Nips are small cuts put into the outside edge of the fabric with the point of your shears. These are placed wherever the 5/8" stitching starts or stops at the edge of a seamline.When starting and ending a seam, if you match these two nips on each layer of fabric, all of your seam lines will be accurate.


In this page

  1. What is a Nip?
  2. Places to make Nip

What is a Nip?

Nips are small cuts put into the outside edge of the fabric with the point of your shears. These are placed wherever the 5/8" stitching starts or stops at the edge of a seamline.

NipsIt is better to sit down for pattern nipping, as you will have better control of the shears. You need to be near your work for control and simply to see what you are doing. Take one piece of the pattern and fabric (still pinned or weighted together) and carefully go all the way around each piece. Nip all the seam edge intersections.



Places to make Nip

Make nips in all the following areas:

  1. 5/8" seam allowances
  2. Hems at the turn-up fold line
  3. Dart legs at seam edge
  4. All zipper endings (or notch)
  5. Pockets on seam edges (or notch)
  6. Interfacing and underlining
  7. Linings

If the layers of fabric are too much for the shears to nip when there are interfacing and linings, simply place the point of the shears on the fabric as if to cut.Give the point a swift tap with the edge of your left hand. This small tap will force the shears through the layers of fabric cleanly and quickly.

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