There are so many ways to quickly and easily make your own halter top and with summer coming I’m sure I’ll be making lots of them. My first one this season is a refashion made from one of those boring crew neck t-shirts that’s been hanging out in my closet since the 80’s. Seriously? Yes, seriously. I loved the color and the graphic on the front so I wanted a halter design that wouldn’t mess with the graphic and this is what I came up with. I’m not claiming to have invented this design, the triangle halter is a common halter design, but I had to figure out a way to make it work with my t-shirt and if you have a t-shirt that you want to try this with check out the step-by-step below. One thing I wanted to show you with this tutorial is a way to deal with a common problem with refashioning t-shirts and that’s that the cut edges often sag and don’t look finished. This is just one way to handle that. I’ve since made a few more of these t-shirt halters and each time I came up with a new way to deal with the saggy sides and back. I’ll post those tutorials a bit later in the month.
Once again I was so excited to get started on this refashion that I forgot to take a pic of the t-shirt before I attacked it with my scissors. Imagine a crew neck t-shirt that fits you fine but is just plain boring. Got the pic in your head? Good. That’s my before pic.
I started by cutting around the collar to remove it completely from the shirt. Don’t throw it out, though. I save all the ribbing I cut from t-shirts in a box which I pull from to make other refashions. Ribbing from collars and hems from sleeves and bottoms of t-shirts make great straps for cami’s and halters, drawstrings, trim for edges of refashioned t-shirts …
Then I cut from just below each armhole to the center of the top of the t-shirt cutting through both the front and back of the t-shirt. To make sure that your shirt is cut straight and evenly fold your t-shirt in half lengthwise. Use masking tape or paper tape to mark a line from just below the armhole to the center top of the shirt. Unfold and you’ll see that the top of the t-shirt now looks like a triangle.
I then cut straight across the back of the t-shirt (folding the front of the t-shirt down so that I didn’t accidentally cut it) to line up with the cut at the front that started below the armhole to make this a halter. I used the masking tape trick to make sure that my line was straight. You can also use a ruler, but I find that the tape works really well for me especially when I’m cutting a line that is longer than my ruler. Again, save your scraps, you’ll find good uses for them as you continue to refashion. Hint: short sleeves cut away to make a halter make great pockets. More on that in a future post (or two).
Originally I made a slit at the front top of the shirt and inserted a ribbon to tie it like a halter but this looked pathetic. The armholes sagged and looked ridiculous. Back to the drawing board.
I had a pair of pants that I had refashioned and there was a self-belt left over that was basically a tube of striped fabric. I marked the center of the belt and pinned it to the halter starting at the center back and crossing it at the top to create a tie at the back of the neck for my new halter.
I slightly gathered the fabric at the back of the halter so that it would no longer sag.
Little Red T Becomes A Brand New Halter
After looking at my new top a bit in a mirror which allowed me to see my back I saw that the belt wasn’t soft and flowy enough to work as a tie but that if I attached a button so that it could be a circle around to the back of my neck, it would look great. And it did ! See for yourself.
That’s it folks. There ain’t no more. Although my brain’s already whirring with all kinds of variations of this top. It’s the perfect style for when I want to preserve the graphic on the front of the shirt, so I’m sure you’ll see more reincarnations of this in future posts.
Check out these books for instructions, ideas and patterns