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Message Board > Beginner's Forum > Notches: to cut or not to cut....outwards ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Notches: to cut or not to cut....outwards
bicrafty
bicrafty
Beginner
GA USA
Member since 6/30/12
Posts: 58
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Date: 8/24/12 8:47 AM

So I've heard that you're supposed to cut the 'notches' on patterns outwards into little triangles. I'm finding this extremely hard to do because at the same time I'm trying to keep my scissors as parallel and close to the table as possible to reduce distortion.

I do use a rotary cutter sometimes which doesn't lend itself to cutting notches outwards either.

I saw a Youtube video where the lady actually did cut little snips into the fabric at the notches. It made more sense to me and seems much much easier.

But I want to make sure that there isn't a valid reason to cut notches outwards before making a decision on how to handle those pesky yet handy notches.

As always, any and all input is extremely welcome and thank you in advance!!

PattyE
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PattyE  Friend of PR
Intermediate
MI
Member since 9/7/10
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Date: 8/24/12 9:08 AM

There was another thread on this recently...people use all different methods for notches. I happen to be a snipper...at notches, dots, fold lines, etc. If that is not possible I use thread for all markings.

clothingengineer
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clothingengineer  Friend of PR
CT USA
Member since 5/7/10
Posts: 506
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In reply to bicrafty <<


Date: 8/24/12 9:08 AM

I used to cut the notches outward too but after watching a Margaret Islander video I now make little snips. The only time I cut outward is if it is a loose weave knit and the snip will get lost, or if the seam allowance is narrow and I am working with a fabric that frays a lot. You could also mark using chalk.

------
-- Anne

juliette2
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juliette2
AUSTRALIA
Member since 6/18/03
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Date: 8/24/12 9:19 AM

Cutting little snips inwards is much faster and more accurate than cutting outward triangles. It's hard to cut the ends of the triangles very precisely.

However.....

Snips have one disadvantage. If you need to let the seams out to gain extra room when you try on the garment, there is less seam allowance available to do this. The snips reduce the amount of use-able seam allowance. I hope that makes sense.

I use snips in most places. I use outward-cut triangles on seams that I might need to adjust during fitting: side seams, centre back seams, and underarm seams.

------
It's a custom-made designer original. I made it myself.

Elcue
Elcue  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/24/12 9:23 AM

I snip. As a beginner I did cut outward triangles. They are easier to find as you're sewing. When you snip you can weaken the fabric, cause fraying, easily tear woven cotton, and if the seam allowance is narrow you might snip through the seam line.

Do what works for you and the fabric.

LDT2011
LDT2011
Intermediate
UNITED KINGDOM
Member since 11/18/11
Posts: 637
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Date: 8/24/12 9:46 AM

I tend not to snip unless I think it will be really trickey...instead I mark the triangle on the fabric in chalk. But I'm self taught...with all kinds of bad habits.

------
'The purpose of most fashion is to be ostentatiously non-functional.'

jadamo00
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jadamo00
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Date: 8/24/12 10:00 AM

Lots of good info on cutting notches on THIS THREAD.

Mufffet
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Mufffet  Friend of PR
Intermediate
VT USA
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In reply to LDT2011 <<


Date: 8/24/12 10:31 AM

Quote:
I tend not to snip unless I think it will be really trickey...instead I mark the triangle on the fabric in chalk.


Excellent. Snipping can start a rip, and notching is a pain in the you-know-where. I don't do either anymore, I mark what I think needs marking with the chalk or a marking pencil. Back and front of sleeves need marking, and other key items, but you don't need all the things on a lot of patterns - the big four would have you notching the world, meanwhile having poorly fitted patterns in the first place. Bah humbug. ;)

Do not become dependent on one pattern at a time - learn the assembly sequence for garments as you go along, and then the skills you learn will transfer and you will be freed from the tyranny of the really bad pattern directions on so many patterns these days. I always have trouble deciphering pattern directions, and am so glad I was taught to sew with the sequence of assembly in mind. Doesn't hurt to jot down a sequence for awhile as you sew! And there can be more than one way to put things together.

------
"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
--Dalai Lama

I have sewing machines

Canadian Jane
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Canadian Jane
Advanced Beginner
AB CANADA
Member since 10/30/10
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Date: 8/24/12 10:51 AM

I snip unless there is good reason not too as others have described. I even make a snip for my seam allowances for matching and as a guide for sewing the seams together. I use my seam allowance snips as a guide when sewing my seams and find that it helps me stay on 5/8ths or whatever the allowance is.

I used to notch outwards but like you I noticed that my notches were never symetrical. I find it is usually much easier to match up my snips than notches where no two are the same size or shape.

Just my 2 cents.

------
Forgiveness does not excuse the behaviour. It prevents the behaviour from breaking your heart over and over again.

GoSewGirl
GoSewGirl  Friend of PR
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NY USA
Member since 4/14/04
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Date: 8/24/12 11:05 AM

I make a tiny snip when I'm using larger seam allowances (3/8" or larger.) If I'm making something with 1/4" seam allowances or fabric that ravels a lot, I'll cut outward or mark the notch instead. I don't expect my notches to match up EXACTLY. Of course they are meant to match up, but there is some room for error in cutting them so I treat them more as guidelines rather than precision markings and look at how the seam as a whole should be lining up. Do what works for you and the fabric you are using.

I like to think that sewing is more of an art, and less of a science ;-)

------
Liz

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