Saturday, April 5, 2014

Mitred hems made easy

Working for a living has its good and bad features.  On the plus side it provides an income with which to purchase fabric, patterns etc.  And it gives The Sewing Lawyer a venue in which her custom-made suits, dresses and other items of clothing can be worn.

The negative of course is that working full time means The Sewing Lawyer has less time for sewing and knitting and ... blogging.  Even though the skirt to match the latest jacket creation was in fact complete before work resumed (3 weeks ago) and this blog post planned well enough that all the in-progress photos were taken, life intervened and you all had to wait.  I'm sorry about that.

The skirt is really profoundly uninteresting as a fashion object.  It's made from the same OOP Vogue pattern as the skirt in this post.  Except I did not shape the waistband so it's even plainer.  However it makes a good foil for the jacket and someday, I promise pictures of the entire ensemble along with the silk blouse to match that is stalled and waiting only for its baby hems.

In the meantime I offer a photo tutorial on mitering corners.  It's my preferred method for a super-neat finish on a skirt with a back slit, but it can be used any time you have to sew a corner where two folded or faced edges, such as the slit facing and the skirt hem, meet.  No pattern fudging required; you do it on the fly.

Start by pressing the facings that are going to be mitered.  At right is the inside of my skirt hem at the CB.  I've made sure the corners are exactly in line.

Next, mark on each fold separately the point where the inside edges of the two facings intersect.  In the photo at left, I've done this with pins.

Unfold the edges, and refold with right sides together so that the pins meet.  As you can see in the photo to the right, the pressed corner is exactly on the fold line.  That is where you want it to be.

The line between the pins and the pressed corner is your stitching line.  Mark it.

Sew along the line.  Do the other side of the slit.  Then turn the corners right side out and press.  I find that I do not need to trim away the parts of the facings that are  inside the mitered corner, unless the fabric is very bulky.  On this skirt, they fit in there very neatly and give weight to that part of the hem.


  1. Thanks for this tutorial. It's so simple but produced beautiful results. As always, your work is a real inspiration to me!

  2. Such a lovely finish! That's my preferred treatment for corners, too...but I don't do enough of them to remember from one time to the next so I have to go back and review it each time! :-)

  3. Thanks very much for such a simple, yet effective, tip and a great explanation.

  4. So nice and neat looking - very couture finish! Love!

  5. Many thanks for the tutorial. This is very helpful.

  6. I love this, it reminds me of the sleeve vent mitering method. It will definitely make my skirt hems neater, your timing is perfect!

  7. This is the way I make mitered hems as well. . You're right it provides weight but I have also found that it lies flatter than methods that have you trim the seam allowances.

  8. Very very neat. Will pin this for future reference, thanks. I know what you mean about having a job to wear these gorgeous suits, but not having the time to make them - well that at least is me. But over the weekend I had this revelation that I may not have many more years to wear suits (heading for retirement) so I had better get my act together and get those suitings out and onto the cutting table!!!