Click above to see a tutorial ironing a woll dress with no sleeves

Dress Ironing

We're often asked why women's clothes cost more to dry clean than men's. The assumption is that the dry cleaner is taking advantage of women's fashion sense but when you start ironing women's clothes you realise that they are more tailored than men's, making them more difficult and therefore more expensive to iron.
Move both your body and the garment and do smaller sections than with non-fitted garments.

Ironing a Dress

Begin by ironing any removable object, such as a belt. Here we're stretching out the belt by putting the iron on one end and pulling the other. This gives a naturally crisp finish. Normally iron the reverse side of the belt but be careful, if the back is a stuck on strip or if the back is plastic don't iron it.
Go onto the collar and run your hand over as if it were an iron. If a roll of fabric develops in front of you hand iron from the edge inwards, otherwise go from left to right, pulling th4e opposite end with your free hand.

Often there will be a flap of loose fabric on the inside edge of a woman's blouse or dress. Iron this from the edge inwards, making sure the underneath is flat before you put the iron to work.

Position  one side of the yolk (shoulder) on the edge of the board so you can get it totally flat.  Don't try to get too much on the board or you'll not be able to get it flat. If necessary spray the material with water first. Iron from the edge of the yolk towards it's center and repeat for each edge and each side.
Before we go on to the arms we need to improvise and create a new type of ironing board. Take a Pringles tin, rolling pin or wide brush handle and wrap about three layers of kitchen towel around it. You now have a sleeve board that will fit and can be made to fit awkward areas.
Do the cuff part first and then manipulate the tube to do the rest of the sleeve. This takes practice but you can iron all of the sleeve well with just a covered tube as a board.

The key is to only do small area at a time. If there are pleats in the sleeves hold them in place as you see here and iron to where you think it looks right.
The body will have to be positioned to get the fabric flat. Here we've put the shoulder section at an angle to get to the top section. We've then re-adjusted the dress to iron the under-arm area. you will have to adjust to suit your own dress so be prepared to be flexible.

Keeping to the same side move to the bottom of the dress. Then move onto the first section of the back. Notice how both hands are always working in unison to manipulate and smooth the fabric over the board. 

Continue moving round the dress body finishing with the right hand side. If there are any pockets or features stretch these as you do them and move any linings away from where you're ironing and continue to move around the board with your body, don't stand in one place.
Ironing Home Ironing a wool Dress
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