Rolls Royce Halter Top

It’s summer so you’ll be seeing a lot more t-shirt refashions coming out of the Irish Attic. It’s hot in Southern CA and it will be hot and humid in Michigan, the two places I’ll be this summer. So t-shirts will be a wardrobe staple, but there’s nothing that says they have to be the same-o-same-o boxy crew-necks that or fitted v-necks that I see all over the place.

This isn't my t-shirt but I found an exact replica on-line.


I bought this t-shirt when I was out and about one day and the weather turned way too hot to be wearing what I had on. I stopped into a Target store to grab a t-shirt and a pair of shorts and went on my way. While I really did like this t-shirt I was just not into the basic crew-neck so out came the scissors … I must apologize for the lack of “during” pictures but I once again got so excited that I grabbed the t-shirt, started hacking and sewing and was done before I thought that I might want to post this as a tutorial. I’ll try to make up for the lack of pictures by giving you all a very detailed tutorial.

I started by cutting a straight line thru both front and back of the t-shirt just below the neckband. Then fold the t-shirt in half lengthwise and mark where the center front is. Smooth the t-shirt out flat on your work surface and mark a line from under the sleeves to the center point. I rolled my rotary cutter down the line and off came both sleeves leaving me with a triangle shaped top portion. Flip the shirt over, mark and cut a straight line from the bottom of the armhole, or since the armhole is now non-existent cut from the bottom of the triangle on one side straight across to the other side taking care to cut only thru the back layer of the t-shirt.

At this point you can cut the hem off the bottom of the t-shirt to use for your binding or leave as is and use a contrasting fabric as binding. I left my hem intact and used a white t-shirt, cut into strips for my binding. You can choose to finish your t-shirt the easy way or the hard way. I chose the hard way because I really liked how the laced binding would look, but it takes lots more of your binding fabric and a bit more time. I snipped very small holes about 1/2 inch from the top, approximately 1/2 inch apart and all the way across the back of the t-shirt from side seam to side seam. I measured how much binding I would need to bind the back, up the armholes to meet in the middle of the shirt and have enough to tie behind my neck in a bow and added and extra foot to give me enough for the lacing across the back. I marked the middle of my binding and the middle of the back of the shirt and started lacing from the middle of the shirt until I reached the side seam, gathering the back slightly as I went. Then I pinned the binding to the armhole and up to the top of the triangle. I did the same on the other side, crossing the binding over the 1st piece of binding at the top of the triangle. Tried it on, adjusted the lacing to make sure there was no gaping, sewed the binding in place from the bottom of the armhole to the top of the triangle.

The easy way would be to skip the lacing and pin the binding to the shirt, gathering the back of the shirt so that there is no gaping when wearing the shirt. Try it on, make your adjustments and then stitch in place.

And this is what you’ll end up with …

front view

I’m not showing the back view because I can’t get a good pic of it today. I’ll try to get a better pic and post it later. The lacing is just an over and under thing. Experiment with it and you’ll find your Zen.

Option 2 – Tank Top

If you shy away from halter tops you can easily make this as a tank top by eliminating the step where you cut straight across the back. Make a small hole 1/2 inch from the top of the triangle at the back only. Start your binding at the top of the back of the shirt and around the armhole crossing over at the top front of the shirt. Put the shirt on and slip both sides of the binding thru the hole at the back and tie.