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To Set Seams or Not to Set -- The Why's and Wherefore's!!!!

To Set Seams or Not to Set -- The Why's and Wherefore's!!!!

Old 05-13-2011, 05:50 AM
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Oh wise, ladies and gents ... do tell ...

Do you set your seams? or not?
(before you press them open, or to the sides)

What purpose does it serve?
If you do it some of the time ... what situations are the times?

What is the return on your time investment in doing such?


I'm looking forward to the discussion on this as I am totally between and betwixt, and need some input as to the why-to!!
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Old 05-13-2011, 05:54 AM
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I do if I remember.. I cant answer your question. as to the purpose.
I just do it because I have seen them do it that way on Fons and Porter..
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Old 05-13-2011, 05:55 AM
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I always set them. I was taught that way and it seems to lay nice and flat when I do. I can tell a difference in the final press. So it works for me.
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Old 05-13-2011, 05:59 AM
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Nancy told me to, so I tried it and liked the outcome. Just habit now.
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Old 05-13-2011, 06:02 AM
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Sometimes. Not a big priority with me. I haven't had any real boo boo's yet because of not doing it.
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Old 05-13-2011, 06:10 AM
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Try pressing some seams "with" and "without" setting them first.

See if there if a difference.

I've never actually done that - maybe I'll go down and try it! :roll: :oops:

I usually do - it only takes a few moments longer - I'm not into production sewing - but I think the seams press "better" to one side then and I have a "flatter" and "tidier" looking seam line
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Old 05-13-2011, 06:24 AM
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The reason is along the same lines as the "scant" quarter-inch theory.

The thread takes up space.
So if you just sew them and press them (open or to the side), you're not getting it as flat as you can because there is a bit of a bump there from the thread.

Can you see it from the space shuttle?
No.

But try it. Take two scraps and sew them together.
Feel the thread line.
Now just take you iron and press it on the seam line.
Feel again. You can feel how it's nice and smooth.
So now when you go to press the seams (again, open or to the side depending on your preference or situation), it will be flatter.

Also, when you go press the seam to the side, you'll get less tucks and pleats. I just find they move better when the seams are set.

So set the seams, press, and this is where you can bring starch in if you want, press again.

I like my seams and blocks to be as flat as wallpaper.

As for time spent, it's negligible. ;-)
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Old 05-13-2011, 06:34 AM
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i always set my seams- it presses them nice and flat/smooth-helps even up any stitches that may be slightly (off) and sinks them into the fibers of the fabric so when i then press my block open (or to one side) the seam is nice-straight- and smooth. i was taught to set my seams 45 years ago= making clothing in 4-H...a habit i have never left behind.
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Old 05-13-2011, 06:38 AM
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I do with smaller pieces and quilts that call for precision.
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Old 05-13-2011, 06:41 AM
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I also always set my seams. Makes the end result flatter, smoother and straighter...just like I wish I still was. :oops: :D
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