Halter necked dresses, blouses and swimwear are such summertime staples, so I draped one, avoiding a side seam. I created the bodice from just two pieces relying on a princess seam line across the bust point.
The two pieces of fabric continued around the neck and the back of the stand. This seamed to be a simple and easy to achieve pattern, and I wondered if that under arm edge would work. My tutor patted it. We had a think. She shared her wisdom.
“I always make a toile any way, and then alter the pattern. The draping is really to get the design, not the fit”.
Wise words, Mrs. Kinne. But ever the optimist I eschewed calico and reached from some lovely left over linen to cut out a toile, hoping that it might actually fit. With a couple of press studs or buttons and loops I thought I might have a little top for the weekend.
I have made up a few princess line dresses over the years, and many of them leave out the CF seam, and cut on the fold. I did this, meaning there were only three pieces for the halter top – two sides and one centre. I stitched the pieces up. I must say it looked a bit flat chested. And then I wondered how I was going to finish the blouse. With such a small item facings are not great, and while lining is a good solution it is a nuisance if the lining shows. So I decided to line it in the same blue linen fabric and to work out how to fasten it once I had fitted it.
I like self lined/faced garments and this was quick to sew up, trim and turn though so the raw edges were at the waist. Sorry the picture is so dark (I was sewing at night!)
Unfortunately this experiment was a complete failure.
While on the stand there was quite a nice snug fit, on the real person (ie me) there was a big gaping gap at the sides. I was wearing my halter neck bra in eager anticipation, but this top did not work on my shape. Not at all. There was oodles of fabric in the underarm area. Neither the stand at Morley college, or poor Camilla, is exactly the same shape as me. I needed much more bust shaping. When I tried it on I thought I might actually prefer a bit more drape and softness so that it doesn’t have to fit so precisely. A tailored halter neck needs an exacting fit ensuring a good fit across the bust, the right depth to the neck and enough tapering to the waist. It is more like a swim suit or evening dress in terms of the fitting demands. It is even beginning to enter lingerie territory actually. None of which I had thought about in advance. I need to adapt this pattern for a closer fit, especially at the side body
While this alteration is not a very difficult it has only just occurred to me that draping only works if the mannequin is exactly the right measurements, or for less exacting fitting.
I shall pin out the excess in the side pieces and reduce them in the next version. I think I will also make the halter section narrower. I may introduce a CF seam in order to improve the shape. The thing is I really like wearing this style so I ought to play around with the pattern in order to achieve a really good fit.
Of course these (in the mirror selfies) are pretty hopeless. I would like to show you the back too, but it was not a shot I could contrive. Suffice to say that the back is not in the right place either. It is too low and reveals the bra strap at the back.
Although I was hoping to wear this top soon, I have a feeling this is the sort of experiment best left to the long dark nights of autumn when there are less distractions going on.
Any thoughts or feedback on making a close fitting halter neck top?