Making sure corners are exact, neat as a pin and professional is achieved with the mitered corner. In the sewing world, a miter is a simple technique used to finish the 90-degree corners of items such as quilts, napkins, tablecloths and curtains. Follow these easy steps to learn how to sew a mitered corner in two different ways.
In case you were wondering –
Dependingwhere you live in the world, you may spell it as miter (US) or mitre(UK, Australia). These are both the same thing.
How to Sew a Mitered Corner
There are 2 main methods how to sew mitered corners. Method 1 has just a folded corner and method 2 has the corner sewn on the diagonal.
As a general rule, use method 1 for narrow hems and method 2 for wide hems.
Method 1: Folded Mitered Corner.
A folded mitered corner is best for small hems such as those used on napkins and tablecloths.
Step one: On the wrong side of the fabric, press over one edge by a 1/4″ (6mm) or 1/2″(12mm) and fold and press all around the edges.
Then fold and press again a second time by the same amount to create a double hem.
See how the hems cross over each other in the corner.
Step two: Open the folds and you will see creases a
Take a fabric pen and mark a 45-degree diagonal line through the center of the square.
Just so you can see it more clearly, I have marked the folds with a pen. (You don’t need to do this.)
Step three: Cut across the first diagonal line and mark another diagonal line through the inner corner of the square.
Press a hem along this marked diagonal line.
Do not sew this hem – it is a folded hem only.
Step four: Fold up your pressed edges again and secure the corners with a pin on each side. Repeat this for all the other corners.
Sorry the hem photo is a bit blurry. I got distracted taking photos of my cat!
Step five: Topstitch all the way around the hem edges.
TIP: Get a nice sharp corner by stopping with the needle down and then pivoting.
This folded, mitered corner is perfect for any project needing sharp, neat corners.
Method 2: Sewn Mitered Corner
This follows the same principles, but some stitching across the corner makes the difference and is a better method when you want a wider hem.
Step one: Press over your edges by 1/4″ or 1/2″ (6-12mm).
Press over the hem a second time by your desired amount.
An example: I am using a seam allowance of 1 1/2 inches (3.8cm) and have divided my hem into 1/4 inch (6mm) for the first fold and 1 1/4 inch (3.2cm) for the second fold.
Your preferred size will depend on the article as you may require a narrow hem for napkins, but a bigger and bolder hem for curtains.
Repeat this and press firmly on all corners.
A bit of spray water can help with stubborn fabrics like this medium-weight denim.
Step two: Open up the hems to show the second crease lines but keep the narrow first crease folded down.
Step three: Draw a diagonal line across the folded inner corner at 45 degres.
Step four: Fold the marked corner in half with right sides together. This will form a triangle.
Pin this together making sure the marks connect exactly at the edges.
Machine stitch along the marked line with a backstitch at the start and finish.
Step five: Carefully trim off the excess fabric across the corner about a 1/4 inch (6mm) from the stitching line.
Step six: Turn the corner to the right side and push the point out gently.
Step seven: Press your corner and the rest of the hem ready to be stitched.
Step eight: Pressed and ready to go, machine topstitch around the article to complete the hem.
The choice is yours, now you know two simple but smart ways how to sew a mitered corner that is sharp and neat.