Easy T Shirt Hacks for the Lazy Seamstress

I can’t believe its already day 5 of Zero Waste Week and what a week it’s been!! I must admit, I’ve been a terrible blogger and been so knee deep in my last week of work and packing to move house, that I haven’t had much time to blog!

But it’s not all been zero waste naughtiness over here, and I’ve been having lots of fun passing all my unwanted belongings on to friends, and on sites like Gumtree and Streetbank.

However, some items – especially clothes and small reusable containers – are actually easily upcycled with a few very easy tweeks, to breathe new life into them. So, though I have been looking at things as I pack thinking “will I miss it in the year I’m away, or should I part with it now?” I’ve also found myself asking “could I use this in someway in my backpack?” It’s a travel hoarders dream!!!

My very good friend Emily recently inspired me with the idea of T Shirt Hacks; quick and easy fashion updates which don’t involve a thread or a needle. My idea of upcycing heaven! This is perfect for making the clothes I’ve been wearing all summer in the UK, new and exciting for my summery days on the road!

I had a little dig to find some examples of how Emilys hacks works in reality before I braved a pair of scissors to my clothes on my 2 weeks off before my flight, and it appears there are 100s of ways you can update a simple T shirt with no sewing skills whatsoever! Here’s just three of them:

 Lazy T Shirt Hacks

Sleeves and neckline

You will need: Sharp Scissors

T-shirt fabric is very forgiving and does a lovely thing when cut on a raw edge and stretched – it rolls! Instant no-sew hem.

A very simple t-shirt update is to work on the neckline and the sleeves. Necklines are easy – but take it slow, you can always cut a little more away, but fixing too deep a v-neck will take sewing!


There are two simple ways with sleeves depending on what you prefer. One is to keep them as is, but make them fit more closely. Cut a slit in the sleeve and tie together the ends in a bow. Voila! 2 minute update!

Ribcage/ twisted back

You will need: Sharp Scissors

The ribcage back (or side) is very funky and so simple to do!

You need to cut straight slits across the t-shirt as far as you want to. You can do the whole back, or you can do a small section on the side for a more subtle version.

You need to weave each strand into the one below like this:

Phot: http://www.buzzfeed.com/juliegerstein/easy-no-sew-diy-clothing-hacks?sub=3335814_3150826#.xubW4VBM6
Phot: http://www.buzzfeed.com/juliegerstein/easy-no-sew-diy-clothing-hacks?sub=3335814_3150826#.xubW4VBM6

At the bottom, cut the final strand in half and tie off.

Bow back

You will need: Lace or ribbon, Sharp Scissors

If the ribcage back doesn’t appeal, a prettier version is the bow back.

Here you can cut four slits in the back.


Take a piece of lace ribbon and tie around the middle of each one to create a bow effect. You can sew it or tie it – up to you. These are sewn.

So there you have it – never stuff a t-shirt in the back of a drawer again…But remember to always ask the owner before you cut up a t-shirt!

Check out more lazy clothing hack ideas on Buzzfeeds great post: 41 Awesomely Easy No-Sew DIY Clothing Hacks


Cover Photo: Anne-Miek Bibbe via Flickr


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