Sewing corners for your drapes and curtains

All drapery has them. Sewing corners correctly will have an impact on how your drapes look and hang. And like so much about making great drapery, it's so easy to get it right!

There are just two ways to miter a corner.

Which corner technique should you use?

One way gives a true miter, the other way produces what's known as a 'mock' miter. So which one is best?

For the top of your drapes, the mock miter will be sufficient. But what about the bottom corners?

If you've read any other sections of this website, you'll know that I recommend what is normally accepted as 'best practice'. Ask the opinion of someone in a professional workroom, and they'll probably advise you to use the true miter.

However, in my experience, when looking at drapes from the front I've never been able to tell the difference. Unless the fabric is very thick, the mock miter seems to work just as well as the true one.

So this time, I'll leave it up to you. If you're the sort of person who like to do everything 'just right', then go with the true method. To repeat, unless the fabric you're using is very thick and bulky, the mock miter will do just as well.

The 'mock' miter

mock miterThe 'mock' miter

We'll look at the easy one first.

As shown in diagram (A), first turn in the side of the drape. (We're working with the fabric front face down.)

The hem will normally consist of two folds. So first turn in the side of the drape, turn up the first hem fold, and then turn the corner in as shown (B) at a 45% angle.

Now turn up the second hem fold. Place a weight covered with lining into the corner, sew in place, and slip stitch the miter to complete (C). And there you have it! It's easy to sew a corner using the mock miter.

Sewing corners - the true miter

true miter 1The true miter part 1

First, mark all your turnings as shown (D). Where the side turning intersects the 2nd hem fold is your miter point. So you can check you make the other folds correctly, place a pin at the miter point.

Now turn up the corner at a 45% angle so the fold stops at the miter point (E). Make sure the edges of the fabric are parallel with the side and base of the fabric.

true miter 2The true miter part 2

Turn up the two hem folds as shown (F).

Now fold in the side turning so the miter is complete. Use your set square to make sure the corner is perfect.

Sew a weight covered with lining into the corner. Use a slip stitch to sew the fabric along the join.

mock miterMock miter
true miterTrue miter

Covered weights

curtain weightsMake weights covered with lining

You can buy curtain weights in round or rectangular shapes. Because you'll need to use them on corners and joins, you can get through quite a few of them.

When sewing corners it's a good idea to cover your weights with lining before using them. Here's the best way to make them.

Mark out a set of lines on a folded piece of lining as shown. Machine stitch the vertical rows and one row at the bottom.

Now insert one set of weights into the slots. (The illustration shows rectangular weights, but round ones will work equally well.) Machine two horizontal lines (second illustration). Insert the next set and repeat until all the pockets have been used.

Now you can cut between the stitch lines and use each weight as needed.


Knowing how to sew a corner neatly is one of the key components of professional drapery.

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