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Sew 50s – South Pacific halter from rescued Hawaiian shirt

Never able to resist buying an “interesting” piece of textile – no matter that in this case it was in the form of a Hawaiian shirt with more than a few rips and tatters – this palm tree beach print had always suggested a South Pacific inspired outfit.  I had bought this lovely vintage 50s halter top pattern – Butterick 6136 – a while back and realised it would be just right for this project.

The pattern needed some long bias strips to face the edges but there wasn’t enough textile to complete this.  My solution was to make the halter completely reversible and use an old denim shirt I had kept since the 90s for the reverse.

The halter fastens with buttons on the back and to solve the problem of button fastenings on both sides, I used a tip from one of my vintage 1940s needlecraft books.  This 40s tome suggested working a set of buttonholes down both edges of a garment and then stitching the buttons onto a length of ribbon so that the buttons would fasten through both sets of buttonholes and could simply be moved to the other side.  The original suggestion was to enable buttons to be removed easily before laundry back in those days when everything was so scarce.

Hope you are all enjoying your bank holiday weekend. Bye for now. Karen x



About the author: I love vintage needlecrafts; live in the English countryside & enjoy local auctions and thrift stores. Sell vintage & handmade online & at vintage fairs.

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • EmSewCrazy August 27, 2012, 10:04 am

    Wow, what a neat idea with the buttons! The halter top is a great refashion too! What a wonderful job!

  • Debbie August 27, 2012, 10:08 am

    What a great idea to use a hawaiian shirt and i love that tip from the 40s. Good job!

  • Jeanne August 27, 2012, 1:28 pm

    I love that it is reversible… and great tip about buttons on a ribbon 🙂

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