Last stop on the tabletop train (for now)

It was a nice holiday weekend, no? We hope you had a great one – hopefully more relaxing than eating and shopping;). While we have more gift ideas and tutorials in store this week, we’re back with our last (for now) approach to finishing your tabletop gifts and creations. It’s a technique that if not done for awhile can sometimes slip away from your muscle memory. Mitered corners take a project from fun to a professional rival of those purchased at the store. Here we’ll give you a step-by-step breakdown of how to make mitered corners.

What you’ll need for four napkins, finished dimensions at 17 x 17 inches (for bigger napkins you can get  1-1/4 yards and have up to 20 x 20 inches finished with 45″ fabric). These napkins with the fabric we chose were $25 for four. Using a lighter weight fabric, you can drop this down closer to $10.50 or $11 for four. We like a linen or cotton/linen blend for how it washes and the weight. Our goal is that we use beautiful fabric that will do the job and also be something our recipient will enjoy and cherish.

  • One yard midweight to 7 ounce fabric (we used a Japanese cotton/linen blend)
  • Scissors
  • Hem Gauge
  • Pins
  • Thread
  • Fabric marking tool
  • Small ruler or square template ruler

We’ll be using half-inch hems.

You’ll first want to cut four 18″ squares.

Photo Nov 24, 9 15 40 AM

You’ll want to use a hot iron and press a 1/2″ over onto the wrong side with a hem gauge (remember, try not to slide or pull the fabric diagonal, go straight up and down with the iron).

Repeat on the three other sides.

Photo Nov 24, 9 18 36 AM

Next you’ll fold over and press another 1/2″ on all four sides.

Photo Nov 24, 9 21 13 AM

The next part can get confusing. Now that all sides have been hemmed a 1/2″ twice, you’ll start at one corner and unfold the second hem so that’s it’s only folded once but you can see the creases of both.

You’ll then fold over the point of the corner to make a triangle with its two sides equally an 1″ each. Press down with your iron to lock in the crease. It’s easy to slide the fabric a little here so make sure the triangle sides don’t get longer than an inch as it will change the finished dimensions.

Next you’ll unfold it and mark the crease with a fabric marking tool (we use a Frixion pen so that the heat from the iron will erase it later). This line is now your sew line.

Photo Nov 24, 9 28 21 AM

Now, fold it so that the right side of the napkin are together, with the sew line matched up on both sides. Pin and then stitch across the line, backstitching at both beginning and end.

Next, you’ll trim close to the sew line.

Photo Nov 24, 9 30 38 AM

You can check and make sure this all worked out by flipping the corner right side out and push out the corner with a point turner.

Photo Nov 24, 9 31 26 AM

Repeat the previous corner steps on the three other corners.

Now you’ll turn the other three corners and press all the hems down and the corners. Again, go straight up and down so as not to slide the corners further. Pin as needed to hold the hems in place.

With the wrong side up check and see what’s the best stitch place line to follow so that you can get a narrow hem without worry of missing the hem.

Photo Nov 24, 9 53 40 AM

We lined up to the 1/2″ line and then moved our needle position to the right.

Now, you’ll flip it to right side up so you can topstitch with your pretty stitches on the top:).

Now wrap them up and give away (although sometimes it’s hard to give them up when they turn out so nice)!


One response to “Last stop on the tabletop train (for now)

  1. Pingback: Another year, another last-minute gift hustle |·

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