My guy gifted me this hand-painted T shirt from recent travels with the inherent challenge - that I make it wearable. Follow these instructions and you can turn any ill-fitting souvenir T into a cute slouchy halter top you'll wear all summer. You'll need thread, a sewing machine with at least zig-zag, an overlock is better, 1/4 yard of contrasting knit fabric or another T shirt of complimentary color, a large safety pin, the usual scissors and pins, and a dress form or warm body to fit.
Step 1: Getting Started
Lay the T shirt flat on your work surface with the body aligned as straight as you can, with the design you like best facing front.
Step 2: Styling the Halter Front by Making Some Choice Cuts.
Measure 4" out from the edge of the Crew band on either side and mark with a pin.
Using a straight edge, draw a line down at an angle from this point shearing off the sleeve and armscye (that's the sleeve seam). Cut along this line.
Step 3: The Patterning Reverse and Repeat Trick
I like to take the sleeve I just cut and flip it and align it over the top of the other, uncut sleeve, matching edges as best I can. Then, I use a straight edge and transfer the cut line with a pencil. Cut off the other sleeve along this line, so they angles match as closely as possible.
Step 4: Slice the Shoulders
Cut the shoulder seam on both sides, and trim the old seam away completely from both new edges.
Step 5: Halter and Yoke
Take your contrasting fabric and other T shirt. This works best if you use a slightly bigger T than your halter. Slice off the bottom contrasting T at 4" from the bottom or cut a 4" band from another knit fabric, at least 2 inches longer than the circumference of the halter T bottom. Cut another 1" strip from the body of the contrast T or fabric, a yard long. You'll need to cut this so it rolls upon itself, making a tube, so work your warp and weft to optimize the curl.
Step 6: Attach the Bottom Band
Sew the band into a tube if it isn't already. Mark the other side with a pin. Ideally, you'll want to gather the halter bottom slightly into the contrasting band. To elimate bulk, pin the band to the halter bottom, right sides together, using the inside most stitch line of the bottom hem coverstitch as a guide. This way, when you serge or overlock this seam, you'll cut off the orginal halter T hem. The bonus here for contrasting T shirt users is no need to finish the bottom of the band. If you are just using fabric, off course serge the raw band bottom edge.
Step 7: Threading the Neck
Take that 1" x 36" piece of curling contrast fabric and attach a big safetly pin to one end.
Thread the pin thru the crew neck casing.
Step 8: A Fitting Time to Give This Sack Some Form
Put the garment on a person or dress form. Tie the neck halter so the center front of the T sits where you want about the bustline. Fold the back panel to mask the braline and pin along fold. Now you are going to need to add some gussets to accomodate the wearer's bust. Find your previously cut off sleeves. Pin the sleeve cover stitched hem up toward the armpit and pin the front and back sides to the gusset in a neat v shape. Next pin the body sides together, tapering off to nothing to give the bottom of the halter a blouson look, while keeping the bust defined. Mark where you have pinned and sew this y shaped seam. Your goal here is to create a finished line all the way around the top of the halter, so fold under as needed around the crew neck to achieve a smoother transition from front to gusset to back.
Step 9: Pin and Trim
You are in the home stretch now. Trim the inside excess of the back and front halter panels. Pin in your finish stitch line. If you don't have a cover stitch machine, serge the raw edge or zig-zag, or straight stich 1/4" inside where you've pinned and then do it again 1/4" inside of that to secure the top of the garment.
Step 10: Tie Finish
Lastly, scrunch the front crew with the desired fullness and shape. Tie off to preserve the curve and finally, knot the ends.