Notches are not darts. Boy did I ever get confused! A customer emailed in for help. In the process of our back and forth emails, she was describing to me her rounded back, the things she had done to her pattern, and that she thought it (the pattern) was too big in the back. The front fit just fine and she liked the amount of ease it gave her.
She asked, ‘I’m 13 ½” in the back at the armscye dart. How much ease should the pattern have in that area?’
I wrote back, ‘I’m confused. The back bodice doesn’t have an armscye dart!’
She wrote back, ‘You know, I’m talking about the double dart on the back armscye.’
I was writing back that there was no double dart on the back armscye. As I was proceeding with my response, and even more confused, all of a sudden the light came on. You know how sometimes your brain goes into overdrive trying to figure something out? I think she meant the double matching notches. These double matching notches are always on the back armscye. The front armscye has the single notch. This has been an industry standard ever since I can remember.
Whew…I’m glad that one’s solved! Using consistent terminology obviously really is important when communicating. She was doing her best…I was trying to help. I think we finally got it figured out.
Notches are for matching one seam to another. Darts are triangular folds in the fabric designed to shape the fabric to the hills and valleys of your body shape.
Here’s a video on how to establish matching notches when drawing your armholes and sleeve pattern.