The Florist Halter

Yesterday, I decided to start with a vintage shirt instead of a dress.  I wanted a project that was a little quicker, since most of the day was spent running errands and thoroughly cleaning the house. (Ugh! But boy does it feel wonderful to have a clean house.) We also had dinner plans with my grandparents last night (which was a lot of fun, by the way). So, I needed to find a project that didn’t take much time.

So, here it is. I think someone wore this while working at a florist in the ‘80s.

Rockin’ the side pony to complete the look

It had long sleeves, aqua stripes made up of flowers, and in the middle of the shirt…

What?!?! Not appropriate as the focal point of one’s attire for anyone over the age of four, or under the age of 65

The front of the shirt was graced with this huge basket of flowers.  I felt like I was one big floral arrangement waiting to be delivered for some special occasion.

However, there were things I liked about this shirt: the feel of the material, the weight of the material and the aqua flower stripes. I bought it thinking I would use it somehow.

Flower-power chain pattern

The first thing I did was turn the shirt around so there was no longer a floral gift basket advertisement on the front of the shirt.

Now it’s just a rugby shirt for a team of florists

I still wanted to use that basket of flowers somehow, but I wanted to make sure it wasn’t quite so loud. I decided I was going to transform this shirt into a halter-like tank, with a racerback. So, the first order of business was to cut off the ribbing at the neckline.

Ribbing removal

Next, I measured and cut the sides of the shirt down to the bottom of the sleeves, in a halter shape.

Cutting the front of the halter

Since the back of the halter was going to be a racerback that gathered at the neck, I had to cut it out in that shape. I started at the side of the shirt, from where I had cut to on the front, and cut up to the top of the shirt in a racerback shape.

Cutting the racerback and removing the sleeves. (I know, it looks a bit strange right now, but bear with me!)

It was going to be looser fitting, but it was a bit too big for my taste. So, I took it in a bit on the sides.

Taking in the sides a tad

I prepped and finished the edges around the sides of the front and the back.

Raw edges just wouldn’t do

Since I wasn’t going for the Amazon woman look, something had to go around the neck to hold the front and back pieces up. To make the tie around the neck, I cut a rectangular piece out of one of the sleeves. (I measured to make sure it was long enough to go around my neck and tie at one side.)

Cutting out of the sleeve

I then folded the rectangle, right sides together, and sewed along the long edge. All that was left was to attach a safety pin to one side and pull it through.

Now we have a skinny tube for the tie around the neck

The top front and top of back of the top had to be pinned and sewn to make a casing for the tie.

Making a casing wide enough for the tie to fit through.

Using a safety pin again, I pulled the tie through the front and back casings.

Now there’s a tie at the neck, creating the halter look.

Once I tried it on, there was a big problem. The front sides were gaping and not providing the coverage and protection necessary. To fix this problem, I added darts at the front, starting where the front and back met.

When fitting problems we meet, darts can’t be beat!

OK. Now we have success!

The final product

The screen printed flower basket creates an interesting look to the back of the halter.

The flower basket is now quietly adding to the conversation of the piece, rather than screaming its opinions

The darts were the perfect fix for the gape that would’ve made this top unsuitable for public wear.

The dart, doing its duty

It’s perfect for a hot summer day, here in the desert.

Close up

After completing this top I was in the mood to buy some flowers to brighten up my house. So, while I was out running errands, I picked these up. Having fresh flowers in the house always make me smile. 🙂


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About Becca

I am a self-taught seamstress, and I love to create unique women’s clothing. This blog is a record of the hodgepodge of sewing projects that occupy my time. Reconstruction projects are my favorite, but I also create clothing from my own designs using both recycled and new materials.
This entry was posted in clothing, diy, ooak, recycled, sewing, shirt, thrifted, upcycled, vintage and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Florist Halter

  1. Sarah Lewis says:

    You are just so amazing! Love the finished product. I wouldn’t have had the nerve to lose the basket of flowers but from now on I’ll think about what’s on the front of my tee shirt since I’m just a ‘tad’ over 65!! Love you!!

  2. Thanks! No, I actually said you’re good if you’re over 65. 😉 It was just a joke though. Heehee. Love you too!

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