Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Simplest Summer Top Tutorial

This is my last tutorial from Project Run & Play. Figured I had better share it here before the time for making summer tops is over!

Happy Wednesday PR&P fans! Thank you so much again for everyone who voted this week, whether you voted for my look or not. We just all love it that you are here cheering us on and waiting to see what we make next. It's incredibly fun!

Today I am going to show you the simple formula for making this easy halter tie top. You really can't go wrong with this one, it's so quick and cute.

The top is just a tube made of two rectangles of fabric with elastic at the top and bottom and long ties added. You'll need about a half yard of fabric and 1/4" and 3/4" elastic. 

First you need to figure out what size to cut your rectangles. Find a t-shirt that is fitted well to your girly. Measure the shirt hem lying flat. In other words, the distance across just the front of the shirt, not all the way around. Add 2.5" to that for the length of your two pieces. Mine was 12" so I cut my fabric pieces to 14.5" long. 

Now measure the shirt from the very bottom to the armpit, where the sleeve meets the shirt. Add 3.5" to that number and you have the width of your rectangles. Mine was 9" so my width was 12.5." My two rectangles measured 14.5" x 12.5"

(NOTE: Since I used a light fabric, I lined it by cutting two more rectangles of white in the same sizes. I kept those pieces on the wrong sides of the main fabric rectangles and proceeded the same way.)

With right sides together, sew both ends of these pieces together with 1/2" seam allowance. Now you should have a tube. Finish the seam allowances unless you are making a lining. In that case, make the same tube with the lining pieces, keep the lining wrong side out and slide it into the main tube so that the wrong sides are together. 

Make a casing along the bottom by folding 1/2" to the wrong side twice, sewing along the folded edge leaving a 2" opening and threading 1/4" elastic thru. Cut the elastic to whatever your child's waisq1t measurement is. Close up the opening once you have the elastic in and the ends sewn together.

Repeat on the top edge of the tube, but this time fold under 1/2" then 1." Put in 3/4" elastic the same way as you did on the bottom. On wider elastic casings like this, I also like to topstitch around the very top edge, which you can see in the picture. This gives it a very finished look, which is nice along the top of the shirt. On small children, the length of elastic is usually the same as waist size again, but measure your child around the chest to be sure. 

Time to add the ties. Cut 2 strips that are 2" wide and about 22" long. Fold and press them in half to the wrong side, open the fold back up and press the edges 1/2" in so they meet that middle crease. Fold the first crease again and sew all the way down right at the open edge so you end up with 1/2" wide straps. Sew them onto the inside top of the shirt, placing each 2" in from the side seams. Topstitch so they slant in a little, as shown above. 

See? Easy! You could probably whip up a handful in one afternoon and be set for summer.

I also have some info right here about how I altered a free downloadable pattern to make the sunhat in my look. 


  1. it's totally lovely. I might even convince my girls to wear one! (they're so fussy)

  2. it is so cute. and your stitching is beautiful! i think my little girl needs one too.

  3. this is adorable! i might just try this as my first attempt at sewing clothes for ingrid.

  4. I adore halter tops--so feminine for both girls and ladies. What a great, fast & easy blouse!

  5. I love this!! This might be my first try at a top for Haila!

  6. This is a great fun summer top, I remember wearing something like it when I was young!

  7. Love it! Thank you for posting.


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