How to easily finish outside corners

(especially acute)

How to finish acute corners easily, sewing techniques and tips, learn to sew, learn sewing, acute corners, finishing corners
In this tutorial I want to demonstrate the easiest technique I use for professional corner finish.

I think I am not mistaken when I say that at some point all sewists face the problem of hemming around a corner when two exterior raw edges are coming together at an angle. Especially at an acute angle. I didn’t find many tutorials about how to do it easily. And those that I found discribe it differently than I am going to show you now.

We need to do it when we sew for example slits on skirts, or curtain panels, or some triangular pieces of cloth like neckerchiefs, etc. Recently I made a silk dress without a pattern ( I put step-by-step tutorial how to sew it on my blog) and I needed to finish two acute corners of the dress and to show everybody how to do it.

So in this tutorial I want to demonstrate the easiest technique I use for professional corner finish. I want to show you how to fold and sew the fabric at the corner of a hem so there is a diagonal seam from the point of the corner to inside the edge of the hem.

All measurements in this tutorial are given in centimeters. The similar measurements in inches can be found taking the approximation 1cm = 3/8”, 0.5cm = 3/16”.

Our goal is to finish the corner of a piece of fabric in a professional manner, both functional and beautiful. We intend to have seams of 1cm on both sides of the fabric.

The initial piece of material is in image 1 and the final result showing the finished corner is in image 2. Below I will present the procedure step by step.

My logo with number 1We will begin with the fabric wrong side up by folding the fabric in half aligning the two edges marked A and B in image 3 then pressing; the result is presented in image 4.
My logo with number 2For seams of 1cm draw a line perpendicular on the edges A – B at the point where the length of that line is 2cm; scale accordingly for seams larger or smaller than 1cm. Use a disappearing marker or another marking method that will not damage or stain the fabric.

My logo with number 3Fold along the line drawn in step 2 aligning raw edges.

 

 

My logo with number 4Mark the fabric along the edge of the fabric after folding like in the image below:

My logo with number 5Find a spot along where the length of a perpendicular on the edges A – B to the newly drawn line is equal to the length of the seam ( 1cm in our example ). Mark that with a line.

my logo with number 6Stitch between points A and B as shown in the image below.

 

Cut the seam allowances; there are two cuts to be made as shown in the image below, first about 0.5cm from the line A – B then a small cut at the point A. Pay attention, do not touch point A or the stitch. The purpose of the cuts is to remove excess material that would make folding and pressing difficult.

my logo with number 8Press the seams open (not with an iron though, just do it with your fingers). The shape of the corner and the final seams will become now apparent. The right side of the fabric is at this point hidden in the artificial pocket created by the stitch. 

my logo with numer 9Turn the fabric inside out so that now the right side is facing out. Use a pointed object to reach the tip of the corner, in our case a bamboo stick was used. The result is shown in the image below, for reference please note the stitch done at step 7 shown by line C, points A and B.

my logo with number 10Fold the final seams starting at point B and following a straight line. Press.

 

my logo with number 11 Success ! Final result (back and front) is below.

 

Similar work can be done with every kind of corner, acute, right or obtuse. The following set of images will exemplify the case of a right corner, the steps are easily recognizable even if the images look a little differently. If you want to see a larger image just click on it and it will be open in a pop-out window.

I hope I made the description clear. But if you have some questions don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below. Please, share it if you think that it will be helpful for your sewing friends. 

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10 Comments

  1. Jason

    I would really love a video on this. Seeing it done is easier than trying to figure it out from reading. I’ve been trying this acute angle for over an hour and getting really frustrated with it. It’s only a practice, but still aggravating. But thanks for having the only resource I’ve been able to find for hemming acute angles like this!

    Reply
    • Olga Balasa

      Thank you for your comment! I hope I was able to help you to hem acute angles. Thanks for your suggestion about making a video. Great idea! I think I will do it soon and will send you a link.

      Reply
  2. Janis Tomasek

    What a great tutorial! I will have to try this out. The pictures are so helpful.

    Reply
    • Olga Balasa

      Thank you, Janis! I try to be helpful. I should make a video also.

      Reply
  3. Birgit Christensen

    Hello!
    I would like a tutorial how corners are made with ribbons on, for example. an spron, please.
    This instruktions are very usefull.
    Thank you very much.
    Kind regards Birgit Christensen

    Reply
    • Olga Balasa

      Thank you for your kind words! You gave me a very nice idea for another tutorial. I will try to make it soon.

      Reply
  4. Michele

    Olga, what a great tutorial! Have not tried it yet, but the explanation and photos seem very clear. Thanks you for posting!

    Reply
    • Olga Balasa

      Thank you, Michele! I am always happy to hear that something I posted is good.

      Reply
  5. Willo

    Thanks for taking the time to teach a great yet simple way of treating those angles.
    I would have normally made a facing but that isn’t always practical.
    The photo demo with the explanation is invaluable.

    Reply
    • Olga Balasa

      Thank you very much! I am happy that you found the tutorial useful.

      Reply

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