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Thread: Press to 'set' seams?

  1. #1
    Junior Member TAMARATJO's Avatar
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    Press to 'set' seams?

    I press to set seams before pressing them to one side. I learned to do this from watching MSQC tutorials with Jennie Doan. I was wondering if most people do this? If so, why do we do this? I assume it is beneficial in some way. Interested in the "science" behind this process.
    Last edited by TAMARATJO; 11-19-2018 at 05:42 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    it buries the threads into the fabric, thus making less bulk in the fold.
    Nancy in western NY
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  3. #3
    Junior Member TAMARATJO's Avatar
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    I hope those who commented will come back and edit their comments. I really want to see them. Thanks for the answer QuiltnNan.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for asking this. I do it, too, but I'm never quite sure why it is advised.
    "Accomplishment is a consequence of effort" -- Michael Crichton

  5. #5
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    I've seen Jenny do this but I always forget. I honestly don't know why she does it. Maybe she said so and I didn't catch it.
    ETA- just saw Nan's answer!

  6. #6
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    Most of the time I do. Seems to make the seam allowance go over easier.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Cactus Stitchin's Avatar
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    Way back in my garment sewing days I learned to press it the way it was sewn then press how you want the finished seam. The reason given as I remember, was that pressing the way it was sewn first ‘relaxed’ the tension on the stitches and smoothed the small ripples left after sewing. In addition, as QuiltnNan stated above it also buries the thread into the fabric making it easier to turn the seam.

  8. #8
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    I do it most of the time, but I question if it really does anything.

  9. #9
    Senior Member tallchick's Avatar
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    As others have said, It was my understanding that it allows the stitches to grab hold of the fabric and allow for flatter seams. Couldn’t say if it makes a difference or not because I press and starch everything.
    Lisa

  10. #10
    Super Member Teen's Avatar
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    I just read an article a few days ago on this very subject.. Basically, the gals have answered this already but I thought I'd share since I was always curious as to the reason as well.

    https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/pres...chwork-2821455
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  11. #11
    Super Member ILoveToQuilt's Avatar
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    I usually do this when piecing blocks. However, I always press to set my seams when I am paper piecing.
    Anita

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  12. #12
    Super Member jmoore's Avatar
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    I press to set 99% of my seams before pressing to one side (or sometimes open). Was taught to do it so it became an automatic habit.
    attitude is everything...the rest will fall into place.

  13. #13
    Super Member JENNR8R's Avatar
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    I've always read that it's important to "set the stitches" first. The only person that disagrees that I've run across is Janet Pray. She is a clothes designer and teacher. She calls it a myth: http://stores.islandersewing.com/con...%20Handout.pdf

    Sewing “Myth Busters”by Janet Pray

    “Setting the Stitches”The first time I heard this term I was curious and then as it was explained to me, I wasbaffled! For those of you who have never heard of “setting the stitches”, here is whatthey tell me: You sew the seam then press flat before pressing open (on all types offabrics). This is to “meld” the stitches with the fabric. WHAT? How is that even possible?If it is possible, why isn’t it more difficult to pull the stitches out when needed? I haveasked every expert I know and not one subscribes to or believes in this operation. Myconsidered conclusion: this is an extra step that has no real purpose and will not make any difference in thequality of your project, however it will make your project take a little longer.

  14. #14
    Super Member Ariannaquilts's Avatar
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    I was taught that it relaxes the thread. I can't see the harm in doing it so why not. Besides it really works well with open seams, definitely lay flatter.
    Maria
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  15. #15
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    [QUOTE=Cactus Stitchin;8164406] The reason given as I remember, was that pressing the way it was sewn first ‘relaxed’ the tension on the stitches and smoothed the small ripples left after sewing. [QUOTE]

    The ripples are what I notice after sewing. After pressing there are no ripples.
    Mavita - Square dancer and One Room School Teacher

  16. #16
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    Nancy Ziemen always taught that step. Good enough for her. . . .

  17. #17
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    If you want to prove that it helps - sew two seams and press one, then remove them. For me, set seams take a lot more effort to remove, so I don't believe it's a myth.
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

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