Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Halter Top Tutorial

Halter Top Tutorial

#1.Cut Out:

For a woman's size medium top cut out 2 – 27 inch by 24 inch rectangles of fabric and one strip of contrasting fabric whatever width you like and 24inches long (or whatever length your top will be)

*You can customize this top to your own measurements. The way I got my measurements is as follows :

Width - take your bust measurement and times it by 1 ½. For example : 36” x 1.5 is 54 inches then divide this # by 2 ( ½ for the front of top and ½ for the back): 54”divided by 2 is 27”

Length – measure from collarbone to where you want the top to end, my length was 21"

add 1” for hem and 2” for top ribbon casing: 21+1+2 equals 24”

#2. Cut Armholes:

Lay these rectangles out one on top of the other and fold them in half lengthwise

On the outside edges measure down 7” from the top and 2”in from the raw edges – mark these measurements with a marking pencil. With your pencil lightly draw a softly curving line to create armhole openings as shown below:

#3. Insert Contrasting Fabric Stripe:

Take the front of your top and lay it flat on your table

Position your contrasting fabric strip on top

Carefully cut on either side of your strip

Remove the main fabric strip that you have now cut out. Now you have three pieces for the front of your top.

With right sides together sew the contrasting strip to the two long (non armhole edges) of your top front using a ¼ inch seam allowance to create one piece as shown below:

#4. Side Seams:

Sew side seams together and finish with a zig zag stitch or use French seams (see notes)

Just a warning, because of the seams necessary to sew down the contrasting strip of fabric your front piece will be narrower than the back, the piece that is the back of your top will be about 1 inch wider than the front...just ignore this as the whole top will be gathered from the top and the 1 inch difference will not be an issue.... just match up and sew the side seams

#5. Bottom Hem :

On bottom edge of top iron down a half inch and then fold and iron down another half inch. Sew down close to the folded edge to create your hem

#6. Armholes:

Clipping the curved egdes, fold down the raw edge around the armhole openings ¼ inch and then another ¼ inch. This will take some fooling around with the fabric. Try to use your iron to help you and kind of pull the fabric in front of the iron. Stitch close to the folded edge. Shown below:

#7. Top Ribbon Casing:

On both front and back fold and iron down top edge ½ inch. Then fold and iron down 1 ½ inches. Sew close to the folded edge to create the ribbon casing.

Take a length of ribbon and using a safety pin at the end, thread through the casings so the ribbon goes through the front and the back. Tie the ribbon ends, adjust the gathers and you are done!

Pattern Notes: * Side seams and fabric insert seams can be finished by using a zigzag stitch after they have been seamed. Alternatively, you can use a french seam on the side seams to encase the raw edges( sew wrong sides together, trim seam close to stitching, turn and iron down with right sides together and then stitch down just to the left of the raw edges that are encased inside) If you have a serger then disregard this note as you are clearly an experienced sewer and certainly don't need me to tell you what to do.

* These instructions can also be used to make pillowcase dresses for babies and children, and halter tops for little girls...just use my measurement guidelines in step 1 of the tutorial

*I apologize for my subpar photos and my embarrassingly crude photoshop techniques...Briana, avert your eyes oh photoshop queen ;(


  1. I haven't visited for a little while I must confess but I'm telling you I've been missing out!!!! Your tutorial is great : just in time for summer!! i'll be making a batch for my girls and I!! Is that your son with the curly hair he looks a little like my eldest!! And that oven is just gorgeous;;;;;;; Bravo for your shop it looks lovely!

  2. I really really want to learn how to make these, Jennifer... Maybe I can pay you to have a private class sometime? I'll have to find some fabric first. I dare not ask you too much as I don't think I can afford to have something else I'm crazy passionate about!