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!
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.
Pick up a bundle of Purl Soho’s Handkerchief Linen 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
We created a new set of these napkins just for spring! To check out the materials for our Classic Mitered Corner Napkin in Early Spring colors click here.
To make 18 dinner napkins you’ll need…
- Six ½-yard pieces of Purl Soho’s Handkerchief Linen. We used colors Peach, Redwood, Persimmon, Date, Hippo and Midnight.
- Purl Soho’s Cotton Sewing Thread Bundle, in color Trail, which includes six 110-yard spools of Gutermann’s Cotton Sewing Thread and color coordinates with the Linen bundle.
You will also need…
- An erasable fabric marker
- A pair of tweezers
- A rotary cutter
- A self-healing cutting mat
- A 6 1/2 x 24 1/2-inch non-slip straight ruler
Finished dimensions: 15 x 15 inches
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
Fold and press the edges ½ inch towards the wrong side again. This is the Second Fold.
Unfold the Second Fold at one corner.
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.
Unfold the corner and trace the crease with the fabric marker.
Fold the corner into a point, right sides together, making sure that the ends of the drawn lines meet. Pin the corner into place.
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.
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.
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!