Its all in the preparation – Tailor tacks and notches

This week I’ve been teaching the students about the importance of tailor tacks and notches. A number of students have been sewing years but want more refinement. They have often done a commercial pattern but they’ve just winged it and it’s never occurred to do what they considered as boring excessive extras. The thing is though, they’re so important and save you time in the long run.

So what are they?

Notches are the little triangles on the edge of your panel which you can mark with a little snip or cut the whole triangle out. Sometimes you have double or triple notches like in this photo. They all have a significance and match another part of the garment.

Tailor tacks (or thread marks) are double thread loops into certain points marked on your pattern. On the photo below it is a circle. To insert them, you go through paper and both layers of fabric and make 2/3 loose loops. Do not knot them as you want to be able to remove them later on. Always do from the top. If you go from underneath you are liable to go at an angle which could mean them being in the wrong place.

Students always ask what is the point of them? They help with putting your garment together so that each piece is attached evenly and correctly as well as marking important points on the garment such as pockets, darts, tucks/pleats, etc. They are a godsend when inserting sleeves.

On my blouse, I’ve marked them on the bottom of my pin tucks as well. Once I’m ready to start sewing a particular panel, I’ll carefully tug my paper away so that it only makes a hole and not a rip in the paper. I’ll then carefully pull my fabric pieces apart and cut the threads in between the two fabric pieces so that they resemble eyelashes like the photo above.

Ready for making

Now that I’ve done all this prep, in theory I should be able to just make the garment without any hitches. When my instructions tell me to match a certain notch/tailor tack to another, they should just go together and I don’t have to refer back to my original pattern pieces too much.

Keep checking back to see how my blouse takes shape!

Thanks for reading.

Rosie xx

p.s. if you missed the last post and want to know where my fabric is from, click here for link to the Cheap Fabrics listing.

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