+ Leather shoulder tutorial

I thrifted this top a year ago and totally forgot about it until I cleaned out my to-refashion-closet, which was a mess. I found it just in time too! It was the most perfect shirt to stick some shoulder pieces on. If you’re really bored with a shirt, sweater, jacket or what have you, this is the perfect way to spice it up with a cute and simple leather trend. It took all of 10 minutes.
Funny little side not, right after I finished this shirt, Oli woke up from his nap, so with it on I ran upstairs, grabbed him and plunked down on the couch. Oli then immediately pooped on me, ahem the shirt, and the couch. Thats when I found out it was made of 100% silk, yikes. Luckily I got to my shirt and the couch quickly and all was saved. He is quite the pooper and blow-out-er. Stinky boy.

little bit of leather
needle and thread or sewing machine or tacky/fabric glue
shirt/coat/jacket to stick it on
double-sided tape or normal tape
pins or marking pen
1. Take 3 measurements of the shirt to get the right dimensions for the piece of leather.
(1) Measure the top of the shoulder where the sleeve and shoulder meet. measure along the seam, marking about 2.5″-3″ down on both sides from the center shoulder seam (or however wide you like). Mark the beginning and the end of measurement on you shirt.
(2) Measure 1″-2″ from off the shoulder seam of the collar on both sides so it will be centered. Mark both ends of the measurement.
(3) measure from the ends of one side of the shoulder/sleeve part the the end of the collar piece, so it will and should gradually taper. Mark the placement of that.
2. Cut out the piece of leather to the proportions you measured. It should look like some sort of trapezoid. Now, test it out by placing it on the shirt while you where it and see if you need to adjust it backwards or forwards, I needed to move mine forwards a half inch, and the wide end up a little too. Remark if there were adjustments. Now, trim any extra areas that will need trimming, like I needed to trim a little bit of a curve to the smaller end because my collar was pretty curved.
3. Secure the piece on between your markings with tape, double sided tape should work, or you could use regular tape or paper clips or bobby pins.
4. Sew the piece in place. I used a wider straight stitch because the stitching in the leather looks better and it will be easier to take out if I ever want to in the future. I stitched around the tapered sides and the smaller end of the collar and left the bigger end alone.


  1. Way cute! I just think I could do this!

  2. I just love this! I don’t have any leather, but I have this crazy gold fabric I want to add to a shoulder now! I love fabric that is no fray!
    Thanks, as always, for the inspiration!!


  3. Great idea. So quick and simple. Glad to hear that all was saved as well… sounds like Oli knows how to push your buttons already :)

    x Elena @ Randomly Happy

  4. So cute! Love the leather shoulder trim.


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  6. Oh, I love it so. I think you are gonna get me on a leather kick also!

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  9. Hi,
    Will you please post a link to your Blog at The Sewing Community? Our members will love it.
    Members include: Needleworkers, Clothes and Dress Makers, Enthusiasts, Experts, Groups, Clubs, etc.
    It’s easy to do, just cut and paste the link and it automatically links back to your website. You can also add Photos, Videos and Classifieds if you like.
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    Please feel free to share as often and as much as you like.
    The Sewing Community: http://www.vorts.com/sewing/
    I hope you consider sharing with us.
    Thank you,
    James Kaufman, Editor

  10. the shirt is too cute.
    I actually call my daughter Olivia, Oli.

  11. loving the leather shoulders!
    can’t wait to try it out – just need to find a cute top {love yours}

    xo – heather

  12. That is a really cool and simple DIY! I definitely want to try this one…Poor oli lol


    The Criminally Expensive

  13. it’s great!
    I was thinking to make something like this, but now I definetely will!


  14. Great tutorial – thanks for sharing!

  15. I just got some leather scraps that would be perfect for this!

  16. Cool. I wanna try this one :))


  17. I really love this! It looks amazing.



  18. I’ve been looking for a leather DIY. Awesome. Hope you have some more to come!
    Method Clothe

  19. Love the shirt!

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