Tricks of the Trade: Mitre a Double Fold Hem

For some designs you need to hem a corner of fabric, and following are step-by-step instructions on how to neatly mitre the corner. This is my favourite method of finishing hems on fine or drapy fabrics, particularly viscose.  It gives a quality finish inside and out, with no ugly overlocking to be seen!

  • Lay the corner that you wish to mitre on your table Right Side Up, then fold it diagonally right sides together so that the cut edges meet:
  • Fold the upper raw edge towards the wrong side (towards you) 5mm, and fold the lower raw edge towards the wrong side (away from you) by the same amount:

  • Now sew the mitre, from the two edges that you have just folded to the first diagonal fold.  It is important that you stitch exactly perpendicular to the first diagonal fold:
  • You will have stitched through four layers of the hem allowance.  To reduce bulk in the corner, trim the excess seam allowance away diagonally, to within 1-2mm of your stitching:
  • Finger press your tiny seam allowance open, and turn hem towards the wrong side.  It should now look like this:
  • Repeat this for all corners that you need to mitre.
  • It is best not to press your corner until after the hem is sewn.
  • Start sewing your double folded hem, and as you approach the corner ensure your mitre sits flat and square:
  • Sew to the inside corner of the mitre (I use my handwheel to ensure the needle is placed in the exact spot).  With the needle down, raise the presser foot and spin your work 90 degrees to continue the hem, ensuring the corner lays flat and square:
 
  • Once your hem is completed you can give it a press.
  • Voila!  Perfect corners – beautiful on the outside and the inside!
I hope you find this tutorial useful, and if there are any questions I will answer in the comments.
Happy sewing!
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I'm a designer/patternmaker who loves to share my sewing knowledge with others! Follow me as I sew my personal projects, sharing my favourite tricks of the trade along the way.

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