If you’ve been bitten by the sewing bug your life is getting ready to change dramatically! Soon, you’ll be able to make new clothes, curtains, kids’ wear and more. Now, you’ll save money while having the nicest fashions and home decor. Well, if you’re a beginner you might not have progressed to the point where you can sew most anything but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep practicing on small projects. The more you practice, of course, the better you’ll get at sewing. One easy project that will give you lots of practice without making you crazy is a halter top project. As a matter of fact, there are several different halters you can make with no pattern and little experience.
A halter is not a complicated thing. It’s basically a piece of material that wraps around the chest area leaving the belly exposed. The design of the halter can be very simplistic. Cut a piece of fabric that is long enough to wrap around you with a couple of inches to spare. The width you cut the fabric is up to you. If you want, the material can just go from above the breasts to just below them. Or, the material can be cut so that it’s a little longer than that. These choices are up to you.
After cutting the material hem both long edges. For each edge, fold the material over a quarter-inch, then a quarter-inch again. Hem using a straight stitch. Place the two short ends of the top together, with right sides facing each other, and stitch across them. This makes the back seam that holds the top together. Now you can decide on the straps you want. One easy way to make straps is to simply cut a long piece of narrow ribbon. Fold the ribbon in half, stitch the fold to the front center of the top, then tie the ribbons behind the neck to wear. Instead of ribbon you can make a spaghetti strap that works the same way. Cut a length of material, fold it in half lengthways, and stitch down one long side and across one short end. Use an old antenna, a dowel rod or a similar object to turn the spaghetti strap right-side-out. Fold it in half, tack the fold to the front center of the top, then tie a knot into each end of the strap.
Make a different type of halter top by using a longer piece of material. As above, cut a piece of material to wrap around you, but cut this piece so that it is one and a half times the length you actually need. Following the same technique as above hem the two long ends of the material. Across the top, install elastic. Don’t panic; it’s really easy. Take a piece of quarter-inch elastic and place the end of it at the end of the top area of the halter. Sew the end of the elastic to the top by taking a couple of stitches forward, then a couple stitches back. Now, gently tug the elastic while using a straight stitch to sew it along the hemmed area of the top. When finished, stitch the two short ends of the halter together to make a seam that will go in the back. Although you will add elastic to the top edge of the halter you will not install elastic along the bottom edge. This halter can be worn as-is or you can create straps for it. Use the above method to create a strap from ribbon or cloth or you can make ordinary straps. Cut two pieces of ribbon or cloth to sew on the halter. Stitch one edge of each strap to the front of the top; stitch the opposite ends of the straps to the back of the top. If you want, you can try on the halter and have a friend pin the straps in place.
Make something totally different by starting with an ordinary t-shirt. Cut the length of the shirt so that it is much shorter. You’ll decide on just how short you want the top to be. All you have to do is hem the cut area and you’re done. Fold the cut edge over a half-inch, then a half-inch again, then hem. Remember to allow for hemming when deciding how short to cut the shirt.
Another design that uses a t-shirt is made when you cut off the length and cut the sleeves out as well. Hem the area across the bottom by folding the cut area over a half-inch, then a half-inch again, and stitch. For the sleeves, fold the cut area under a quarter-inch, then once again, and stitch. If you want, you can cut the neckline out of the shirt, too. Cut it into a scoop neck or even a v-neck and hem.
Still another look for an ordinary t-shirt halter is to cut the shirt into a v-neck or scoop neck then cut straight down the center of it. This is done after you’ve cut the sleeves and hem off. Mark the middle, from new neckline to new hemline, and cut. Hem the cut areas and add buttons and buttonholes. Haven’t learned buttonholes yet? Instead of buttons, barely overlap one hemmed edge over the other, and stitch straight down. Cover the area, if you want, by sewing on a piece of decorative ribbon to cover the front seam.
If you’re just now learning to sew you’ll be proud to show off all your new summer halters. You’ll be getting in lots of practice, but instead of throwing away ruined garments as usual, you’ll actually be able to wear your practice! You’ll see how easy it is to make halters after you’ve completed the first one. Then, you’ll end up with a whole new summer wardrobe because you’ll want to make another and another!