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Quick Tip: 1/4" Double-Turn Clean Finished Corner

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Finishing the corners when you're making a narrow hem can be a challenge. Making a perfect 90˚ fold at each corner is one option, and often will work just fine. However, it can be tough to keep your raw edges tucked in, and bulky or slippery fabrics can cause you fits. Instead, try our Quick Tip: nine, simple steps to a clean finished corner.

This sample was made for a napkin project, but you can use it anytime you need a narrow hemmed corner.

  1. Along all edges, turn right side under 1/4" and press well.
  2. Turn another 1/4" all around and press well.
  3. Unfold both 1/4" turns so your fabric lays flat. You should be able to see the fold lines of both turns.
  4. Fold corner at a 45˚ angle so the point of the corner lines up with the intersection of the second set of fold lines. Press.
  5. Fold corner a second time, again at a 45˚ angle. Press.
  6. Re-fold your first 1/4" turn along its original fold lines and press well.
  7. Refold along your second set of 1/4" fold lines and press. If you've been careful with your measurements, turns and pressing, this second re-fold will create a diagonal line where your two finished edged meet, making a neat split corner.
  8. Edgestitch around all folded edges, back-tacking two to three stitches at each corner. Make sure your back-tacking cross over the split corner to help this split say closed.
  9. Press from the front to finish.
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Comments (18)

Vicki Sutherland said:
Vicki Sutherland's picture

The perfect solution for those pesky tiny corners where it's impossibe to mitre, so I send you a heartfelt thanks!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Vicki - Yay! This technique makes such pretty hems and corners!

sanz57 said:
sanz57's picture
I've just started to sew and love your corner suggestion!

smilies/smiley.gif Thank you!
Hilary from UK said:
Hilary from UK's picture
Hi - Just found this site and I'm amazed at the content. I've been sewing nearly 40 years and never come across this tip for corners, it's beautifully neat. For Christmas I made my daugher an apron with a multi-layered skirt with quilted bib and would have so loved to do the corners like this. I've now added seveal of your patterns to my list! Thank you so much for sharing all the brilliant ideas.
Gema McAlister said:
Gema McAlister's picture
Do you have any tips on attaching blanket binding and making the corners look nice? I made a blanket for my daughter and was not happy with the way that it turned out since it was my first one, but I want to make her another one, but want to learn a new way to make the corners on it before I finish it.
Cece from Louisiana said:
Cece from Louisiana's picture
Thank you...Majored in Home Ec and never used this method before. I am now the proud owner of two new tablecloths!!!
lovethe530 said:
lovethe530's picture
Liz, I see your instructions for the double sided. Thank you,
Guy J Bergeron said:
Guy J Bergeron's picture
smilies/smiley.gifI have been sewing for years and this tip was such an easy idea. Just loved it. Well written and pictured. :>)
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
Hi Curious Mind -- unless you are using a super thick fabric, trimming should not be necessary. You actually need the full width of the seam allowances to do the fold correctly.
Curious Mind said:
Curious Mind's picture
Would it help to trim some of the excess fabric that is folded under so that the corner does not get too bulky?
quilter1 said:
quilter1's picture
Thanks for this. I have been wanting to make napkins so this is very helpful for me.
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
Hi Diana -- these napkins aren't lined -- they are simply a plain fabric with a printed border. This trick is for hemming and cornering raw edges. And really... I think that's all you need for a nice finished look-plus it keeps the napkins lightweight. However, if you want your napkins to be double-sided, you would only need to stitch two squares right sides together with a small opening for turning, then turn the square right side out. You could either slip stitch the opening closed and press, or for a bit more decorative edge, you could edgestitch all around in a matching or contrasting thread. Here is the actual napkin tutorial from our Citrus Holiday collection:

Diana said:
Diana's picture
Liz, I have a question, what did you line the napkin, or the material, above in the tutorial? Was that just white cotton, or was it a stabilizer? Could you use a an iron in stabilizer for lining napkins? Just getting ready to do my napkins, and would like a more “finished” look on the wrong side.
Haws50 said:
Haws50's picture
Very good instructions, I would probably hand stitch the split closed to give it a finished look and keep stuff from getting in there, but that is just me.

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