I can’t thank you all enough for the loads of helpful comments on my pressing dilemma, with the fabric that just wouldn’t crease! Of course I’ve now read several discussions about gabardine being hard to press.
In the end I was able to get it to work with a combination of your suggestions. I think the big winner, however, was Rebekah of St. Gemma’s Art & Needlework, who recommended a spray bottle with 2 parts water to 1 part white vinegar. In the past I remember reading that vinegar is useful for removing stubborn creases (like if you lower the hem of a skirt… not that a shortie like myself has ever had occasion to do that). I had no idea it was helpful for setting creases, too. Once I added that into the mix of techniques I was trying I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Tools I used to get there:
- one part white vinegar in a spray bottle with 2 parts water
- my non-fancy iron set to wool and lots of steam
- a piece of wood as a makeshift clapper
- a press cloth
- understitching in some places (which didn’t end up helping)
Yeah, that last one was the most important. I first spritzed lightly with the vinegar and water. Then through a press cloth, I pressed, let the iron up and let it steam the fabric, pressed again, let the iron up again and let it steam the fabric, then pressed again. Then I held the block of wood down on the pressed seam for several seconds (the wood conveniently had a narrow side and a wide side), then let go and let the fabric cool down. I repeated where needed, which in the case of the facing was a few more times. Oh and yes—I tested this all out on a sample seam with scraps, first.
It’s not perfect, no, and there are other things that bug me about how this is coming together, but I can deal with all of them. I wasn’t going to be able to deal with a puffy facing and collar.
100 times better than it was before, don’t you think?!
Thank YOU for helping me get there!