DIY sweatshirt update

How to Update a Sweatshirt Without a Sewing Machine?

A Quick and Easy Sweatshirt Makeover

In this post, I’ll show you a simple and fast way to transform your basic sweatshirt without sewing. This is the perfect 30 minutes (or less) clothes refashion you should try!

When I buy clothes, especially online, I always check the sales section. I keep an eye out for clothes larger than my size and men’s garments. In many cases, I find something super cheap that’s perfect for clothes refashions.

This is how I’ve found the sweatshirt for this refashion. I was buying some clothes for my son, and I stumbled upon this dark khaki sweatshirt on H&M. The full price is also very affordable, but it was 60% off. I couldn’t resist, I had to buy it!

I like darker colors, black, greens, Bordo. So this sweatshirt was perfect. I bought an XS size (this was the only one, so no surprise it was so cheap).


How to pick the best size for your refashion?

Usually, the size depends on how you want to transform the garment and what you want to achieve. In my opinion, for no-sew alterations, it’s best to choose a fitting or just a slightly larger piece. It’s hard to make large clothes flattering without sewing.

So, my concept was a feminine sweatshirt that is longer than the usual sweatshirts. I was looking for longer sweatshirts for months, but I could only find short ones.

I really liked this dark khaki, relaxed fit sweatshirt on H&M. It cost me approx 3.5-4$. Insane!

I wear S or XS clothes. The extra small size men’s sweatshirt was perfect! It was longer than a women’s sweatshirt but not too large.

If you’re looking for a more loose-fitting garment, go for a bigger size.

Thrift store finds are also perfect for this makeover. If you’re new to buying second-hand clothes, check out this article with my best thrift shopping tips.

But now, let’s jump in and see how to do the makeover!

Tools and supplies for the no-sew sweatshirt refashion

  • sweatshirt,
  • scissor,
  • fabric glue,
  • polyester twill ribbon,
  • lighter,
  • iron,
  • studs,
  • thread and needle (optional).

How to restyle the sweatshirt

STEP 1: Cut off the collar, the cuffs (I cut off a bigger chunk), and the elastic at the bottom.

Sweatshirt makeover

STEP 2: Roll out the edges twice and iron them. Ironing will keep them neat and in place while gluing.

STEP 3: Secure the edges with fabric glue. Iron again if your glue sets with heat. (Mine did require ironing to make it washable)

glue sweatshirt

STEP 4: Cut six pieces of ribbon (I made the bottom one a bit longer) for both shoulders, sleeves, and the bottom. Use the lighter to close the endings and to stop them from fraying.

STEP 5: You can either glue the ribbons on the sweatshirt or sew them on. Honestly, I trust the good old needle and thread, so I secured them with a couple of stitches. It took me only 10 minutes. I sewed them a bit higher so the edges would crease and lift the sides.

STEP 6: Decorate the sweatshirt with studs. I had a set of square studs with claws in three sizes. I put one large stud at the top of each ribbon to achieve a more finished look.

STEP 7: Add a few studs at the neckline to create a necklace-like embellishment.

stud embellished sweatshirt

STEP 8: Voila! Now you have an amazing feminine sweatshirt.

DIY Sweatshirt Upgrade

For more makeover ideas, check out my other article with 23 amazing sweatshirt tutorials.


Tips and hacks for the sweatshirt upgrade

This DIY sweatshirt makeover is so simple and fun to make. It’s also suitable for teens. Here are a couple of other helpful tips to make them more beautiful:

  • If you’re using cotton ribbons apply a fray stopper to seal the cuts and to prevent them from unraveling.
  • If you don’t want to roll the edges use the seam sealant mentioned above to stop fraying. But be aware that it may leave marks on the fabric and make it sturdy. So always make a test before applying on the cloth.
  • You can also paint on the sweatshirt with fabric paint, decorate it with pearls, beads, rhinestones, cutouts, and more.
  • To make the creases neat, arrange them and stitch them together on the wrong side of the sweatshirt.

Final thoughts about the no-sew sweatshirt update

As you could see, you don’t need a sewing machine to redesign or refashion boring or old clothes. With a few clever hacks, you can transform clothes in half an hour or less. It’s the perfect Saturday afternoon refashion.

I loved this makeover because it required minimum investment both in time and money. I’m very pleased with the results.

It turned out comfy and chic at the same time.

Did you like this craft? Do you like to refashion or restyle your clothes? Leave a comment!

Related DIY Sweatshirt articles:

How to Make Your Sweatshirt Cuter with Embroidery,

How to Revamp a Sweatshirt – 23 ideas.


2 thoughts on “How to Update a Sweatshirt Without a Sewing Machine?”

  1. Maria G. Heaton

    Really creative transformation, simple, clean just with 2 elements, and by removing the ugly parts that make sweatshirts ugly to wear. Thank you fior sharing.

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