Monday, September 10, 2012

diy: leather sleeve shirt

i've been admiring leather detail shirts all over the place for a while now but the ones I like have either been sold out or way too expensive. so I figured why not make my own version using a $2 tee from goodwill and some of this leather imitation fabric I bought 2 whole yards of at wal mart a few months ago when it was on clearance... have I ever mentioned I'm a craft hoarder? 

here are a few inspiration pictures of leather trimmed shirts and shirts with leather sleeves I had saved: 

source I, source II
since my t-shirt's sleeves weren't long enough to do something like that second picture I ended up with a very similar but shorter version. i also thought about putting the pocket in but holding up a piece of leather it just didn't look quite right.

i did the actual sewing part when it was already dark so I didn't take any good pictures of my process but I'll try to describe it as best as I can.

what you'll need: 

a t-shirt
about 1/4 yard of leather 
(real would be great, make sure it's soft and thin, i used pleather) 
sewing machine
matching thread
a seam opener

lay your shirt's sleeve flat like in the picture. open the seam (dotted line) several inches on each side of the shoulder seam. the size depends on your individual shirt and how large you'd like your leather piece to be. once your seam is open, cut out the fabric as you can see in the picture but leave about a 1/4 inch on each side, this is what you will sew the leather piece to. repeat on other side.

now cut out your two matching pieces of leather. make sure you leave extra on all 4 sides. 
turn your shirt inside out and place the leather piece right side down. using the extra t-shirt fabric you left earlier match up all 3 sides and sew a straight line down each. I recommend you start with the opened seam side and just sew right along where the seam used to be. then sew down the sides starting at the top. this may take a little bit of adjusting as you go. make sure to go slow! do this for the other sleeve as well.

now turn the shirt right side out again. all that's left to do is fold in the extra leather on the bottom of each sleeve and sew a straight line across. you can now also trim off any excess fabric/leather on the inside of the shirt. 
done :) 

i know this is probably not the "right way" a seamstress would do this but it worked for me. if you have any questions at all let me know!

find more inspiration here!

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  1. i am so stoked for this! I just bought some leather. you know this is happeninggggggg.

  2. totally cool! I'm going to try it!

  3. Really cute! I seriously need to learn to sew.

  4. Ive been meaning to make one of these too! i keep looking at goodwill for a good shirt to alter, I love this leather detail fad! Your top looks great :)

  5. leather details have been everywhere! I love the trend and your DIY makes it look so easy. I am going to have to give it a try.

  6. Such a cute diy!! :)

  7. Read about your blog in the Couch-magazine and I LOVE it.

    But I thought you would have a lot more readers...

    Can´t wait to read more... :)

    All the best, Daniela

  8. Okay, this is brilliant. I am TOTALLY do this!

  9. A really nice take on the trend! Love it!

  10. A friend sent me a link to your blog and I love it! Just wanted to say hi and that I'm really enjoying your posts:) Just followed!
    Hope you're having a lovely holiday!

    <3 Leney

  11. YES! I absolutely love this! I need to get my sewing machine fixed ASAP!!

  12. Planning to do this! I love adding leather to pretty much any type of clothing :) I'll share the link on my blog when my shirt is finished!

  13. Thank you for sharing this information and Very good looking blog.
    The Cobbleroad

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