After the costume parade Dexter showed me how to do a final press on the suit. He stressed that care should be taken; to work slowly and methodically; to press carefully from the inside of the suit; and finally, that each area should be left to cool down totally before moving it from the ironing board to press the next section. I was really glad to learn how to give the suit a final press, since we had not been taught this in SDP due to time restraints. Additionally Dexter taught me how to set the lapel and collar, as well as giving me hints on how to further smooth down seams and pocket flaps. Ultimately this is the final stage that contributes to a flat, crisp finish. It takes a lot of time, and I should definitely have planned for giving myself more time to do the press. After pressing it for the first time, I had the suit photographed in the photography studio; however after this I should have pressed it again and left it to set overnight. As a result of this, when the Actor wore the suit at rehearsals over the next day, the suit was again very crumpled with areas such as the lapel being 'bouncy' (i.e. not as flat and crisp-edged as I had left it the previous night!) once more. I had to take lots of time to press it again.
Upon reflection, I should definitely have spent a longer time pressing the suit in the first place, so that the jacket in particular would have 'set' more firmly. I will certainly do this in the future, for it will give my work a much more professional finish. I will also press the jacket more effectively as I go along (which I now know how to do, thanks to Dexter's tips) so that I build up the pressing slowly. This will be more efficient in the long run, as I will then not have to dedicate quite so much time to it at the end - the final press will just give it a final set; this is important as when working on live productions I may often be short of time, and should definitely not have to cut back on the press. Overall, I should spend more time pressing as I go along, when working. I will be sure to get into more of a habit of constant pressing in the future. As Graham taught us - the iron is your friend!