The Halter Neck One Piece

If You've Got It, Flaunt It!

The term halter neck refers to any swimsuit that wraps or ties behind the neck, rather than one that has shoulder straps. Technically even a string bikini is a halter neck, yet we'd never describe one that way. Halter necks are certainly flattering for a larger bust but not so flattering for a larger tummy.

Plunging Halter Neck One Piece, designed by myself back in 2003. Photo by Chris Huzzard

The photo above illustrates the pattern we're going to make. This pattern is based on the Women’s One Piece Block we created previously (using 12% horizontal negative ease and 0% vertical ease). Before you start each step, take a good look at the illustration to help you follow the drafting process. At the end of each step your draft should match the illustration.

Step One

Draft in a guide line vertically upward from the bust point. Extend it about 6 cm beyond the shoulder (to go around to centre back neck). 7cm would be normal for this fabric but due the long thin nature of the garment I'd suggest shortening it just a fraction, you may even need to shorten it more later. Draw a guides the width of your proposed strap evenly about the first guide.

Step Two

Sketch in a long smooth neck line. Start the curve all the way from the top of the strap and end it in a V about 5-8cm below the centre front bust line. Yes this is a fold on a Vee-neck. Draft in a horizontal guide 4cm inward from the bottom of the dart, square up and down a little. This represents a big chunk of pattern you are about to take out of the block. The reason is that we're just about to cut below the bust line. I've also emphasized in red where the original side seams were before they were curved off. Mark this in as a guide line.

Step Three

Slide the back panel over the front until they touch at the original waist as indicated by the guides. This point is the rotation point.

Step Four

Rotate the back panel around the rotation point until the back side seam lines up with the guide as illustrated.

Step Five

Draft in the back line to a point a little lower than the centre front Vee. Stay at least 4cm above the waist or you may start to get ripples in the garment. The curve can be wherever you like, but I find it sits best when it passes through the bottom of the old dart. The side seam highlighted in red will become the new back panel side seam.

Step Six

Separate the front and back panels.

Step Seven

Remove unnecessary guidelines. If necessary retrace the front and back panels. Add seam allowance to the pattern based on how you intend to assemble it. I've shown this pattern with 10mm allowance for overlocked seams (8mm to blade plus 2mm off cut) and 10mm allowance for folding over 9mm elastic. If you were to use a binder attachment to apply the elastic and casing fabric to the edge, then you wouldn’t need any seam allowance on those particular seams. Finally, be sure to clearly label your pattern pieces with a title, panel name, garment size, cutting instructions, author’s name, date and revision number.

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