Updated at: 02-06-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

The wedges you cut on the seam allowance are what are known as “notches” in sewing. To assist you better comprehend these cuts, we’ll also go through the various types of them.

When it comes to using notches, you’ll find detailed instructions in this article. Those who want to learn how to sew clothing must be familiar with notches.

At the seam allowance edge, notches are triangular-shaped wedges or plain slashes that are inserted at specific spots. Sewing seams and edges are more easily aligned with the help of these markings.

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

Before detaching the cloth from the pattern, the notches are transferred from the paper patterns to the fabric during the marking stage.

In order for notches to operate, the triangular “wedges” on one seam edge must match the “wedges” on the other side of the seam. It should go without saying that the seam should be oriented correctly with the fabric’s facing sides touching.

Notches - Sewing Basics - YouTube

A seam edge might have one, two, or even more notches next to each other. For example, how many notches are present in a piece of fabric is a useful indicator as to whether it is for the front or rear of the garment.

Back seams are marked with double notches.

Single notches should be used when sewing a front and back piece together, regardless of which component is put on first. With garment side seams, this is always the case.

Three Notching Styles Used In Dressmaking

You may find it difficult to transfer the notches from a paper pattern onto fabric, especially if you are a beginner.

Inward-Cut Triangle Notches:

Within the seam allowance, angular triangle notches are cut so that the angular point points inwards, toward the body of the pattern.

A wedge must be cut into the seam allowance for this notching method to work. Of course, this is done prior to separating the paper pattern from the fabric piece.

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.

The seam allowance is permanently cut when the inward notches are visible during the seam matching procedure (and easy to line). As a result, inward notches should not be used on materials that are prone to fraying or on methods of seam finishing that require the seam allowance to be cut. If this is the case, using triangle notches that are clearly defined on the outside is preferable.

Outward-Cut Triangle Notches:

Notches that point outwards from the seam allowance (outward triangle notches) are cut as triangular extensions rather than as inward triangle notches (inward triangle notches).

Outward-cut triangle notches are also trimmed off after the seam has been stitched and prior to clean finishing the seam allowance. This leaves a smooth seam allowance edge which provides a great canvas for all seam allowance finishing techniques.

T-Shape Slash Notches:

Prior to applying a crisp finish to the seam allowance, the outward-cut corners of the triangles are trimmed. For all seam allowance finishing processes, this leaves a smooth seam allowance edge that can be used for any application.

Because they are quick and easy to draw, these simple notches are also more convenient to employ while designing patterns. For slash notches, the seam allowance should not extend beyond the halfway point.

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?

The wedges you cut into the garment’s seam allowance are referred to as “notches.” When sewing clothing, seams can be matched and sewn in accordance with this method.

If you don’t have notches, it’s difficult to see which pieces connect together to make the garment’s seam.

Why notches are used in sewing

Marking the components of the project, such as clothes, with notches makes it easier to sew each seam when patterns are taken out. Because you’ll be removing the pattern after cutting out the parts, putting the product together will be more difficult.

This means that the pattern’s notches should be transferred to the fabric before sewing to avoid problems with front and back pieces being out of sync. No worries about how the notches would look on the final garment, as they will be hidden inside.

SEWING NOTCHES | How to Cut Notches in Fabric | TREASURIE

Front notches vs back notches

Notches on the front of a piece are denoted by a single notch and are known as front notches. Back notches, on the other hand, are what you’ll use on the garment’s back components, and they’re marked with two notches.

Clipping vs notching

The term “clipping” refers to making small cuts perpendicular to the cloth edge in the seam allowance. Clips are generally employed on projects that have a concave turn and will be turned right side out to reduce stress on the seams.

Instead of just snipping the fabric, notching requires you to cut it out. Other typical uses include labeling garments and lowering the weight of bulky outfits.

In industrial sewing, clipping is increasingly common.

What Are The Different Types Of Notches?

Pattern notches

The notches printed on the pattern’s edges are referred to as “pattern notches.” Single or double notches are used to help the sewer identify the pattern’s center front and center rear elements.

With several components that look alike, having pattern notches is extremely useful. Stretching will be considerably easier if you add notches to the cutting edges of the design.

Center notches

From the term itself, center notches are cuts carved in the middle of the fabric. These V-shape wedges can also be cut on the folds of the project to help you find its center and grain.

To make certain that the clothing is completely on the grain, you can match the center notches. Consequently, they are most typically placed in the middle of the facing, collar or neckline.

In sewing, it’s important to know what grainline is because it’s critical when cutting materials, particularly for clothes.

Where Are Notches Used?

  • To ensure that the seams of a garment are perfectly matched and aligned.
  • For lining up the sleeves of a garment.
  • In order to transfer the pattern’s seam allowance to the cloth
  • After cutting the parts, the corners can be used as a guide for building them.
  • In order to verify that you are stitching at the precise distance from the fabric’s edge with the sewing machine needle,
  • Working with a large number of components, it is important to distinguish between the front and back.
  • An essential tool for keeping your tucked-in hemlines, pleats, or gathers evenly distributed

Do You Cut Notches In Sewing Patterns?

Sewing patterns require you to make notches, whereas clipping merely requires you to snip the fabric. Based on your personal preference, you can either cut the wedges inside or outward, depending on your personal preference.

How to cut sewing notches

The user is less likely to cut too deeply into the seam if they cut the notches outward. In addition, novice seamstresses may quickly identify outward notches, which will properly overlap after the seam is completed.

If you want to save time, you can also cut the notches inward. Avoid cutting too much into the seam allowance and risking the cloth tearing by being extremely careful.

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

How Do You Use Pattern Notches?

You can use the notches you’ve made at the pattern’s corners as a guide to figure out how much seam allowance you need for each fabric piece. To mark your cloth much more rapidly, you can use a pattern notcher to cut a channel over the notches.


And that’s all there is to it! If you want a quick refresher on what notches are, they’re the wedges you make after cutting the components of a garment in order to help align the seams.

Even after removing the pattern, the seams will still match perfectly this way. Sewers utilize a feature known as the “central notch” to locate the grain’s center.

We hope you found this informational. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.