May 1, 2013

DIY No-Sew Sweatshirt Refashion

Lovely DIY No-Sew Sweatshirt Refashion (via
For those who suck at sewing, this post is for you.  

Do you have a piece of clothing that you never wear anymore but you're only keep just because of the cool design on it?  I have a sweatshirt sold by the US Forest Service years ago (not sure if certain parks still sell them or not) with the play-on words "may the forest be with you" on the front.  It's soooo soft and super comfy but as ill-flattering as sweatshirts usually are.  And sweatshirts are too warm for the just-right spring temperatures of the South Bay where I live.

In preparation for Star Wars Day ("May the 4th be with you"), I thought I'd bring out the sweatshirt since I lack any Star Wars memorabilia. (Close enough, right?)  Knowing that after May 4th comes and goes it'll just be folded away again to not be worn, I thought I'd try my first refashion ever to make a floppy off-the shoulder shirt I'd actually wear.

Note: This post is for beginner re-fashioners such as my noob self who cannot sew and/or doesn't expect their refashion to last as long as most refashions since it's going to fray over time.  I'm doing this particular refashion in order to extend this sweatshirts time in the spotlight, not wear it all the time or expect it to hold up without sewing the edges.

Lovely DIY No-Sew Sweatshirt Refashion (via create this look, you'll need:
  • a sweatshirt
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • ruler
  • compass or large circular object to trace


1. Put on the sweatshirt.  Look over the seems and where the sweatshirt fits our body.  Use a pencil to mark places you wish to cut later.  For example, I wanted a wide neckline, so I marked the shoulder area where I wanted it to fall once its cut.

2. Flatten out the sweatshirt against a hard surface.

3. Use your pencil, ruler, and circular object to trace the places you wish to cut.  On mine (see pic on right), I wanted to keep the seem attaching the sleeves in tact and have a higher neckline in the back compared to the front.  I used a compass to trace the circular neckline.  Also, I cut the bottom off about five inches for a midriff.

4. Cut along the lines you created with your pencil.  Set aside the scraps to toss or use for other refashioning purposes.

5. Try on your new shirt!  If you need to trim some places or shorten some areas, you'll be able to see where when it's on you.

6. Optional: Sew the cut edges down to prevent fraying and extend the life of your re-fashion.  I plan to use this new floppy shirt over shirts in public or to wear around the house, so sewing the edges down is something I can do later when I learn how to use a sewing machine.

Below is my before and after photo.  (Sorry for bringing my mirror into this like a high-schooler haha; I suck at full-body shots.)  Notice my pose in the "after" photo emphasizing how pleased I am with the results.

What have you done with an old sweatshirt you don't wear anymore?  Do you have any tips for non-sewers like myself with re-fashioning?  Let me know in the comments.

Lovely DIY No-Sew Sweatshirt Refashion (via


  1. Hello

    What a great way of upcycling a booring sweatshirt into a new cool top :-)

    Would you do the same to this shirt:

  2. I would! The neckline would have to be different probably since the design is closer to the top than mine. I'd cut the bottom in a slight circle up so the back is longer than the front, too. Happy DIY-ing!

    - Mandy

  3. Cool!

    It's my BF's sweatshirt and it's him wearing it in the pic, but i wil talk him into letting me have that sweatshirt :)

    Would it be a good idea to cut the sweatshirt while he is wearing it ?

  4. Whether you'd want to cut it to fit his body or yours, I'd wear it while tracing it so you know what falls where and how much space you need around the design in the front especially. Then cut it a little but over the line and put it back on to see if the lines you traced are a good fit. You can finish the cutting from there or leave that few centimeters space if you're sewing the 'em down.

    - Mandy

  5. LOL! Not i good idea to use him as a model, while cutting the sweatshirt for me then.....

    I wil just snatch his sweatshirt the next time its beeing washed then.
    And put it on to mark the cutting lines.

    Are you sure this sweatshirt isn't best left as it is?

  6. If you're set on refashioning it, go ahead! I personally would keep it as is unless you want to make it more fashionable and wear not just around-the-house or whatever (and he may want it back someday who knows). This tutorial can be used for any kind of sweatshirt. :)

    - Mandy



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