The halter top may not be the smallest bikini top, but in my opinion is aesthetically superior to other styles of top. It visually enhances the size and shape of the bust. It can provide not just support but also lift and centering for the bust. It can be used with or without a preformed cup. Generally speaking, I do not recommend using gathering instead of a dart for cup sizes over 10C unless you are also using a preformed cup. Without the preformed cup the bust drops into the gathered area.
The photo below illustrates the pattern we’re going to make. The halter top below does not have a preformed cup and is adequately supporting a 10DD bust. Our pattern will start out for a size 10B/C and then show the extra steps to make it suitable for a size 10D/DD. Before you start each step, look carefully at the illustration for that step as it will help guide you through the instructions. At the end of each step your draft should match the illustration. If it doesn’t go back to the start of that step and work your way through again.
Place the triangle bikini top over the bust point of your traced one piece block. Draft in a strap centered on a vertical line extending from the bust point to 6cm beyond the shoulder.
Draft in the neckline. This line should be a smooth, gradual curve from the tip of the strap to the maximum convex on the triangle. Don’t be tempted to start your curve half way along the strap or you may need to shorten the strap a little more making the garment firmer and both less likely to stay in place and also limiting the fitting range within each size. Extend the base line of the triangle about 7cm to the side. This arbitrary amount will determine how much the halter will wrap the body.
Draft in the outer line of the halter. This line should again be a smooth, gradual curve from the tip of the strap to the tip of the extended line. The curve should be about 1-1.5cm inside the armhole to prevent it gathering under the arm. You could stop at this point, add seam allowance and you’d have a halter suitable for a size 10B/C.
As we’re creating a halter top for a 10D-DD cup we need to take a couple more steps. Create two guide lines, each extending from the bust point out to the maximum convex of the triangle or thereabouts.
Trace and separate the panels. Extend the center strap guide 1cm below the bust point and then 1cm to the left and 1cm to the right. Place the panels as illustrated.
Recurve the halter. Note that the bust point has not been moved, but you do still need to pull the dart back 1cm and extend the bottom of the dart a fraction to maintain the right angles either side of the dart seam.
Retrace the panel. Be sure to clearly label your pattern with a title, panel name, size, cutting instructions, author’s name, date and revision number. Finaly, 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, 2mm off cut) and 10mm for fold over elastics. The lower edge is designed to use bound elastic and as such does not require seam allowance.