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DIY Halter Top from Button-Up Shirt

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I feel like I’m always posting holiday content on the day of said holiday. Sure, it’s timely and relevant, but my procrastinate-y posting schedule doesn’t always give you guys time to actually execute said holiday project for said holiday.

Today that all changes!

I’m doing a 4th of July refashion, and I’m posting it in time for you to do a similar upcycle if you so choose!

No, it’s not because I’ve become a better manager of my time. Joining the 2021-2022 Eversewn Maker Team means I have to produce a monthly project to a theme of their choosing. And they have a deadline.

I chose this $1 thrifted women’s button up shirt with a patriotic motif for this month’s challenge!

refashionista DIY Halter Top from Button-Up Shirt before
Well…isn’t this a bit frumpy?

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It’s red, white, and blue. It has stars on it. The first part of my challenge (finding a good “before” piece) was done!

It even has a pocket!

close up of pocket
A patriotic pocket!

My first step for this refashion was to remove the above pocket.

removing pocket with seam ripper
Rrrrrrrip!

Well, will you look at that? You can see both of my hands! That’s because I finally spent $20 on a clip-on camera holder thingy that attaches to my cutting table so I’m not always just taking pics with one hand while working with the other.

I spare no expense to elevate your experience, dear reader.

Anywho…I carefully unpicked that pocket and put it aside. Don’t worry! It’s coming back later!

removed pocket on table
See you soon!

Those sleeves followed!

unpicking sleeves from shirt
Pick…pick…pick…
removed sleeves and pocket
Byeeee!

Next, I safety-pinned the top of the neck of my shirt (since it has no button there).

safety pinned top of shirt
Like this!

I flipped my newly-sleeveless top over.

flipped over top
These will work great for the new front of my soon-to-be halter top!

I used my rotary cutter and ruler to measure and cut across the back of my shirt, leaving enough room above that back seam to fold over to make a casing.

cutting across top with rotary cutter
You could just use plain old scissors too!
cut of top of shirt
Ta-da!

I flipped my shirt back over, folded the original back/new front over and cut that part off.

cutting off back of shirt
Snnnnip!
cut off back of shirt
Aren’t my new scissors cuuuuute?

I swapped out my sewing machine’s foot with my overcasting foot.

closeup of overcasting foot
This one right here!

If you look clooooosely, you can see it has a little barrier that keeps the edge of the fabric where it needs to be for an overlocking stitch.

I overlocked the edge of my original back/new front of my shirt!

overlocking edge of top
No serger needed!

I folded the armholes (or half-armholes) over twice and clipped them in place.

clipped armhole
Clipped!

I swapped my feet out again for my standard foot and I sewed them down.

sewing armhole
Just a curved little whirrrrrr!

Now for the back!

The original front/new back still had a raw edge to contend with, so I folded it over twice and clipped it down.

clipped back of halter top
See the halter top shape forming?

I sewed the top of the back down, slowing down around the placket where the fabric was pretty thick.

sewing top of back
No overlocking needed since I folded it over twice!

Time to halterify(?) the front of my new top!

I folded the top of my shirt over and pinned it in place, making sure to leave enough room for a length of ribbon to be added.

pinned casing on halter top
I have a new magnetic pincushion!

Then I sewed it in place!

sewing top of halter top down
Just a lil straight stitch!

I cut off a length of grosgrain ribbon and pinned a safety pin to the end.

safety pin on the end of ribbon
I heart you, safety pin!

Then, I threaded it through its casing!

threading ribbon through casing
In ya go!
ribbon threaded through halter top
A halter top is born!

I tried my top on, and realized I still needed to take in the sides a bit.

I just pinched the sides and guesstimated how much I’d need to take in from each side.

I pinned each side, measuring as I went.

pinning side of top
Just a smidgin!

Then, I stitched down each side and cut off the excess fabric with my pinking shears.

taking in side of top
We’re almost done!

All that was left to deal with was that cute lil pocket!

I pinned my pocket to a spot on the front of my new top that I thought would be optimal for hand (and M&M) holding.

pinned pocket on front of shirt
Welcome to my Pocket Protection/Relocation Program!

And for my final trick, I sewed my pocket down!

sewing pocket to front of shirt
Final whirrrrrrr!

I think my new top looks great, and I can’t wait to wear it for whatever 4th of July shenanigans I end up attending!

refashionista DIY Halter Top from Button-Up Shirt after 1
I don’t care if my sunnies are absurd. I love them.
refashionista DIY Halter Top from Button-Up Shirt after 5
I’m only a little surprised at how nicely this turned out.
refashionista DIY Halter Top from Button-Up Shirt after 3
Thanks…it has a pocket!
refashionista DIY Halter Top from Button-Up Shirt after 2
Ready to chow down on some burnt hot dogs (that’s how I like ’em!)!

I styled my new top with a pair of dark skinny jeans, my Jack Rodgers sandals, and a fave pair of red, white, and blue sunnies!

I really love how the button-up placket looks on the back!

refashionista DIY Halter Top from Button-Up Shirt back view
Le back!
refashionista DIY Halter Top from Button-Up Shirt after 4
It’s comfy too!

I hope this refashion inspires you to look at those boring button-up shirts at the thrift store in a new way! With just a bit of sewing, you could have your favorite new halter top!

refashionista DIY Halter Top from Button-Up Shirt after closeup
Happy 4th, Everybody!

Cheers!

refashionista DIY Halter Top from Button-Up Shirt before and after

Most of the sewing notions seen in this post are from this awesome EverSewn Sewing Starter Kit! The rest can be found in the EverSewn Amazon Store!

Make Your Own Refashionista Tees: 8 Free Iron-On Heat Transfer Paper Designs
Snap Front Duster to Peachy Keen Day Dress Refashion

33 thoughts on “DIY Halter Top from Button-Up Shirt”

  1. So adorable!
    Did you sew along the buttons, or did you keep them as is? Any risk of the buttons coming undone?

    Reply
  2. Hi Jillian:
    I love this top as well as all of the other things you have done.
    I notice that you so a fair amount of htings that are either off of one shoulder or halter-ish at the top.
    I love them alll, but struggle as I do not want to go without a bra. I know I could get a strapless bra or some of them, but wondering if you would consider doing a refashion tutorial about making a strapless bra from leggings or some other simple way to make a strapless bra…
    PS, I love the curls!! And the sunnies!!

    Monica

    Reply
  3. Love the simplicity of it to get such a fabulous result! As an overthinker and procrastinator I’m on the cusp of finally diving into my pile of bargains, thank you for your brilliant ideas

    Reply
  4. I really didn’t know how you were going to pull this one off but you did! Fabulous halter – I love it.

    Reply
  5. Great refashion! Love the way you finished off the back… the button at the bottom leaves a nice little detail… just lovely! Great shades too! Bravo!

    Reply
  6. All around a keeper! I wasn’t too keen on the fabric design but your restyling changed all that like magic wow! Love love the buttoned back, and little pocket for little found treasures!

    Reply
  7. All around a keeper! I wasn’t too keen on the fabric design but your restyling changed all that like magic wow! Love love the buttoned back, and little pocket for little found treasures!

    Reply
  8. Genius. I am really impressed with this transformation. Now I want to go digging through my closet and find those button ups I never wear.

    Reply
  9. I love this one. I don’t know where your inspiration comes from, but you have some great ideas. I could never wear this, but you have so many clever and cute ideas. Kudos!

    Reply
  10. Very cute idea and execution! Did you consider possibly using the leftover fabric to make a long tie and use that instead of the white ribbon?
    BTW, your hair has come back beautifully! Mine was all grey and kinky curly. Took a while before it would take color! Be well!

    Reply
    • I DID consider that! I cut out pieces and started putting them together but decided I liked the ribbon better!

      Reply
  11. So clever. And adorable. Also, I think it’s time for you to do some Audrey Hepburn cosplay for us.. You’ve nailed that gamine aesthetic.

    Reply

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