I picked up the Generation T: Beyond Fashion: 120 New Ways to Transform a T-shirt
and have been having fun playing around with a bunch of t-shirts I had stacked in a drawer but wasn’t wearing.
I just finished Project #110: With a Twist (halter top) and came up with several shortcuts that make the project easier and actually look better because there are fewer seams.
First of all, I didn’t cutaway the hem as directed to do in Step 1. If your t-shirt is long enough or you want a belly-baring halter then go ahead and cut away the hem. I didn’t want the halter to be too short though so I left the hem intact. I then cut the strips needed to make the straps from the top of the t-shirt. I fooled around with it and cut as many straps as I could in varying widths, then arranged them on my top so that the left side had one wide strap and the right side had three very skinny straps. I like the end result much better than the pic in the book.
Second, in Step 3 the project directs you to cut and sew down the back of the t-shirt to make it fit perfectly. This is fine if you’re using a larger t-shirt but if the t-shirt already fits you well you can skip this step, even though the measurements don’t conform to what the book asks.
Third, in Step 5 when cutting the two small rectangles, there is no need to cut the long strip you cut from the t-shirt away from the t-shirt seams on the sides because in Step 7 you sew them right back on. Or you can cut it away from the t-shirt but don’t cut it into two smaller rectangles, leave it as a long strip. This avoids having the seam in the middle of the twist, although this is easily hidden.
Fourth, in Step 6 you cut a long slit across the entire front of the t-shirt. There is no need to make the slit that long. Start by cutting just a 4 inch slit. If you need it be a longer slit to get the look you want you can always make it longer. The shorter the slit though, the less sewing you’ll need to do.
Tip For Fitting the Halter:
The halter fit me perfectly except for the section at the top back of the halter. It caused the back and sides of the top of the halter to hang strangely. I cut strips like in Step 5, just the two small rectangles but didn’t separate them from the sides of the t-shirt. Then I twisted them around each other creating a small knot similar to the knot at the front of the halter. I pinned the ends of each tie to the inside back of the halter. Tried it on and adjusted the knot until the top fit well. Blind-stitch the ends to the inside and you’re done. If though, like me, you end up with the section in the middle of the ties hanging open & loose you’ll want to form this section into a pleat and tack it down.
Or you could simply tie the two rectangles together and do the pleat if needed.
Or you could cut two small slits at the back of the halter, each about 2.5-inches to 4-inches from the top, centered at the back about 3 to 4-inches apart. Use the sleeves to create tie to weave through these slits, knot the tie and your shirt is now custom-fit.
Both versions create a nice little detail on the back of the halter.
You could also make it a tank by attaching the straps to the back of the halter instead of tying them at your neck.
For a more finished look you can sew the straps to the halter instead of threading them through slits.
You could make this into a tank or a halter with wide straps by cutting 2-inch to 4-inch wide straps from another t-shirt.
You could make it into a cap-sleeved or short-sleeved t-shirt by making a matching shrug (Project # ) and wearing it over this or any other halter.