The next time you get an urge to go shopping for a new shirt or skirt consider doing something radical to a garment you already own. Changing a garment to look much different can make you feel as though you’ve purchased something new. Simple things like changing the hemline or making short sleeves from long sleeves is much easier than you think.
Making a slit in a shirt, skirt or dress is not that difficult. You will need a garment hole puncher, found in a sewing department, along with the metal eyelets and ribbon or lacing. Make the slit in the appropriate area on the garment. Be sure you’ve measured for the length of the slit. For a shirt you can cut the slit from the hem upwards or make a slit near the neckline. For a skirt or dress cut the slit from hem upwards. You can even cut the side seam out of a pair of pants then put in the lacing. The slit of the garment doesn’t necessarily have to be in a straight line, it can be slanted.
Use binding tape to hem the slit. Place the right side of the tape to the right side of the garment. Start by sewing the tape from one end of the slit, to the top, then back to the other end. Turn the binding tape under and stitch all the way around the slit. Make sure the stitches are right at the edge of the binding tape. The tape will help hold the eyelets and prevent them from coming loose.
Use the hand tool to punch the holes and insert the eyelets. The first set should be right at the edge of the slit. Insert the eyelets every inch, on each side of the slit. When you get to the curve at the end of the slit place an eyelet on each side, near the curve.
Different things can be used to lace the slit. Ribbon, thin strips of lace, strips of leather or even shoestrings can lace up the slit. The slit can be laced in either direction, starting or ending at the top. For shirts that have a slit near the neckline the lacing is more appropriate if it ties at the top. For slits near the hemline the garment looks good either way. Jeans or pants should be laced from bottom to top or the tie will hang down around the ankle or on the floor.
You don’t have to stop at one slit in a garment. You can add one to the neckline of a shirt and another, on the opposite side, at the bottom. And, it’s not necessary to completely lace and tie the slit. You can lace it then leave the tie hanging free.
Lacing can also be added to the back of a shirt or dress, down the sleeves of a long-sleeved shirt, or on each side of a skirt. For slits that will ultimately show skin where you don’t want it to, like down the sides of a pair of pants, sew a narrow strip of fabric on the underside of one side of the slit. Hem the piece of fabric on one side and both ends. Sew the fabric strip from one end to the other. When wearing the garment simply make sure the flap of fabric is covering you before lacing.