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Clip or Notch?

spinardo | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I hope someone can help me answer this question. Regarding clipping and notching, which method applies to convex curves and which applies to concave curves? I have done extensive research using my library of sewing books as well as my sewing magazines. I have also spent a considerable amount of time on the Internet. To my surprise the results seem to be split 50/50. Some state that notching is done on convex curves and some say it is done on concave curves. The same is true with clipping. Is there one correct method? I plan to post this information on a new sewing web site that I am in the process of developing – I do not want to post incorrect information. I would appreciate any input. (FYI – The new Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing states in one section that notching is done on convex curves but in another section it states that notching is done on concave curves (see pgs 87 and 372), and vice versa for clipping (see pgs. 87 and 370). Obviously this is an error in the book).




  1. kai230 | | #1

    If I understand the terms correctly, I would suggest notching the concave and clipping the convex. Picturing a U, on the concave surface (the inside), you will need to discard extra material. On the convex (outside), you might need to stretch it. Can anyone tell me if this is correct?

    An example of this might be an armhole, eh?

  2. sanderson | | #2

    Kai's "U" is great.  To make a notch you must first clip, right?  The clip allows the fabric to stretch; the notching removes excess overlapping seam allowance.

    1. CarolFresia | | #3

      I've always understood it that way, too: clip in any situation where the seam allowances must spread out, and notch where they must crunch together. So: clip a neckline or armhole, and notch something like a faced, scalloped hem.


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