps from my sewing machine.
And while my iron doesn't always get the glory, I know that it should.
If you're looking for some simple, charming dresses to sew (and press!), check out I Am Cute Dresses.
How many steps do you walk to get from your sewing machine to your ironing station?