Updated at: 08-08-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

Notches are the wedges you create by cutting into the seam allowance. We’ll also go over the different kinds of cuts so you can get a better grasp on the topic.

This article provides in-depth guidance on how to use notches effectively. Notches are an essential concept for anyone learning to sew.

Notches are wedges of varying sizes put into the seam allowance at strategic points. Markings like this make it simpler to line up seams and edges before sewing.

What Are Notches And How To Use Them In The Sewing Process

In the marking phase, notches are transferred from paper designs to the fabric prior to separating the two.

Matching triangular “wedges” on either side of a seam edge are necessary for notches to function. Facing sides of fabric must be touching at the seam, which should go without saying.

Notches - Sewing Basics - YouTube

One, two, or even more notches next to each other may be found on a seam edge. A good predictor of whether a piece of cloth is intended for the front or back of a garment is the number of notches it contains, for instance.

Double notches are found at the back seams.

When stitching a front and back together, a single notch should be used regardless of which part goes on first. This is always the case when a garment has a side seam.

Three Notching Styles Used In Dressmaking

When first starting out, it might be challenging to successfully transfer the notches from a paper pattern to fabric.

Inward-Cut Triangle Notches:

Notches are cut in the form of acute triangles within the seam allowance, with the sharp corners facing inwards toward the main body of the pattern.

This notching method requires cutting a wedge into the seam allowance. Naturally, this step takes place before the paper pattern and cloth are cut apart.

Inward notches on the sewing pattern should be clearly highlighted with a triangular form. There should be no seam allowance beyond the halfway point of a triangle’s point.

Outward-Cut Triangle Notches:

The sewing pattern’s inward notches should be drawn as triangles for easy identification. As a general rule, seam allowances shouldn’t extend past the midpoint of a triangle.

Also, when the seam is sewn, but before the seam allowance is clean finished, any triangle notches that protrude from the outside are removed. This creates a clean edge for the seam allowance, which can be finished in any number of ways.

T-Shape Slash Notches:

The triangles’ outside corners are clipped before the seam allowance is given a neat, finished appearance. This results in a clean, finished seam allowance that can be used for any purpose.

These basic notches are more convenient to utilize while developing patterns because they can be drawn quickly and easily. The seam allowance for slash notches should stop short of the midway mark.

In terms of slash notch length, it’s ideal to use 14- 3/8″ of the seam allowance width.

What Are Notches In Sewing Of Garments?

In terms of slash notch length, it’s ideal to use 14- 3/8″ of the seam allowance width.

The length of the slash notch should be 14-3/8 inches, or the width of the seam allowance.

Why notches are used in sewing

Notches on the components of a product, like clothing, make it easier to sew each seam once the patterns have been removed. When you remove the template after cutting out the pieces, assembly becomes more challenging.

To prevent the front and back from being misaligned during construction, it is important to trace the notches from the design onto the cloth before beginning to sew. The notches won’t be seen on the outside of the finished garment because they are sewn into the lining.

SEWING NOTCHES | How to Cut Notches in Fabric | TREASURIE

Front notches vs back notches

Front notches, which are only one notch deep, are used to indicate where a cut has been made on the front of a piece. In contrast, the two notches on the back of the garment’s components indicate where to make the rear notches.

Clipping vs notching

To “clip” means to make tiny slits in the seam allowance that run perpendicular to the edge of the fabric. When the final product will be flipped right side out, the seams are less likely to break if they are protected by clips.

Notching takes a more involved cut than simply snipping the fabric. Besides these obvious functions, tags are also frequently attached to clothing to help with identification or to reduce the weight of overly substantial ensembles.

Clipping is becoming increasingly common in industrial sewing.

What Are The Different Types Of Notches?

Pattern notches

Pattern notches refer to the indented shapes found along the pattern’s borders. Sewing patterns typically feature either a single notch or a pair of notches to help the sewer locate the pattern’s front and back centers.

With several components that look alike, having pattern notches is extremely useful. Notching the sharp design edges makes stretching more simpler.

Center notches

With several components that look alike, having pattern notches is extremely useful. Notching the sharp design edges makes stretching more simpler.

When working with multiple identical parts, pattern notches prove invaluable. Notches added to the sharp design edges will make stretching much simpler.

Understanding the concept of grainline is essential in the sewing world, as it guides the cutting of fabrics and garments.

Where Are Notches Used?

  • To check that the edges of a garment are aligned and matched properly.
  • Typically used to properly align sleeve seams on a garment.
  • To transfer the seam allowance from the design to the fabric
  • Once the pieces have been cut out, you can use the angled ends as a reference for assembly.
  • When using a sewing machine, it is important to ensure that the needle is placed at the appropriate distance from the edge of the fabric.
  • When dealing with a large number of parts, being able to tell them apart by their front and back sides is essential.
  • Tucking in your hemlines, creating pleats, or gathering your fabric evenly?

Do You Cut Notches In Sewing Patterns?

Notches are needed for sewing patterns, but all you have to do to clip fabric is snip it. The wedges can be sliced either inward toward the center or outward toward the edges, depending on your preference.

How to cut sewing notches

By making the notches on the outside of the seam, the user reduces the risk of accidentally slicing through it. Even inexperienced seamstresses may be able to spot notches on the outer edges that, if sewn, will overlap neatly.

You can shorten the process by cutting the notches inward. Be very careful not to cut into the seam allowance and risk ripping the fabric.

What is a Notch on a Sewing Pattern? | Sew Anastasia - YouTube

How Do You Use Pattern Notches?

When determining the amount of seam allowance required for each fabric piece, use the notches you cut in the corners of the pattern as a reference. Using a pattern notcher to cut a channel over the notches will allow you to quickly mark your fabric.


In other words, that settles the matter. Notches, in case you forgot, are the wedges you make after cutting the pieces of a garment to assist align the seams.

The seams will remain aligned once the pattern has been removed. The “central notch” is used by sewers to pinpoint the exact middle of the grain.

We aspire to have provided useful information here. Don’t hesitate to ask questions or make suggestions in the space provided.