I’ve been on a cozy, winter sewing streak lately. I just want lots of cozy, warm, and comfortable clothes right now.
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I got this great mystery “quilted” knit this summer and knew it would make the perfect sweatshirt. When I got it out to work with I realized it was only half the width as regular knits so probably only 30″ wide. I knew I wouldn’t have enough of the fabric to make cuffs and bands so I looked in my ribbing stash to find a coordinating fabric.
Luckily, there was ribbing in an almost perfect matched color except that I only had a small piece. Knowing that I would only be able to use it for the cuffs and neckband, I had to think of a different way to finish the hem of the body.
I love the look of a split hem with perfect corners so I learned how to make a mitered corner and made a tutorial for you today! Now let’s learn how to sew a split hem with a mitered corner.
- First you need to figure out the length you’ll need. If you’re working with a sewing pattern that has a waistband then you’ll need to lengthen the front and back to the length the waistband would add. *Remember to add extra length to the back to get the nice split hem effect. If you’re working with a sewing pattern that just has a hem then you’ll need to lengthen just the back.
- Before you sew up the sides, serge the side seams separately.
- Then sew the side seams with the seam open but stop 2-4″ from the bottom edge. Backstitch well where you end because this point will get lots of stress. Use either a straight stitch for stable knits or a skinny zigzag for knits with vertical stretch. Press the seam open.
- Using your favorite marking tool mark the side seam allowances and the hem allowances. I did a 5/8″ hem on the front and a 1″ hem on the back with 3/8″ side seam allowances.
- *In my example I show you the mitered corner on the back that has a deeper hem, but the process will work for any situation. Fold over the corner so that the marked seam allowance lines match up. Press and mark the diagonal line created by the fold.
- You will now have three marked lines.
- With right sides together fold the corner together perpendicular to the diagonal line you just created. The spot where the three lines cross should be where the fold is, and the diagonal line should line up with itself.
- Pin in place.
- Sew along the diagonal line and stopping at the edge of the shortest edge. Backstitch well at both ends. If your edges line up then sew to the edges.
- Trim off the corner and leave a 3/8″ seam allowance.
- Turn right side out and poke out the corner. Press well.
- Optional: Before sewing the hems in place add hem tape* to make your hems really crisp. (Read why I always hem with hem tape.)
- Sew the hem using either a straight stitch, zigzag stitch, or twin needle. When you come to the mitered corners, turn and sew up to anchor the seam allowance and across the side seam. I like to sew the topstitching right over the end of the seam allowance to give it extra strength.
- Press well and admire your perfect corners!
I didn’t realize how hard it would be to cut out such a small piece of fabric when I started. I carefully cut out the front and the back making it longer for the new hem, and then I had to cut the sleeves at an angle and slim the forearms to make the pattern piece fit. I almost wasn’t able to cut out the sleeves! Luckily it worked out, and I was able to make it work! The faux quilting is so busy and small that you can’t tell that the direction is slightly different.