How to Sew Mitered Corners – The Best Ways

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Making sure corners are exact, neat as a pin and professional is achieved by learning how to sew mitered corners. 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.  It reduces bulk and creates flat attractive hems.

how to sew mitered corners. how to sew a mitered cornerPinHow to Sew Mitered Corners

Contents

How to Sew Mitered CornersHow to Sew Mitered Corners – THE VIDEOMethod 1 – How to Sew Mitered Corners with a Folded CornerStep 1 – Press the EdgesStep 2 – Mark the DiagonalStep 3 – Cut and PressStep 4 – Refold the HemStep 5 – Stitch the HemMethod 2 – How to Sew Mitered Corners with a Sewn CornerStep 1 – Press the EdgesStep 2 – Open the hemsStep 3 – Mark the Diagonal Step 4 – FoldStep 5 – Trim and FoldStep 6 – Press and StitchMethod 3 – How to Sew Mitered Corners with Bias TapeStep 1 – Open the Bias and Sew the CreaseStep 2 – Fold Bias Around CornerHow to Sew Mitered Corners – In ConclusionRELATED: HOW TO SEW HEMSProjects with a Mitered Corner

How to Sew Mitered Corners

Follow these easy steps to learn how to sew mitered corners in two different ways.

In case you were wondering – Depending where you live in the world, you may spell it as miter (US) or mitre (UK, Australia). These are both the same thing but just different spellings.

There are 3 main methods of how to sew mitered corners. Both these methods should be used for light to medium weight fabrics that are able to be pressed. It is not suitable for really heavy fabrics (unless you make a very wide hem) and polyester type fabrics that won`t easily press. Cotton, Linen and denim fabrics work really well.

In addition, sewing mitered corners can be done with bias tape. See the end of this article for this additional method.

Method 1 has just a folded corner and is suitable for narrow hems such as those found on napkins and scarves.Method 2 has the corner sewn on the diagonal and is best for wide hems such as those found on quilts and tablecloths. You can see in the photo how the wider hem is sewn shut on the diagonal at the corner. Method 3 uses bias tape and is great where you want a contrast fabric hem.mitered hemsmitered hemsPinMitered Corners

How to Sew Mitered Corners – THE VIDEO

Watch my YouTube video on how to sew mitered corners. Subscribe to the Treasurie channel for weekly sewing and craft videos.

How to Sew Mitered Corners VIDEO

Method 1 – How to Sew Mitered Corners with a Folded Corner

A folded mitered corner is best for small hems such as those used on napkins and tablecloths.

Step 1 – Press the Edges

On the wrong side of the fabric, press over one edge by a ¼” (6mm) to ½”(12mm)  and fold and press all around the edges. 

(I created ½ inch (12mm) hems so you could see my sewing, but smaller hems look much neater at the corners.)

Now fold and press again a second time by the same amount to create a double hem.

How to Sew Mitered Corners - Folded CornersHow to Sew Mitered Corners - Folded CornersPinHow to Sew Mitered Corners – Folded Corners

See how the hems cross over each other in the corner. You might need to press a couple of times in the corner to get it to sit relatively flat. Don`t obsess about the corner too much, but a bit of water spray helped a lot with this denim.

Step 2 – Mark the Diagonal

Open the folds and you will see creases around the edges with two parallel lines forming a square in the corner. 

How to Sew Mitered Corners - PressHow to Sew Mitered Corners - PressPinHow to Sew Mitered Corners – Press

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 in the photograph, I have marked the creases with a pen. You don’t need to do this unless you are also having trouble seeing the creases. In real life (rather than a photo), the creases are normally extremely obvious.

How to Sew Mitered Corners - PressHow to Sew Mitered Corners - PressPinHow to Sew Mitered Corners – Press

Step 3 – Cut and Press

Cut across the first diagonal line and mark another diagonal line through the inner corner of the square.

How to Sew Mitered Corners - Trim How to Sew Mitered Corners - Trim PinHow to Sew Mitered Corners – Trim

Press a hem along this marked diagonal line.

Do not sew this hem as it is a folded hem only.

How to Sew Mitered Corners - PressHow to Sew Mitered Corners - PressPinHow to Sew Mitered Corners – Press

Step 4 – Refold the Hem

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 and the autofocus focused on my cat! She was really cheeky that day and kept grabbing my fabric before promptly falling asleep on my work table.

How to Sew Mitered Corners - Fold CornersHow to Sew Mitered Corners - Fold CornersPinHow to Sew Mitered Corners – Fold Corners

Step 5 – Stitch the Hem

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.

How to Sew Mitered Corners - StitchHow to Sew Mitered Corners - StitchPinHow to Sew Mitered Corners – Stitch

Method 2 – How to Sew Mitered Corners with a Sewn 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 1 – Press the Edges

Press over your edges by ¼” or ½” (6-12mm). Press over the hem a second time by your desired amount.

An example: I am using a seam allowance of 1 ½ inches (3.8cm) and have divided my hem into ¼ inch (6mm) for the first fold and 1 ¼ 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.

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Step 2 – Open the hems

Open up the hems to show the second crease lines but keep the narrow first crease folded down.

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Step 3 – Mark the Diagonal

Draw a diagonal line across the folded inner corner at 45 degrees.  See how it passes edge to edge and through the intersection of the inner creases.

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Step 4 – Fold

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.

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Step 5 – Trim and Fold

Carefully trim off the excess fabric across the corner about a ¼ inch (6mm) from the stitching line.  This will reduce bulk in the corner.

How to Sew Mitered Corners - TrimHow to Sew Mitered Corners - TrimPinHow to Sew Mitered Corners – Trim

Turn the corner to the right side and push the point out gently.  I generally just use the point of my scissors but just be careful not to push too hard.

How to Sew Mitered Corners - FoldHow to Sew Mitered Corners - FoldPinHow to Sew Mitered Corners – Fold

Step 6 – Press and Stitch

Press your corner and the rest of the hem ready to be stitched. If you are using a difficult to press fabric, a spray of water might just help.

How to Sew Mitered Corners - StitchHow to Sew Mitered Corners - StitchPinHow to Sew Mitered Corners – Stitch

Pressed and ready to go, machine topstitch around the article to complete the hem. Nice and neat isn`t it?

Method 3 – How to Sew Mitered Corners with Bias Tape

Bias tape can also be used to sew a mitered corner. It does take a little longer to sew but is perfect for when you want a pop of color on the edge.

Use ½ inch (12mm) double-fold bias. You can use store-bought or make some yourself. Making your own bias is ideal for when you want a patterned border. Store-bought bias is nearly always plain and can be quite expensive when you are edging larger items.

Further Reading: How to Make Bias Tape

Step 1 – Open the Bias and Sew the Crease

Open the wider edge of the bias and place it on the wrong side of the fabric edge. Stitch in the crease which will be approximately ¼ inch (6mm) from the edge.

Stop ¼ inch (6mm) from the corner and backstitch.

How to Sew Mitered Corners - Stitch and StopHow to Sew Mitered Corners - Stitch and StopPinHow to Sew Mitered Corners – Stitch and Stop

Step 2 – Fold Bias Around Corner

Fold the bias around the corner. Make the corner tight. This will result in a crease of fabric on the diagonal.

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Here you can see how the corner looks from another angle.

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Stitch ¼ inch (6mm) from the edge and continue in the crease along the next side.

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Fold the bias corner back over the edge to the right side. If you have more than one corner continue in this way for all corners. Read how to sew bias tape if you need more tips on sewing overlaps.

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Use pins or fabric clips to hold the bias tape in place on the right side of the fabric. The corner will be folded into a 45 degree diagonal angle. Use an extra pin at that point.

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Stitch along the edge of the bias.

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Here is what the finished bias corners look like.

How to Sew Mitered Corners - Bias Tape CornersHow to Sew Mitered Corners - Bias Tape CornersPinHow to Sew Mitered Corners – Bias Tape Corners

How to Sew Mitered Corners – In Conclusion

The choice is yours, now you know three simple but smart ways how to sew mitered corners that are sharp and neat.  

Use this as a quick reference

Method 1 – best for narrow mitered corners and hemsMethod 2 – best for wider hemsMethod 3 – best where you want a pop of color on the edge

RELATED: HOW TO SEW HEMS

GENERAL HEMS – How to Sew a HemNARROW HEMS – How to Sew a Narrow hHemROLLED HEM FOOT – How to Use a Rolled Hem FootWIDE HEMS – How to Sew Wide HemsCIRCULAR HEMS – How to Sew Circular HemsBLIND HEMS – How to Sew a Blind Hem RUFFLED HEMS – Lettuce HemsKNIT FABRIC HEMS – How to Hem Knit FabricKNIT HEMS – Twin NeedleSQUARE HEMS – How to Sew Mitered CornersSCALLOPED HEMS – Scalloped Edges HemsPANTS HEMS – How to Hem PantsDOUBLE HEM – Double Fold Hem HEMMING TAPE (NO SEW) How to use Hemming Tape HAND STITCH HEMS – Hemming Stitch – Best Hand Stitches for HemsHAND HEM – How to Sew Catch Stitch Easily

Projects with a Mitered Corner

Now you know how to sew mitered corners, make yourself some napkins. Homemade napkins don`t need much fabric and are sure to impress your guests. Match your home decor and special occasion. These linen napkins are made with method 1 which is the narrow mitered corners making them simple and easy for beginners.

Further Reading:How to Sew Napkins

how to make a napkinhow to make a napkinPinHow to Sew Napkins with Mitered Corners

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