How many times have you flipped over a pretty napkin or tablecloth and noticed the neat, polished look of a mitered corner?
Mitering fabric is actually quite easy to construct and they can make such a difference in the presentation of a handmade item.
I’ll admit, before I figured out how to miter corners, I used to just turn my fabric edges over, iron the fold and then turn the edge over again before top-stitching across the folded edge.
Of course, that folding technique works fine but I think a mitered corner is even better.
Even if you have limited sewing skills, you can do this.
If you can use a steam iron and stitch a straight line with a sewing machine, then you can miter a fabric corner.
Let’s get started.
I’m making linen napkins to demonstrate this mitering technique.
First, turn the fabric edge over 1/4-inch and iron.
Then, turn the folded fabric over again about 1-inch and iron.
Open the folds that you just ironed and notice the creases that were formed.
The key to mitering is folding the fabric and ironing-in creases that will ultimately serve as guides for creating the mitered corners.
The arrows below point out the ironed-in creases that will act as the guides.
Turn the tip of the first corner over and line up the smaller creases that in the tip with the creases created by the 1-inch fold.
The arrows below show the where the creases need to be aligned.
Once aligned, iron the folded tip. This will create a new diagonal crease.
Open the corner tip that you just ironed and you’ll see the diagonal crease that has now been created as indicated by the arrow below.
At this point, turn the fabric over and with right sides together, bring the outer edges of this diagonal crease together.
Here’s what the napkin should look like after those outer edges (right fabric sides together) are brought together. Pin in place.
The diagonal crease now appears as a vertical line and this is your newly created stitch guide.
Stitch along the vertical crease guide.
Even though you’ve pinned the fabric in place, it can still shift slightly so it’s important to begin the stitching at the top edge of the fabric (where the two sides of the fabric meet).
This will help ensure that the inside edges of the miter are perfectly lined up.
This is what the end of the napkin will look like after you’ve stitched along that diagonal line.
Can you see how the mitered corner is beginning to take shape?
Trim the excess fabric beyond the stitch line to reduce bulkiness.
Iron the small seam open.
The inside edge of the seam will already be in the shape of a point.
You’ll want to give the other end a point too so carefully clip the other end so that the seam has the same diagonal point.
This step helps to ensure the miter lays flat.
You’re almost there.
Gently turn the inside point over and you’ve created your first mitered corner.
Repeat the same mitering steps for the remaining corners.
Once the corners have been turned, press the entire napkin with a good steam iron to flatten the edges.
It’s a good idea to also press the front of the napkin to make sure there are no wrinkles or puckers anywhere which could interfere with the next stitching step.
As you can see from the arrow, the inside edge is still open and now needs to be stitched in place.
You may want to pin the open edges in place to prevent them from shifting.
Carefully, and slowly machine stitch the open edges down.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Bobbin color is very important at this point. As you’re stitching, the back of the napkin (the side where the mitering is visible) will get the top spool of thread.
Keep in mind that whatever color you want visible on the FRONT of the napkin is the thread color that needs to be in the bobbin.
Once inside edges have been machine stitched, iron the napkins once again.
I also sprayed the napkins with a bit of lightweight starch while ironing to help with the clean, crisp presentation.
Mitering may seem like a lot of steps but don’t let that deter you.
Carefully go through the steps that I’ve outlined here and you’ll soon see just how easy this technique really is to employ.
Here’s another example of mitering featuring some placements I’ve been making out of remnant upholstery fabric that I found on a clearance table.
I’ll share these finished mats later in an upcoming post.
NOTE: If you want to increase the width of the mitered band, just increase the width of the second fold from 1-inch to whatever width you want the finished band to be.
This place mat in the photos below have @1-1/2-inch mitered band compared to the 1-inch band on the napkin featured throughout this tutorial.
One of the things that I love about this technique is that it really doesn’t require any special or advanced sewing skills.
You’ll love the look.
So, next time you walk by a remnant table at your favorite fabric shop, see if you spot any linen in the pile.
I was able to make 8-dinner size napkins from the one yard that I picked up.
Consider adding mitered corners to your next fabric project for a polished, more professional looking presentation that will beautifully finish off your handmade items.
Try mitering and let me know how it turns out for you. ♥
Thanks for stopping by.
I’m linking this tutorial for mitering fabric to the following:
Trish and Bonnie at Uncommon Designs
Debbie at Confessions of a Plate Addict
Lucy at Craftberry Bush
Kim at Savvy Southern Style
Barb at The Everyday Home
Heather at Whipperberry