Mod a Cute Halter From a Crew Neck T Shirt




About: artist/designer

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.



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    11 Discussions

    I have seen other halters from ts but I like how you added another t for contrast. I think that I would just cut from the arm pit to the collar instead of 4 inches from the collar, but otherwise it looks good. I don't know if this helps, but it looks like she uses a zig zag stitch, which works best with t-shirt material.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    By "ill fitting" do you mean "large"? I just spent 2 hours of ruining an ill fitting t-shirt, which was not large at all - just ill fitting - too tight a neck. Please, for the sake of those who have not tried this, show more steps on how to pin such stretchy fabric as a t-shirt, (could the paint on your shirt have something to do with it seeming to look a lot more stiff than a reg. t-shirt? What did you do with the 3 or so inches of fabric next to the collar and how have you tied in the gussets to the side seams - not how you pinned them but how you sewed them. The way you show them pinned in the photo bears no resemblance to how they need to be sewn. You are obviously a very good sewer but for those like me who are not intuitive you could show more. Using a variety of zig zag stitches did not keep my shirt stretchy but made it less stretchy. Thank you for a great idea.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    i like the idea..but somehow i find it very hard with ur instructions(maybe cus im onlyin middle school) but can u make a video about this?


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I think I did a relatively successful job with this one. Thanks for the great instructable. I don't have that handy dandy machine to serge the edges... I did a lot of hemming but all in all I think I ended up with a pretty cute shirt thanks again


    13 years ago on Step 1

    awesome design i always have trouble making halter tops and this will surely help


    13 years ago

    free t-shirts?! lucky! i hardly can trust myself with redesigning my shirts =(


    13 years ago

    Yeah, this is great! Nice to know what to do with all those huge free t-shirts I get...


    13 years ago

    very nice instructable, I'll pass this on to my better half who is a seamstress and always looking for great ideas like this