I made one of the oldest mistakes in the book. I bought a shirt without trying it on. The shirt fit, and I like it, but it didn't flow the way I expected it too. It was a bit tight in the hips. Whether you have a shirt that doesn't fit as well as you'd like, or you have a boring shirt, this technique will both fix the fit and add a cool design detail quickly and easily.
Adding this detail also provides some much needed flow for summer months when a bit of breeze makes all the difference between glistening in the sun and sweating buckets.
Step 1: Materials
bland or ill-fitting shirt
rotary cutter with mat and ruler
double fusible web
Step 2: Cut Leather
Cut a strip of leather that is longer than the cut you want to make in the shirt. I cut it 2" wide, but the width is up to you. I would make it at least 1" to have ample space on each side of your cut.
You need to use a thin leather if you're using a traditional sewing machine. If you have an industrial machine and a shirt that is thick, a thicker leather may be appropriate.
Cut one end of the leather into an interesting shape. I chose a point, but a curved or geometric top would be cool as well.
Step 3: Fusible Web
Cut strips of fusible web that fit within the strip of leather.
Iron them onto the back of your leather strip and remove the paper backing.
Step 4: Iron
Turn your shirt inside out. You want to fuse the strip on from the back, because the heat is unlikely to penetrate the leather well.
I placed my strip after turning it inside out because my fabric is sheer. If your shirt isn't sheer, you may want to pin your leather in place before flipping the shirt. However, be careful to pin only where you intend to sew. You don't want your pin holes to show.
Iron the strip onto the fabric. I then had to put another layer of fusible web between the two layers of my shirt.
Step 5: Sew
Stitch around the edge of your leather strip.
Stitch across the top of the strip to provide a little extra support for the end of the cut you'll be adding next.
Step 6: Cut
Use your ruler and rotary cutter to cut a straight line down the middle of the leather. Be sure you're only cutting the back and don't cut the front. Stop just before the stitch you put across the top of the strip.