When you’re covering a frame with fabric or otherwise working on a sewing project that has corners, doing them correctly is crucial. Otherwise, the corners can bunch up and look unattractive, not to mention become difficult to work with. But a mitered corner takes care of those problems, and learning how to sew no fail mitered corners is a lot easier than you think.
In reality, there are many different ways to execute a mitered corner, and you can do it either by hand or with a sewing machine. Once you learn a few of the basics regarding mitered corners, doing them will be a piece of cake for you.
How to Get Started with No Fail Mitered Corners
In sewing mitered corners, there are many different methods, and each of them is appropriate for certain items. For instance, making mitered corners on a bedspread may require one method, while doing them on a shawl might require another method to get the best results.
Remember, your main goal in choosing mitered corners is to keep those corners from bunching up or being bulky. They’re great corners not just for bedspreads and shawls, but also for napkins, blankets, and anything else with a corner.
Regardless of the method you choose, it’s imperative that you keep all of the edges of your fabric extremely straight. In fact, the straighter, the better.
Why? Because if those edges aren’t straight, then the finished product won’t be either – it’s just that simple.
When we say “edges,” we essentially mean all four edges of the fabric you’re using. We don’t just mean the corners.
How to Do a Mitered Corner
When you’re aiming for no fail mitered corners, you might as well get used to doing lots of corners, because that’s what each method essentially consists of. There are actually several ways you can do a mitered corner, but most methods go something like this:
- Fold the fabric roughly 0.25 to 0.50 inches over to make a “seam.”
- Fold the fabric once again to make the border the size you want it to be.
- At this point, iron the fabric so that it’s flat and smooth.
- Open the last fold and take a look at where the crease is.
- Double the border width by multiplying that width number by 2.
- Measure and mark the fabric on the top and the side by the same distance, then mark on the fabric connecting those two dots. You’ll essentially connect those two dots and have a diagonal line that reaches from the top of the fabric to the side.
- Fold the fabric in half at the corners, then pin it together.
- Sew a line across the diagonal line. You will now have a sewn diagonal line, so next you’ll need to cut off the tip of that line toward the top of the fabric to remove the excess material.
- Turn the corner inside-out then use a small tool to punch out the tip of the fabric. You also do this so that any raw fabric edges are hidden.
- Finally, iron the corners so they are all nice and even.
If it sounds complex, not to worry because it really is quite simple. In fact, the ultimate no fail mitered corners are both simple and fast, and just like anything else about sewing or quilting, the more you practice the easier it becomes.
When you’re finished, you’ll have a nice neat 45-degree seam that sits perfectly along the corner of the fabric. Some of the fabric has been removed, so that fabric is no longer there to produce a bulky, bunched-up look that not only looks bad, but which also makes continuing with the project a lot more challenging.
By Hand or with a Machine?
The question of whether to sew mitered corners with a sewing machine or by hand is a matter of personal preference, with many sewers choosing the former and many others choosing the latter. Certainly, it will be much faster if you sew it with a machine, but it’s totally up to you.
Regardless of which one you choose, the actual sewing part isn’t that time-consuming, so when all is said and done, it really doesn’t matter if you’re sewing the corner by hand or with a machine.
Most of your effort is going to be spent in measuring, folding, marking, and ironing the fabric. In reality, making mitered corners is neither difficult nor time-consuming, but it does take practice.
Regardless of which option you choose, you don’t have to use any fancy stitches to make the mitered corner work. In fact, a simple straight stitch usually works better than a fancy stitch, so you won’t have to learn any new skills to make these corners.
Other Ways to Make Mitered Corners
You can also do a mitered corner by folding the fabric over two times just like in the description above, then folding the corner inside of the piece of fabric next. You can then sew lines at the bottom of the hem and fold the top corners together.
There is also a method of making no fail mitered corners that involves using bias tape, but most people consider this method a little more complicated than the other ones. Along with this method, there is yet another one that involves using a border to ensure the corners are all straight and neat.
While each method is a bit different than the others, mitered corners offer a lot of advantages besides simply leaving the corners a little less bulky, and these include:
- Much less sloppiness and mess in the corners.
- A much more attractive overall look.
- It reduces the number of layers you have to work with afterward.
- It’s a very neat, streamlined option.
- If you use a serge, even more layers of fabric can be eliminated.
If you were to make imaginary lines where the fabric is folded, you’d see a vertical line, a horizontal line, and a big “X,” with the vertical and horizontal lines being where the fabric edges end up and the X indicating a miter seam line (which reaches from one fold to the other) and a meter fold line (which starts in the corner of the fabric and goes out from there).
It does sound confusing, but once you start working with the fabric and get it all laid out, then read the descriptions of what to do next, you’ll quickly understand and get an “a-ha” moment so you can realize how simple it really is.
Like any other sewing skill, it’s good to practice on scrap fabric first so you can mess up and not get stressed about it. After that, the task only gets easier. Another option is to try using a mitered binding tool which can be great for sewing or quilting.
No fail mitered corners are simple as long as you follow a few simple rules, and in reality, if you mess up the first time, all you have to do is try again. Once you get the hang of it and realize exactly what you’re supposed to be doing and why, it starts to make sense and gets much less complicated.
This is also a great skill to have because making blankets, shawls, and napkins is more common than most people think, and mitered corners beat sloppy corners any day of the week.