Sewing Techniques / Tips & Advice / Tips & Tutorials

why its important to press stretchy fabrics

I’m often asked for tips on how to improve when it comes to sewing with knits – and this is one of those things that is incredibly simple and will really take your knit sewing to the next level.

Press your knits. That’s right, pressing during construction is not just important for wovens, don’t forget the stretchy fabrics!

This week i was making some leggings for Bunny with knee patches – the picture on the left is a leg that wasn’t pressed yet. Look at how wavy and puckered the heart is. It looks terrible. It looks homesewn, and not in the good way. Many people finish at this point and feel disappointed that it didn’t turn out how they had hoped. Thankfully it’s easily fixed if you remember to press!

The leg on the right is post pressing. Pressing the knee patch helped the fabric to recover after being stretched when i sewed it. It brought everything back into shape and set it so it will continue to look this good.

Pressing is crucial to every project. You absolutely 100% will not end up with a good result in sewing if you don’t press. This rule holds true for every fabric type, and there is no such thing as a garment you can get away without pressing.

It bears mentioning again – press everything. It’s my golden rule.

[For more on pressing and why it’s so important, check out this post]

About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

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Trudy Callan
8 years ago

Thank you for this important reminder!

8 years ago

Absolutely right, Megan! A wonky-looking project can turn into a wonderful-looking project after being ironed :) … My iron almost never gets unplugged ;)

8 years ago

Sooooo guilty of not pressing jersey oops!

8 years ago

Agree! I get almost irritated when I see projects posted on blogs or Pattern Review that obviously have never been ironed…before, during, or after sewing. Gives ‘handmade’ a bad rap!

8 years ago

Hi, Meg, iwant to make a jumpsuit for myself how do i measure the crotch length and depth to get enough ease. i would be glad to get a quick tip from u.thanks