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Men's T-shirt to Gossip Girl-style Chain & Bead Halter Dress - A.K.A. La Rok's "Navajo Chain Dress"
It's been awhile since this was seen on Blair Lively on Gossip Girl , but this felt so glam I just had to recreate it. (serenalarokfrimgedress.jpg) And better yet? It's made from a men's t-shirt, cut up and sewn into a mini-dress, with just some wooden beads and chain as decoration.</p>

Posted by carlyjcais from United States • Published See carlyjcais's 60 projects »
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  • How to make a halter dress. Chain & Bead Halter Dress - Step 1
    Step 1

    Prep Your Parts:

    Cut sleeves off t-shirt, leaving no part of the sleeve seams. (tee2.jpg)

  • Step 2

    Cut along shoulder seams to separate front from back.

  • How to make a halter dress. Chain & Bead Halter Dress - Step 3
    Step 3

    Cut straight across the back from underarm to underarm and remove the upper back of the tee.

  • How to make a halter dress. Chain & Bead Halter Dress - Step 4
    Step 4

    Cut in a gentle curve across the front of the t-shirt at the top in order to get rid of the neck ribbing.

  • How to make a halter dress. Chain & Bead Halter Dress - Step 5
    Step 5

    On outside of tee, mark a line about 1" down from the front top.

  • How to make a halter dress. Chain & Bead Halter Dress - Step 6
    Step 6

    Measure 1/2" below this line, and draw another line. Finally, draw a line in the center if the two lines you drew.

  • How to make a halter dress. Chain & Bead Halter Dress - Step 7
    Step 7

    Mark short lines along the center line. (These will indicate the placement of your beads.) I placed my marks 2.5" apart - and started at the center of the shirt, placing a mark on either side, then moving along the line to each edge.

  • Step 8

    Mark two dots on either side of each short line you made in the previous step. These will be the holes for the halter-neck tie.

  • How to make a halter dress. Chain & Bead Halter Dress - Step 9
    Step 9

    Using a hole punch or an awl, punch a small hole at each dot. (Not at the bead-marking lines!!)

  • How to make a halter dress. Chain & Bead Halter Dress - Step 10
    Step 10

    Cut 2 strips 1/2" wide across the back part of the t-shirt that you cut off in Step 3). Cut another strip 3/4" wide.

  • How to make a halter dress. Chain & Bead Halter Dress - Step 11
    Step 11

    Pin the 3/4" wide strip to the wrong side of the front, centering it vertically over the holes you punched in the previous step.

  • How to make a halter dress. Chain & Bead Halter Dress - Step 12
    Step 12

    Sew
    Sew this strip to the wrong side of the front (I just followed the lines I drew on the front of the shirt). This will create a casing for the halter-tie.

  • How to make a halter dress. Chain & Bead Halter Dress - Step 13
    Step 13

    Sew the ends of the two 1/2" strips together (WRONG sides together). You will have a super-long strip of fabric - so pu-u-ull on it to stretch it out. You'll find it rolls to the WRONG side of the fabric (since it is a knit fabric).

  • How to make a halter dress. Chain & Bead Halter Dress - Step 14
    Step 14

    Thread Tie Through
    14. Wrap one end of your halter-tie in tape, and thread it into the first punched hole on one side of your tee.

  • How to make a halter dress. Chain & Bead Halter Dress - Step 15
    Step 15

    (Going in from the wrong side and coming out the right side.) Then add a bead onto the tie, and thread it into the other hole and into the casing.

  • How to make a halter dress. Chain & Bead Halter Dress - Step 16
    Step 16

    Repeat for all the holes in the front of the garment, adding on all your beads and gathering the excess fabric between.

  • Step 17

    Pull the tie all the way through and out, adjust the length of its ends, and knot ends. (Add an extra bead on each end for decoration if you like.)

  • How to make a halter dress. Chain & Bead Halter Dress - Step 18
    Step 18

    Fix the Fit
    Try on the shirt now. Tie halter-tie behind your neck, and look at the way the shirt falls on your body. You may have to nip and tuck in certain places to get it to look more "dresslike" and fitted. Pin to indicate where the fixes are needed (like at the side seams).

  • How to make a halter dress. Chain & Bead Halter Dress - Step 19
    Step 19

    Sew side seams and cut off excess fabric.

  • How to make a halter dress. Chain & Bead Halter Dress - Step 20
    Step 20

    Turn edge of dress that goes around to the back, and stitch down to create a finished edge.

  • Step 21

    Optional: unpick hem of tee to add a little more length to the dress. (Steam iron it to remove creases, but there may be some creasing that is impossible to remove.)

  • Step 22

    Optional: If you are concerned about the front coverage, you can always add a back piece that spans your back just under your arms, holding the front halter in place. (Salvaging the back piece from the leftover back of the t-shirt.)

  • Step 23

    Add Embellishments.
    Cut chain into 12" lengths (2 per bead, except for each bead on the sides of the piece, where you will only use one 12" length of chain per bead). Fold lengths in half and add a jumpring in the center.

  • How to make a halter dress. Chain & Bead Halter Dress - Step 24
    Step 24

    Add jumprings onto the halter-tie on either side of each bead, so the chains drip down the front of the dress in-between the fabric gathers.

    (Note: this dress may or may not be washable, depending on how color-fast your beads are. Check before dunking it in water - and as always, hand-wash your creations!)

  • How to make a halter dress. Chain & Bead Halter Dress - Step 25
    Step 25

    Voila! A Gossip-Girl-worthy party dress for a song.

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Comments

carlyjcais
carlyjcais · Portland, OR, United States · 61 projects

Oh nice! That's a great idea, judithchen - elastic sounds like it will really help with the fit! How did it turn out?
xoxo
Carly

Reply
judithchen
judithchen · Ilmenau, Thüringen, DE · 44 projects

hey carly, finally I made a version! modified the backside a bit. I didn't shape the dress to body, but instead, I put elastic in the backside so it automaticly 'pulls' the dress to fit :) will take pic soon and post^^ thanks so much! ;)

Reply
carlyjcais
carlyjcais · Portland, OR, United States · 61 projects

Thanks judithchen!
Good luck with your thesis:-)
xoxo
Carly

Reply
judithchen
judithchen · Ilmenau, Thüringen, DE · 44 projects

another must try, putting this in my list and plan to do it asap, when I finished my thesis <3

I'm your big fans carly! thanks so much! x3

Reply
carlyjcais
carlyjcais · Portland, OR, United States · 61 projects

Thanks guys! @Boo-its_Brittany: That sounds super-cute too! Perfect for Spring:-)
Thank you for your comments, ladies!
xoxox
Carly

Reply
Apricot
Apricot · Sacramento, CA, United States

Super cute :]]

Reply
Boo_its_Brittany
Boo_its_Brittany · CA, United States · 182 projects

This is really cute.
When looking at the thumbnail, I thought the beads were actually little rosettes.
That might be cute to do as well.
I definitely have to recreate this.
<3!

Reply
carlyjcais
carlyjcais · Portland, OR, United States · 61 projects

Thank you EVEnl!
It was pretty fun to make!
What a sweet comment:-)
xoxox
Carly

Reply
EVEnl
EVEnl · Schipluiden, Nederland · 307 projects

From a dull mens tee to a very dashing, feminine and easy to sew dress. This is great! Thank you for sharing.

Reply