Toddler Halter Top Sewing Tutorial

With warm weather not too far away, I’ve got ideas for spring/summer outfits running through my head.  The first one pattern I wanted to come up with was a simple halter top for Elliott.  One that I can sew in an hour and make her a bunch out of different fabrics.  I gave it a shot yesterday and was successful on my first try, so today I made a second one and will share my ‘pattern’ with you.

Elliott is a tiny little thing.  She just turned 2, but can still fit in some 18 month stuff.  The size that I made for this halter top is plenty roomy, so if you want to copy the measurements exactly, it’s about 24 months to 2T.

So.  This is what we’re making (and pardon the photo quality, please.  Daylight was gone by the time I finished ).  It is finished in bias tape that ties behind the neck and the back has elastic for a really cute little fit.


This could easily be lengthened a bit to make a precious little sundress.  I plan to make one in the next few days and will post pictures of it here when it’s done.

The pattern piece for the front of the top is this shape:front-halter-pattern1

When you cut your fabric, you’ll want it folded with the straight side of the pattern piece pinned along the fabric fold.

Across the bottom is 7.5″ (unfolds to 15″).

Across the bustline is 5.5″ (unfolds to 11″).

Across the neckline is 3″ (unfolds to 6″).

From top to bottom: 12″.

Keep in mind that these measurements fit a toddler who is 34″ tall and 25lbs.  Adjust to fit your child or email me with any questions.


S0, since I have received a ton of emails for help with adjusting measurements, I thought I would add this little bit.  I hope that it is helpful!  Please let me know if the directions are not clear enough.  Thank you. :)

And now….back to our regularly scheduled programming:


The back pattern piece is a simple rectangle.  In this case, 15″ x 10 1/4″.


Rather than using solid color, boring bias tape from the fabric store, I decided I wanted to make my own.  I found a really wonderful tutorial that makes the process very quick and easy.  I’m now a big fan of this blogger and her bias-tape brilliance!  I was thrilled at how my tape turned out!

**I have now added a video demonstrating this bias tape method!**

For this top I made 4 pieces:

1-  6″ piece (neckline)

1- 36″ piece (straps)

2- 29″ pieces (hem)


Now…getting started….

Grab your back halter fabric (the plain rectangle) and fold down one of the long edges 1/4″.  Press.  Fold again approximately 1″ and press.  Then sew along your fold to create your elastic casing.  These steps will look something like this:


Next, cute a piece of elastic that will fit your child.  You can measure across her back from armpit to armpit to get an idea.  Ours was approximately 10″.

Anchor one end of your elastic with a straight pin at one end of your casing.  Attach a safety pin to the other end of your elastic and use the pin to feed the elastic through the casing.


Secure both ends of the elastic by stitching vertically 1/4″ from the edges of the fabric.


Put the back halter piece aside.

Sandwich the top (neckline) edge of the front halter piece within a 6″ length of bias tape.  Stitch along the open edge of the bias tape, being sure to catch the underneath layer in your seam.  In my picture you will notice 2 lines of stitching.  Oops!  I let the underside of the bias tape get away from me and had to sew it again.  😀


You’ll use the same basic idea to attach the straps.  Start at the bottom of each underarm curve and attach your bias tape.  Sew down the entire length of the bias tape to close it and form the strap pieces.


Pin your front and back together at the side seams and sew 1/2″ seams.


You’re almost done!

Starting at one of the side seams, sew the bias tape along the hem of the top.  As you near the end, stop sewing and trim your bias tape to the proper length, leaving just a bit to overlap the beginning edge.


And you’re done!

Elliott modeled the top for me when it was done tonight.  She was just a little too excited about it, though, and couldn’t stop running around.  Forgive her for the quality of the pictures, please! :)



Now…please don’t hesitate to email and let me know if I need to be clearer on any details or provide more pictures.  If I’ve left anything out…well, I’m sure you all now how hard it is to keep a train of thought with a toddler running around!  Just let me know and I’ll be glad to help!

Have fun!

Oh!  And I have two requests:

1) If you make one, I would love it if you sent in a picture for me to post!

2) If you want to use this tutorial and sell what you make, that’s great!  Go for it because I love WAHMs!  Just please link back to me. :)

Elliott's playdate


  1. chrystyna says

    OMG! That is about as cute as they come!!! And Elliott looks absolutely adorable in it!!! I totally want one for Mac!

  2. Alison says

    I am very excited to start this for my girls. I am making a sealife theme halter for a birthday party at SeaWorld. Will try to email a pic.

  3. Christina Johns (Crosby, Tx) says

    I want to thank you for your tutorial. I have always loved to sew just never had anyone to sew for. That is until my little Hailey came along. I am starting to sew for her and also make bows. Although mine doesn’t look as good as yours (I just love the fabric pattern & colors) and I could shorten the straps a little, Hailey doesn’t know any better and looks too cute wearing it. Again, thanks a bunch!! (hope the pictures turn out)

    Haileys Mommy

  4. Emma says

    Wow! Thank you so much for this tutorial it saved my life! My daughter needed to dress up as a storybook character for school. I couldn’t get a suitable dress, so needed to make one. This being a bit of a problem as I’m not very crafty and I don’t have a sewing machine.

    Your tutorial was so good I was able to make a (reasonable!) dress for her (by hand!) and she was really pleased.

    Both daughters want more now! I think I may need to buy a sewing machine.

    Thank you again and Elliott is just too cute!!!

    Lots of love from Emma in sunny Yorkshire xx

  5. says

    Thanks for the great tutorial! I tried it out to day by cutting up an old shirt of mine and I love it! Of course mine doesn’t look anywhere near as cute but I figure it’s just the first! Practice makes perfect, right?!
    I’ll probably go a little smaller next time. I used the measurements you gave but it’s just a tad big for my little one. But then again she’s not quite 2 years old either.

    Thanks again!

  6. says

    Do you know how I would convert this to fit the measurements of a teenage girl? Every year my 4 daughters and their female cousin get their picture taken together (for Grandparents), and we try to coordinate outfits, but it’s hard finding matching clothes for our crew (ages are 13, 8, 6, 4, & 3), so if I can make them, I’d rather do that – but I have no clue how to begin altering the pattern!

  7. says

    I have been trying to find a patter for a top/dress EXACTLY like this!!! Found a link to you from Sevi Designs… Can’t wait to try this for my little muffins!!!

  8. says

    This is great! Can you tell me what her chest measurement is so I can figure out how big to make them for my girls? My girls are bigger but I think I might just need to make the pattern longer rather than wider.

  9. Katie says

    Love it! I’ve been scheming about a top just like this in my head but wasn’t able to lay out a workable pattern until I came across your tutorial here. Thanks! I’ll send pictures of the tops I’ve made when I get around to taking some…

  10. Cheryl says

    Hi, I’m a newbie and very interested in sewing this beautiful halter for my 2yr old daughter. However, i need more information regarding the bias tape, what size of the tape i need to make (the width) thanks and I cant wait to start

  11. says

    Too stinkin cute! I was wanting to make an outfit for a 2 year olds birthday and this was exactly what I was looking for! Something simple quick, cute and I’m going to make little ruffle pants to match….maybe instead of the casing on the bottom of the top I’ll add a matching ruffle! I’ll try to remember to link ya a picture if I end up making this! Thanks so much for taking the time to create this tutotial, I know how busy life is with a toddler!

  12. says

    I made the top and it turned out so cute! I’ll be posting the pictures on my blog on Sunday so you can check them out if you want, they will be labeled under crafts. I also tried to do a dress and it turned out awful! Mostly because it was just WAY to big for whom I made it for, but went too wide all around especially at the bottom. I’ll have to try again later, but in the mean time thanks again for the great tutorial!

  13. Terry says

    I made your cute halter top for 1 of my 2 yr old grandaughters, Autumn
    .I used the other 2 year old Alanah as my model. I loved this pattern and plan to make many more. Not sure how to send the pictures though.if you can email me i can send them that way i think.I added pockets for fun too. Thanks for sharing this with us. Terry

  14. Aimee says

    I used this pattern for a customer but I used zebra print material with hot pink trim… It was so easy and turned out so precious!! Thanks for posting the tutorial!!

  15. Cathy Peal says

    Love this top. I will be making this for
    sure – and sometimes I criss-cross the
    straps in the back just for a change on some tops – thanks for the pattern.

  16. Sarah says

    Thanks so much for the tut! I made my girls matching tanks from red bandanas and I made my bias tape using a blue bandana. I also used a hter strap with elastic at the neck. They are so cute! Thanks again!

  17. Jenny says

    I love this top. Unfortunately my daughter is 12. Any ideas on how to make it larger to fit a pre-teen/teen? Thanks

  18. Joanne says

    I just mnade this top for my grandkids. I remember my daughter when she was 2 (back in the early 80s) that she wore something like this, but it had no back and it had ties that went around the sides. I’m going to try to come up with a pattern for that.

  19. Pam Aguirre says

    I bust bought a sewing machine just shy of turning 55. I want to start with a simple project and found your site when I googled halter top patterns for kids. I have 3 granddaughters 7-8-9 and a grand son 10. Thanks for you inspiration and your beautiful model. Ill upload my halters when there done.

  20. LaShon Monroe says

    Love it this is just what I’ve been looking for. I recently won some fabric without the pattern in the package, now I can use it to make this top. THANK YOU


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