Clipping and Notching Seam Allowances

Why You Should Clip and Notch Seam Allowances

Learning how to clip and notch seam allowances will help your finished garment lay flat and smooth and create a professional finish. Clipping and notching where appropriate help the seam allowance to lay correctly when the garment is turned right side out and pressed. Today I am using the sweetheart bodice with a scoop back of the Wildflower Dress for an example.

Clipping a Seam Allowance

Clipping a seam allowance is done on a concave seam. A concave seam looks like a “U” and is found on the scoop back of the Wildflower Dress. Clipping the seam allowance allows it to spread out when turned right side out.

To clip a seam allowance, use your scissors to cut small slits perpendicular to the seam approximately 1/4″ apart. Make sure you clip close to the stitching but not all the way through. I used black thread when sewing this bodice for easier visibility of the line of stitching.


Notching a Seam Allowance

Notching is done to a seam allowance when the seam looks like a hill such as the sweetheart neckline of the Wildflower. To notch a seam allowance, use your scissor to cut small triangles out of the seam allowance to allow it to lay flat when turned right side out.

Cutting notches in the seam allowance lets the seam lay flat when turned right side out without extra bulk when turned right side out and pressed.

After clipping and notching your seam allowance, turn your bodice right side out and press well. As you can see, clipping and notching in the appropriate places allows my bodice to lay flat.

Clipping and notching can be used on both knits and wovens. I hope these tips help you. Make sure to join the Peek A Boo Patterns Facebook group and show off your creations.

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