How to Make a Narrow Hem with a Neat Corner
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, our friends at Sew4Home share their go-to finish option: a narrow hem with a folded diagonal point corner: easy, tidy, and pretty from both sides.
¼” Double Turn Hem
The sample shown is a simple napkin, but the technique can be used anytime you need a narrow hemmed corner. It’s excellent for single-layer apron skirt corners, placemats, even lightweight blankets.
Along all edges, fold back the raw edge ¼” and press well.
Fold back another ¼” all around, concealing the raw edge between the folds. Press well. For both folds, you need to press firmly enough to set visible crease lines.
Unfold both ¼” turns so your fabric lays flat, wrong side up. You should be able to see the crease lines of both turns.
Fold in the corner at a 45˚ angle so the point of the corner lines up with the intersection of the inner set of crease lines. Press.
Fold in the corner a second time, at ¼” and again at a 45˚ angle. The outer edges of this second fold should line up with your first set of crease lines. Press.
Cotton fabrics usually stay in place with just pressing, but you can pin the corner point folds for extra security or when working with slippery or bulky fabrics.
Remove the pins as you re-fold the sides along the first set of ¼” crease lines and press well.
Re-fold along your second set of ¼” crease lines and press. If you’ve been careful with your measurements and pressing, this second re-fold will create a diagonal line where your two finished edged meet, making a neat split corner.
Repeat at each corner and pin in place all around.
Edgestitch all around, staying close to the inner fold and making sure your stitching crosses over the split corner to help the point stays closed. Sew4Home likes to use a Janome Quarter Inch Seam foot to keep a precise seam allowance all around.
Make a sharp pivot at each corner, which means you will stitch into the exact corner, stop with your needle in the down position, raise the presser foot and turn the fabric 90˚ so it is positioned correctly to stitch the next side.
You can also back-tack at each corner point for extra security. This is good option for slippery and bulky fabrics.
Press from the both sides to finish.
NOTE: This technique will also work with a ½” double turn hem. The only change might be the need to slightly trim away the point from your first fold.
By: Liz Johnson, Senior Editor, Sew4Home – a Janome Exclusive Studio