How to Turn Leggings Into a Halter Top

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Most leggings are made of materials such as cotton, polyester-spandex blend, wool, or nylon. Since these materials are comfortable and breathable, learning how to turn leggings into a halter top will help you make an equally comfortable and breathable top for wearing during summer.

How to Turn Leggings Into a Halter Top

A halter top is a kind of triangular sleeveless shirt for women that looks like a tank top. Usually, a halter top ties across the back and around the neck, covering the chest and breasts loosely.

Since halter tops only cover parts of your upper body, they allow air circulation.

This breathable design makes them ideal for wearing in summer and during camping trips. If summer is nearing and you would like to add some to your collection, or you’re going for a camping trip, and you don’t have enough tops to change, use the following tips to change leggings into a halter top.

A woman with black nail polish removes a white thread on a white piece of clothing on a table

Wash and Iron the Leggings

Since you will cut the leggings when making a halter top, you might not make straight cuts if the leggings are wrinkled. It’s therefore advisable to iron the leggings so the edges and surfaces can be flat when making the cuts.

Keeping in mind that specks of dirt and stains don’t go away once ironed, first wash the leggings using the recommended washing method. Usually, you will see the washing and ironing instructions on the label that comes with the leggings.

For instance, you can’t directly iron leggings made of delicate synthetics and silk blend fabrics. It’s also advisable to steam the leggings and then lay a protective cloth on top of the leggings so they don’t get into direct contact with the hot iron box.

Cut the Leggings

To avoid mistakes when making the cuts, fold the leggings in half and lay them on a flat table. Since the leggings might slide when making the cuts, it’s advisable to use a tablecloth to limit their movements.

Place a ruler along the crotch area, parallel to the waistband, make sure everything is nice and straight, and then cut the top part off. Place the legs of the leggings aside, lay the top part that you have cut off on the table, and then cut one of the middle seams.

Unpick the Seam

Typically, a halter top requires a significant amount of fabric, and you will want to maximize the fabric from your leggings. Instead of cutting the waistband area, unpick the seam and remove the elastic band.

Simply slide in the seam ripper between the stitch and the layers of fabric. If you are using scissors to unpick the seam, you need to be careful not to cut the fabric. You can then remove the elastic band and keep it for future projects.

In most cases, pieces of thread will hang on the edges. Depending on the fabric, you can consider cutting them off using the scissors or pulling them out. Straighten the fabric and then use the scissors to trim off the irregular shapes.

Create Some Gathers

If the side of the fabric seems slightly curved, tuck it in and iron it on top. Basically, you should end up with a rectangular-shaped fabric. However, it’s common for the fabric to curve and not lay down flat at the edges of the leggings legs where you cut off the upper part.

Fold the edge at one centimeter using a zig-zag stitch or straight stitch that has the longest stitch length, and then use the following tips to make some gathering around the cups:

  • Make long stitches on the two long pieces. Typically, you don’t need to make the stitches perfect, and you can do it using a 6-inch long thread
  • Pull the fabric in to create some gathers, and then close off the ends. You can also unpick the two stitches underneath 
  • Insert the two front pieces you tie around the neck, and secure them with pins. It’s advisable to use the middle seam of the other folded piece as a guide to ensure the pins are well centered
  • Stitch along the line of pins and then top stitch about half a centimeter to the edge. Although the pins help keep everything in place, you need to be careful that your machine’s needle doesn’t go on top of the pins as it can break
A person wearing two silver rings holds a white pencil to mark a black cloth near two sharp cutting tools on a white wooden table

Take Measurements

Due to the natural size relationship between the lower body and the upper body, there are higher chances that the halter top will fit you if it’s made from fitting leggings. That means you can proceed without taking measurements.

However, if the leggings were not fitting or you want to end up with a perfectly fitting halter top, unpick the stitch and take your waist measurements. Divide the measurements, add one centimeter for the seam allowance, and cut the excess fabric off.

Stitch the sides of the fabric together and then cut off or pull out the loose threads. Depending on the fabric of the leggings and the way you have made the stitches, you can consider ironing the seams.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Length of Leggings Is Best for Making Halter Tops?

Full-length leggings are the best for making halter tops. The legs of these leggings are long enough to provide sufficient fabric for the halter top’s loose parts that pass over the chest and the breasts. Typically, the legs of cropped leggings are much shorter, and the fabric might not be sufficient for a comfortable top even if you unpick the seams.

Which Is the Best Leggings Material for Making Tops?

The best leggings material for making tops is a polyester-spandex blend, the material used in making Lularoe leggings. Since this material is flexible, stretchable, and durable, the resulting top will be form-fitting, elastic, and comfortable. The breathable nature of this material also makes the resulting tops ideal for wearing during summer.

Final Thoughts

Regardless of the material and design of the leggings, learning how to turn leggings into a halter top will help you add some tops to your collection. Simply wash and iron the leggings, cut off the top part, unpick the seams and then stitch to make a top.