Introduction: The Halter Alter

About: Sprite of all trades and master mischief maker. I love to tinker and it shows. STEAM proponent. Open Source lover. LED fanatic. \m/

This is my all time favorite t-shirt alteration! Much to my mother's dismay, I never did outgrow cutting up brand new t-shirts. :-)

I'm hoping the directions are clear. If not, please let me know and I will fix it.

Step 1: Removing Sleeves and Neck.

You need a hard surface to work on and preferably a cutting mat. Rotary cutter and straight edge.

  1. Lay the shirt flat on your surface. Smooth out wrinkles and be sure to straighten up the arm areas.
  2. Take your rotary cutter and cut just to the inside of the arm seams. From underarm all the way to the top. Completely removing both sleeves. Save this for future projects.
  3. Line your straight edge just under the front center of the collar. Cut across with your rotary from one side to another.

Step 2: Cutting Out the Back.

  1. Fold back the upper portion (printed side) of the shirt until it is even with the underarm rounded out portion.
  2. Lay your straight edge with the fold and use the rotary to cut completely across. That removes the upper back portion of your halter. Save that piece for future projects.

Step 3: Slicing the Back.

  1. Fold your shirt in half sideways, like the photo. Here you will cut strips in the shirt for the back ties.
  2. I like to use the straight edge and measure 1.5" and cut with the rotary. You want to stop even with shirt that you removed earlier. Careful not to cut too far and have strips across your front. Or do so on purpose. Continue until you have done all the way to the end. Note: skinny strips, 3/4" or less, will be too thin once stretched and tied.
  3. Now you have several loops. Take your scissors and cut along the loops to give you strips. See photo.

Step 4: The Neck Casing.

  1. The very bottom of your shirt, cut that strip completely off. Remove the seam and hopefully you have a good 1" up to 1.25" wide strip of fabric that is very long. Stretch this out until you have a long skinny strip and put to the side.
  2. Place your shirt with the front side face down on your work surface.
  3. Fold back 1/2" and pin. This will be the casing for your halter tie.
  4. Sew with a regular straight stitch from one side to the other. Make sure to backstitch at the the beginning and end, important!

Step 5: Threading the Halter Tie.

  1. You need a safety pin or paperclip to attach to one end.
  2. Once attached, fish that through your casing and pull through until strip is even.
  3. You can adjust the gathers at the neckline once on.
  4. Wait to trim your ties AFTER you have tried it on. Unless you are a small and using an XL shirt. Then you can pre-trim, a little.

Step 6: Finishing Touches.

  1. I suggest tying the neck portion first. Position the top center of your shirt about where you want it to be and tie the straps.
  2. I highly suggest having someone help you tie the back up. If not, that should totally count as your shoulder workout for two days!
  3. Start with the top strips and tie each one moving down to the next one.
  4. Trim up your strip but be sure to leave a little wiggle room.
  5. Throw in a lingerie bag or pillow case to wash.
  6. Enjoy your custom fit shirt!