How to Create the Perfect Mitered Corner Every Time

Autumnal weather is upon us sporadically in Nebraska. I’m gearing up for my favorite season with its crisp cool air, warm sunshine, changing colors, and rich foods. I made a really simple and quick table runner to dress the table for the season.

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In doing so, I employed a mitered corner technique for perfectly crisp, less bulky corners.

table scarf with mitered corners

Mitering corners might sounds to you like a technique only used in woodworking – but I recently applied this construction technique to another sewing project and was delighted with the results!

miter: to join material in a 90 degree angle.

For many years on my birthday, I would open a tiny box and inside would be a tiny themed tea set from Grandma Bonnie and Grandpa Virgil. I have collected 6 or 7 of them through the years. I was very excited to receive the tea set from their china cabinet after they both passed away. I used the mitered corner technique below to make a cloth napkin set to match this tea set. I can’t wait to have a tea party!

tea set

Mitered Corner Technique

Fold a narrow hem, pressing 1/4″ in all the way around your rectangle of fabric and turning over another 1/4″. Make sure to press well.

mitered corner narrow hem

mitered corner narrow hem

Open up the corners. We are interested in the intersections that the ironing made. I have marked the intersections diagonal from our original corner.

mitered corner folds

Clip the corner from fold line, intersection to fold line.

mitered corner

mitered corner

Fold clipped corner at second intersection toward the middle. Press.

mitered corner

Following the original hem re-fold and press the clipped corner 1/4″ and 1/4″ to recreate the hem. Your corner should come to a beautiful point. Press.

mitered corner

mitered corner

Top stitch around close to folded hem being sure to pivot at the corners.

mitered corner

I made a total of 6 napkins to match my tea set. I spent more time at the ironing board than at the sewing machine. These came together very quickly- my set was done in about an hour! I can see myself making many more napkins for entertaining.

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Happy Sewing!