Houston, we have fronts! On Monday, I went out to my tailoring teacher's house to work on my jacket. I was there for about five hours, and in that time, I pressed everything, put together the back of the jacket, and built the front of the jacket, including in-seam pockets with a contrast flap.
The process was slow, but really wonderful and precise, thanks to my teacher's patient guidance and amazing iron. I had always heard about how pliable wool is for tailoring, but I had never experienced it with the level of iron that I had been working with. Spitting and inconsistent steam are a constant problem with most irons I've worked with - that, and for some reason, I'm totally allergic to the concept of using a press cloth. I hate how little control and visibility they add to the equation, so I weasel out of using one whenever possible. I always thought that meant I'm just a bad, lazy sewist.
So imagine my delight when I pressed my first seam open with my teacher's iron - no press cloth required because of the coating on the soleplate, hallelujah - and the ripply, thick seam gently opened and flattened with a generous burst of steam and a little bit of elbow grease. Seriously, it was magic.
Her iron had a detached boiler, maintained a consistent temperature, and let out concentrated gusts of steam by pushing a big orange button on the side of the iron. (It was also heavy: by the end of the day, my wrists were definitely aching.) Between pressing and physically whacking thick areas with a clapper, my seams ended up practically melting together on the front of the jacket. Like buttah.
I already knew I liked tailoring from taking the techniques class, even with boring cotton muslin - but this was a whole different (complex, exacting, wooly, crisp) story. And I think I'm in love.