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Tips & Techniques > clipping seam allowances without cutting the seam

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Posted by: Janie Viers
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Posted on: 9/6/04 9:22 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 3 people   Very Helpful by 1 people   
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I use a pair of "clips" to trim. But I don't use them to make a clip the way most do on seam allowances, I fold the fabric so that the stitching line is at the point of the fold and then I clip OUTward, toward te seam allowance. That way there is never a danger of clipping to far. If the fabric is too heavy for the clips, I do the same thing with my scissors. You get a nice notch with one slip plus eliminate the danger of clipping too far!

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2smiley said...
I cannot visualize this method. Do you pierce the fabric at the fold to het the clip into the fabric to snip toward the sa?
10/3/04 0:38 AM
Janie Viers said...
I fold the seam allowance so that the fold begins at the stitch line. I then clip one angled snip from stitchline (in seam allowance) out to the cut edge of the fabric. Sort of like folding paper to make hearts. The result is a v shaped clip with the point near the seam and the v at the outside. The whole thing is to begin the clip right after the stitching so that you don't clip it accidently. Plus you only make one clipping motion to make the v rather than two which is what happens when you clip toward the stitching line. Better?
10/3/04 10:29 AM
SewVeryTall said...
2smiley...I'm guessing you can't visualize the fold. Each fold is perpendicular to the stitching line, or in other words, you are folding the stitching line on top of itself. Each clip [makes a V-shaped notch] needs its own fold. Hope that helps :)
10/4/04 2:36 AM
katieb said...
I was having trouble visualizing this myself, but you have both described it well and I can now understand the technique. Thanks. It seems alot safer than cutting in. Sometimes I still cut the notch out as shown on the pattern, just to be on the safe side. That might also be easier with snips. I could cut up to the notch, fold down the V of the notch and snip then carry on cutting the pattern out. It may be a bit too fiddly!
10/4/04 4:50 AM
SewVeryTall said...'re welcome. Just to be extra clear, this tip is about clipping a sewn seam, not cutting out pattern notches. When a sewn seam has an outward curve, the seam allowance needs to be notched out so the curved area can lay smoothly after it's turned [a good example of this would be a rounded collar]. You're right, to use this tip when cutting out a pattern would be way too fiddly, and I agree that pattern notches should be cut OUT, not IN.
10/5/04 0:50 AM
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