How to Make a 1960's Halter Dress

Written by meredith burgio
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How to Make a 1960's Halter Dress
Create your own 1960s-inspired halter dress for formal or casual events. (sexy tattoo girl image by MAXFX from

A halter dress is a style that ties around the neck with a straight or V-neck front. For a 1960s-inspired halter, you will want to choose patterns and colours that were popular during that decade. Think fun floral patterns. Hemlines were either above the knee in classic go-go girl mode or dragging on the ground in the hippie "flower power" style of the time. Consider sewing your own drawstring halter dress to ensure that it not only fits your body well, but also suits the occasion you plan to wear it for.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Fabric
  • Pattern
  • Sewing machine
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • 7-inch zipper
  • Iron
  • Glue stick

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  1. 1

    Take your body measurements and write them down.

  2. 2

    Select your fabric. In addition to what you need for the dress, you will need enough fabric, about 2 inches wide, to make the drawstring that will go around your neck. You can make a drawstring out of ribbon if you prefer.

  3. 3

    Print the pattern for the dress from the Resources section. Copy it in your size to make a pattern in this style for your dress. If you don't have a printer, you can pull up the photo on your computer to reference.

  4. 4

    Lay your fabric over the pattern and pin it in place. Don't forget to save the piece of fabric for the drawstring.

  5. 5

    Cut out the pattern.

  6. 6

    Sew darts in the front piece of your pattern.

  7. 7

    Fold the fabric at the shoulder in about 1/-4 inch for the seam and sew. You may want to snip the fabric a little so it will lie smooth.

  8. 8

    Turn the fabric inside out. Fold the fabric on the sides over 1/4 inch for the side seam and pin in place. Place the zipper 1/4-inch from the top of your fabric. Mark on your fabric at the bottom of the zipper teeth end.

  9. 9

    Sew the sides together and prepare to sew on your zipper. Start sewing at the bottom of the dress and sew up to the zipper with a straight stitch. Sew back down a few inches and then back up. This is the bottom of your zipper and will undergo a lot of wear and tear. Continue sewing all the way up with a basting stitch, that is, a long stitch that keeps your fabric together. You will tear it out later.

  10. 10

    Iron the seam flat. Glue the right side of the zipper. Do not get glue on the teeth. Place the zipper glue side down on the seam you just ironed. Line the teeth of the zipper on the seam line. When it is place like you want it, iron the zipper.

  11. 11

    Position the zipper foot on your sewing machine to the outside position. Sew horizontally across the bottom of the zipper from the left corner to the right corner. Do not lift up your needle, but instead lift your foot off the pedal, which will release the fabric so you can turn it. Sew up the side of the zipper. Try to centre your needle on the zipper fabric. Keep the needle in the fabric and pull the zipper open past the zipper foot. The zipper makes this area of the fabric very bulky, which makes it difficult to sew there. Continue sewing to the top of the fabric. Move the zipper foot to the right of the needle. Place the needle back where you started on the bottom of the zipper and sew up the other side. Rip out the basting stitch with scissors. If you run off of the zipper fabric you will have to rip out the stitches and start over.

  12. 12

    Fold the 1/4 inch of fabric above the zipper over and sew. Do not sew across the top of the zipper.

  13. 13

    Fold the piece of fabric that you saved for the drawstring in half. If this is too wide, trim it with your scissors until you get the desired look. Sew around the edges of your drawstring with a straight stitch.

  14. 14

    Fold the neckline down making sure to allow enough space for the drawstring to slide through. Sew the neckline.

  15. 15

    Slip the ribbon or piece of fabric through the neckline.

  16. 16

    Fold the bottom of the dress over 1/4 inch and sew the hem.

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