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DIY Cutout Flannel

I’ve always been a fan of the cutout trend, but my vague interest in the decorative holes has flared into a recent obsession. This season especially, designers have approached cutouts with a new sense of inspiration, slicing into sleeves, dresses, and the sides of shirts. After a recent trip to LF Stores on Newbury Street, a table of cutout vintage flannels turned my obsession with the trend into a DIY revelation. The shirts were restructured with cutouts on either the back or shoulders, and they all looked extremely simple to make. My next DIY is (you guessed it!) a plaid shirt with cutout shoulders and a fishtail hemline. It is completely doable for any Collegiette, and will have you turning heads without spending a fortune. 

What you’ll need: 
Oversize plaid shirt 
Several safety pins 
Piece of paper 
Fabric marker 
Fabric scissors 
Iron-on hem tape, about $4 at your local craft store (or needle and thread if you’re sewing machine-savvy) 
Iron or flatiron                                                                                                                                                                           


Step 1: Starting on one shoulder, mark off the area where you want the cutout to go with two safety pins. There are roughly four inches between my pins. 

Step 2: Fold the piece of paper in half and draw a half oval that will fit in between both safety pins on the shoulder. Cut out the oval and use the fabric marker trace it between the pins. 

Step 3: Once you have traced the oval onto the shirt, use your fabric scissors to cut the shape out. Repeat steps 1-3 with opposite shoulder. 

Step 4: Now, this is where things may get a little tricky. When you have removed the safety pins from the shoulders, snip about a half-inch into the top and bottom of the oval cutout. This is what will create your seam. If you are using needle and thread, fold the flaps into the shirt and do a simple stitch. 

Step 5: If you are using the iron-on hem tape, cut out 2 pieces of tape that are the length of your cutout. Hold the tape at the inside edge of one flap and fold it in so that the fabric is completely covering the tape (although I chose not to, you may want to pin the seam down before you seal it). Hold your iron or flatiron straightener over the seam so that the fabric and tape are bonded. Repeat with top flap and opposite shoulder.

Step 6: If you would like to make a fishtail flannel (when the front of the shirt is slightly cropped and the back is longer), use your fabric marker to indicate how much fabric you’d like to cut out. I suggest trying the shirt on first and cropping it near your pant waistline. Use your fabric scissors and cut the shape out. 

Step 7: Use your iron-on hem tape again to create a seam, folding the fabric over the tape and using and iron to seal it.

Et voila! You have a cute fishtail flannel with cutout shoulders, and it is so easy to make! This shirt looks super cute with jean shorts, leggings and boots, or tights and a bandage skirt for a night out. The options are endless! Enjoy!

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