Pressing Matters

Most of my dimensional patterns require some preparation before sewing.  Usually it involves pressing some of the cut fabric pieces:  Squares diagonally into triangles or strips into folded strips or rectangles.
My dimensional curved patterns are a little different from conventional patterns.  The main difference is that you can make curves without having to cut and piece an actual curve. 
This is where the pressing preparation comes in.  Each pressed piece can be shaped into a curve and the smallest curves can be made easily and without tedious curved piecing.  Pressing may seem like a chore at first, but once you realize that fold equals curve, pressing gets much easier.

Some shapes may be finger pressed during construction, but squares are always better pressed with an iron.

Squares to folded Triangles:
Rather than folding, holding down and pressing each piece of fabric separately, use these fast and easy pressing tips.

1.  Lay them all down:  One fast way to do this is to lay out all squares to be folded on your ironing surface right side down.  Fold one square diagonally from corner to corner and touch the fold with an iron.  You may even rest the iron briefly on the square and then fold the next square in line, moving the iron to that square.  Repeat this and move down the line, being careful not to scorch your fabric.  Set the iron a little bit lower than for normal pressing. This is especially good to make a large number of folded triangles.

2.  Stack and Group:  Another equally great way to make folded triangles is to fold squares, stack and group them in groups of 4 to 6 before touching and fixing their folds with the hot iron to preserve their folded shape.

This works well for any number and shapes of folded pieces needed and is a great way to press strips to folded rectangles.

Here are some more photographs to illustrate the different shapes and ways to fold:  Laying out all the strips, then folding and “cooking” one at a time, moving down the line, or pre-folding and grouping the strips to pressed together.  

For cutting tips see my blog about “The Art of Cutting up”.