I’ve been reading alot about precision piecing over the last few years (the Harriet Hargrave series is good for beginners, although my favorite at the moment is Sally Collins’ The Art of Machine Piecing), and it seems most people who are known for their excellent piecing skills don’t use steam. I’ve found that, for me, I’m using less and less steam as I work. Mainly, this is because, for me, I notice my pressing technique with steam isn’t as good–my fabric can get more distorted and out of shape. I really like the super-crisp lines, but I find I can get that with the dry method as well.
Here’s how: I set my seams first. By “setting” seams, I mean that I iron over the just-sewn seam before I open it up and press the seam to the side or open. Theoretically, this allows the thread in your seam to sink into the fabric and tighten up a bit, and then, when you press it open, it’s a nice, crisp line.
I’m curious: what other methods do people use for ironing their seams?