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Thread: why set seams??

  1. #1
    Super Member leaha's Avatar
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    my sister called me and asked "why do we set seams when pressing"? OK I know I do it, but why??? I did a serch on it and am not happy with most answers. Knowing this board I knew this was the place to ask. I know some where along the way I was told why but have so forgotten.
    she is teaching a class and needs to know, thanks ever so!!

  2. #2
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    All I know is that when you set the seam and then press open or to the side it seems to lay better. Others may have other ideas!

  3. #3
    Super Member sweet's Avatar
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    Leaha, I love that you asked this question! I have heard that by pressing the seam, you are pressing the stitches into the fabric which is best for the seam. I want a better answer myself!

  4. #4
    Subee's Avatar
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    I always set my seams with the iron. The before and after are amazing.
    I believe it embeds the thread into the fabric. And it straightens out any puckers. I also make sure that the fabric I want the seam to fold to is on top. Makes the fold out easier too.
    Hope I have helped.
    Subee :-)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dakotamaid
    All I know is that when you set the seam and then press open or to the side it seems to lay better. Others may have other ideas!
    I agree

  6. #6
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    You are setting the stitches into the fabric, which makes for a better pressed seam line :D:D:D

  7. #7
    Super Member hobo2000's Avatar
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    I was told it makes the stitches sink into the cloth better so when you flip one side over it lays better.

  8. #8
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    I do it to make the quilting go easier. I can't imagine trying to quilt a top that had not been pressed.

  9. #9
    Super Member quiltmaker's Avatar
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    Yes, it helps it lay better but also allows you to match up to another block so much easier. You will butt the seams together from one block to another and pin so the blocks connect easily in the proper place. You need to press the seams flat so that there is no bunching or lumps of excess fabric.

  10. #10
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hobo2000
    I was told it makes the stitches sink into the cloth better so when you flip one side over it lays better.
    That's what I was told.

  11. #11
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweet
    Leaha, I love that you asked this question! I have heard that by pressing the seam, you are pressing the stitches into the fabric which is best for the seam. I want a better answer myself!
    You just answered the question. I have been sewing for over 60 years, and have always done that. It makes the seams lie better in whatever position you set them, be it open, or folded to one side. Sometime try pressing a seam to one side without pressing it flat first and you will understand the purpose.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by grann of 6
    Quote Originally Posted by sweet
    Leaha, I love that you asked this question! I have heard that by pressing the seam, you are pressing the stitches into the fabric which is best for the seam. I want a better answer myself!
    You just answered the question. I have been sewing for over 60 years, and have always done that. It makes the seams lie better in whatever position you set them, be it open, or folded to one side. Sometime try pressing a seam to one side without pressing it flat first and you will understand the purpose.

    Try it and compare. If you don't think it's worth the effort, don't do it.

  13. #13
    Super Member leaha's Avatar
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    http://www.scrapquilts.com/pressing.html

    I found this and it explains press /ironing clearly. but still WHY? I guess I am looking for a really good answer. I do know that my preasing is better when I set the seams.

  14. #14
    Senior Member trish b's Avatar
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    Pressing your seams can change the size of the block. If we do not press we can sometimes loose 16/inch times 10blocks is over 1/2 inch. So pressing is very important.

  15. #15
    Super Member quiltmaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leaha
    http://www.scrapquilts.com/pressing.html

    I found this and it explains press /ironing clearly. but still WHY? I guess I am looking for a really good answer. I do know that my preasing is better when I set the seams.

    All of these answers are correct.....sometimes there isn't a why.....only a because.

  16. #16
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    Are you asking for the technical reason "why" it works better?

    Perhaps when the seams are set, the threads sort of disappear into the fabric and take up less space/bulk when the seams are pressed open, therefore the pressed open seam looks better.

  17. #17
    Senior Member cizzors's Avatar
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    I've also read on this board that it shrinks the thread ever so slightly and reinforces the seam.

  18. #18
    Super Member gale's Avatar
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    I think there is some confusion in this thread-there are some posts indicating pressing in general (which is always necessary no matter what) and some about setting seams before pressing the two pieces open with the seam open or to one side or the other.

  19. #19
    Super Member leaha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltmaker
    Quote Originally Posted by leaha
    http://www.scrapquilts.com/pressing.html

    I found this and it explains press /ironing clearly. but still WHY? I guess I am looking for a really good answer. I do know that my preasing is better when I set the seams.

    All of these answers are correct.....sometimes there isn't a why.....only a because.
    LOL so true, I just know I set my seams, but my sister asked "why" well I just know to do it, does not really matter why, just know it works better, but she wanted to give her class a reason to do it this way. :-)

  20. #20
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    SO, THAT IS THE REASON! YOU GET BETTER SEAMS...why are you looking for more? reading through the responses everyone has pretty much told you the same thing...the reason to set your seams is so you have smoother, better looking seams when you then press them to one side or open...that IS THE REASON...so, you are still asking why????
    WHY???
    sometimes (especially when you are fairly new) people tend to try to over-complicate things...it does not have to be complicated...it can really and truely be a simple reason. don't try to feed more into technique's than what is already there. it is a simple thing. set your seams and you will have smoother seams....
    no reason for stress...



    Quote Originally Posted by leaha
    http://www.scrapquilts.com/pressing.html

    I found this and it explains press /ironing clearly. but still WHY? I guess I am looking for a really good answer. I do know that my preasing is better when I set the seams.

  21. #21
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl
    SO, THAT IS THE REASON! YOU GET BETTER SEAMS...why are you looking for more? reading through the responses everyone has pretty much told you the same thing...the reason to set your seams is so you have smoother, better looking seams when you then press them to one side or open...that IS THE REASON...so, you are still asking why????
    WHY???
    sometimes (especially when you are fairly new) people tend to try to over-complicate things...it does not have to be complicated...it can really and truely be a simple reason. don't try to feed more into technique's than what is already there. it is a simple thing. set your seams and you will have smoother seams....
    no reason for stress...



    Quote Originally Posted by leaha
    http://www.scrapquilts.com/pressing.html

    I found this and it explains press /ironing clearly. but still WHY? I guess I am looking for a really good answer. I do know that my preasing is better when I set the seams.
    Than You for that; you said exactly what I have been mumbling to myself. It is a waste of energy and time; could be sewing a quilt in the time being taken worrying about WHY :!: :? :roll:

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