A mitered corner is an elegant finishing touch, a crisp fold that tucks a hemmed corner in an engineering feat of beauty. There are lots of ways to create a mitered corner, but our Classic Mitered Corner Napkins illustrate our favorite technique. It’s easy, straightforward, and very tidy!

Classic Mitered Corner Napkins | Purl Soho

Our Classic Mitered Corner Napkins pattern, along with our new video tutorial, show you exactly how to transform a square of Handkerchief Linen into a lovely napkin.

Classic Mitered Corner Napkins | Purl Soho

Pick up Purl Soho’s new Handkerchief Linen Bundle and coordinating Cotton Sewing Thread Bundle to make a grand total of 18 napkins. They will certainly add grace and charm to the Thanksgiving table or any table anytime! – Molly

Update: New Fabric

March 14, 2016

Classic Mitered Corner Napkins | Purl Soho

We created a new set of these napkins just for spring! To check out the materials for out Classic Mitered Corner Napkin in Early Spring Bundle click here.

Materials

Classic Mitered Corner Napkins | Purl Soho

To make 18 dinner napkins you’ll need…

You will also need…

Size

Finished dimensions: 15 x 15 inches

Notes

Prewash, dry, and iron the fabric before starting.

Use the thread that coordinates with each fabric.

For the sake of clarity our instructional photos use Robert Kaufman’s Botanics + Architextures in Tangerine Hatches, a fabric with a clear right and wrong side. When you are working with a fabric without a clear right or wrong side, choose either side as the right side.

Pattern

Cut

From each ½-yard fabric piece cut…

  • Three 17-inch squares

Handkerchief Linen can be tricky to cut on grain. Here’s how to do it…

Pull a Thread

Classic Mitered Corner Napkins | Purl Soho

Using a pair of tweezers, pull a warp thread from the raw edge, ½ inch above the selvage (warp threads run parallel to the selvage). The fabric will pucker along the selvage. If the thread breaks, pull one next to it.

Classic Mitered Corner Napkins | Purl Soho

Once you have pulled and removed the thread across the whole width of the fabric, press the fabric once again. You will be left with a little gap in a perfectly straight line just above the selvage. This is called the Warp Line, and it will help you make square cuts.

Rotary Cut

Note: If you have never used a rotary cutter, now would be a good time to read our Rotary Cutting Tutorial. Once you do, you’re ready to cut!

Classic Mitered Corner Napkins | Purl Soho

First, line up the short edge of your rotary ruler along the Warp Line so that the ruler’s long right side is approximately ¾ inch from the right raw side of the fabric. Take care to line up the weft threads (perpendicular to the warp threads) so that they appear straight. Cut along the right side of the ruler for approximately 18 inches.

Then, double-checking against the side you just cut, cut along the Warp Line. From these two perpendicular sides, use the rotary ruler to cut a 17-inch square.

To cut the next 17-inch square, pull a Warp Thread just above the last cut section and repeat the same steps you followed for the first square.

Create the Mitered Corners

To learn how to create mitered corners, either watch this video tutorial or skip ahead to our step-by-step still photos and instructions. Or study both explanations and become a mitered corner expert!

Take one of the cut squares and fold and press all 4 of its raw sides ½ inch towards the wrong side of the fabric. This is the First Fold.

Classic Mitered Corner Napkins | Purl Soho

Fold and press the edges ½ inch towards the wrong side again. This is the Second Fold.

Classic Mitered Corner Napkins | Purl Soho

Unfold the Second Fold at one corner.

Classic Mitered Corner Napkins | Purl Soho

Fold the corner so that its two legs measure 1 inch. The ½-inch seam allowance on the inside of the corner will meet up with raw edge of the First Fold.

Classic Mitered Corner Napkins | Purl Soho

Unfold the corner and trace the crease with the fabric marker.

Classic Mitered Corner Napkins | Purl Soho

Fold the corner into a point, right sides together, making sure that the ends of the drawn lines meet. Pin the corner into place.

Classic Mitered Corner Napkins | Purl Soho

Sew the two sides together along the marked line, backstitching at the beginning and end of the seam. Clip the tip of the corner off, leaving a scant 1/8-inch seam allowance.

Repeat for the other 3 corners.

Classic Mitered Corner Napkins | Purl Soho

Re-fold the Second Fold, inverting the corners into their neat mitered position as you do. Push the tips of corners out so they are pointy. Press and pin down the Second Fold.

Classic Mitered Corner Napkins | Purl Soho

Edgestitch this fold around all four sides, backstitching at the beginning and end of the seam. You don’t need to sew the miters themselves. They’ll stay in place! Your napkin is done!

Now, repeat for all the remaining cut squares and you have a set!

Classic Mitered Corner Napkins | Purl Soho