Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Examples of Basic No Sew T-Shirt Modifications

I decided I wanted to learn new ways to modify a basic t-shirt without sewing. I've already successfully used screen-printing, fabric paint, bleach painting, freezer paper stencils, and fused fabric with plastic bags. I thought now would be the time to start cutting the shirts to change their look and fit.

I learned a great deal of things that are surprisingly fast and easy to do that can turn a t-shirt from something ordinary to something unique and popping. I learned how to do everything in this post. Just ask if you wanna know how!

I had to start somewhere. So I started with t-shirt weaving.
I began with a basic black t-shirt I picked up at a thrift store.
Here's what it looked like when I was finished.
You don't really get the point until I put it on.

I think the big hole at the top looked a bit awkward, so a different neckline can make this look much better.

I looked up examples of this technique with different necklines. It does look better with a sort of backwards boat-neck neckline, but it looks more risque without an undershirt.

This technique can also be used to get a variety of interesting effects.

This one was done with a backwards weaving.

You can use the same technique for smaller braids and pops of flair.

You can also get a different look with a slightly more difficult weave.

You can even use two side braids as an anchor point for a drawstring.
It's amazing what carefully cut sleeves and necklines can do for the fit of a t-shirt.

These techniques are inspired by the work of designer Adam Saaks. 

 In this photo he has used an easy trick to lace up the side.

He creates all sorts of revealing little bits of embellishment that aren't difficult to replicate.Though personally I think this sort of thing looks best with a cami underneath or if you have tattoos you wanna show off.

Beyond weaving, there are a plethora of no sew modifications.

For example, it's very easy to make a shirt fit tight with a series of slits and knots.

Here, triangular cuts and knots were used on both sides and it created a little fringe.

Kat Von D does the same thing to a lot of her shirts.
She cuts one series of slits up the back and she cuts the sleeves into giant fringe.

Here's one of Kat's friends modeling the same thing only with wider slits.

General rule in t-shirt modification: wider slits= more revealing.

The other cool thing I learned how to do is just cutting interesting patterns out.
It is ridiculously easy and can look so good when you do it in a smart way. 

For instance, try cutting out a skull or something fun from the back.
It looks particularly Tokyo-chic when you layer it over a striped shirt.

You can always make a bland tee sassy by cutting out a new neckline and adding a sharp belt.

You can also get grungier just by cutting slits into the shirt.

You can make lots of things with no sewing and just an old t-shirt.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. I'm amazed at what can be done with t-shirt scraps and a series of cuts and knots.
I haven't even shown what can be done to sleeves and with gathering. 
After what I've learned, I'll definitely be teaching a workshop on no sew t-shirt modification for the Salem Art Society.