Simplicity 3790 – Jersey and Upcycled Dress = New Shirt for Me!


Remember that little post awhile back with the cutting out of several patterns but not actually making a whole lot? Well, today that came in handy because I wanted to make a shirt with one of the several patterns I bought awhile back and incorporate this dress I got at the swap because I liked the pattern, and the pieces were all ready to go! I used Simplicity 3790 (knit tops), combining view E and F cause I like to do my own thing.


Pre-cut pattern pieces when you want to make something RIGHT win.

As you can see, that’s some dark blue (darker than it looks in this picture by a little) jersey I got on sale. The dress I wanted to use is a lot more exciting.


Yay for recycling things! It's pilling in a few places, but the blue just happened to be the same as my jersey color...I thought it would be much more fun with a little print.

I actually like the shape of the top on this dress- and until I tried it on today didn’t realize it fits me almost perfectly. I think I may cut it apart to use the neckline as a template. Or do something else with it. Who knows. I wanted to make a shirt out of this print entirely (or at least the bulk of it), but there just wasn’t enough fabric in the skirt.

Main body pieces are all cut. And hey, my new sewing basket looks cute!

But then I had a little dilemma. This is one of those multi-fashion patterns and I decided I didn’t like the neckline on the tshirt I was making.


I set out to make view E, but upon further looking decided I wanted to make E (because it's winter and making a tank top seemed silly) but with the neckline from view F.

After concurrence from my biffle I decided how much harder could it really be? Despite the fact that I’ve never really used (ok, completed) something from a pattern before. Luckily this change wasn’t too bad!

Cutting neckline from F on the printed dress.

Sometimes I do silly things like make a decision before making sure it’s feasible. Like when I want to make brownies and have everything poured before I realize I don’t have any eggs. Well, this was kind of like that, because the pattern said I needed fusible interfacing for the F neck. Luckily, I had some random interfacing in a bag of stuff. It wasn’t fusible, but I ironed the pieces together and pinned them and it was good enough. Phew!

Pinned and ready to sew!

It starts out fabric right sides facing and interface on top. After you sew one side, you flip the little interface and fabric sandwhich so that interface is on the inside. Iron the seams so it lays smoothly.

Fancy necklace! You will want to baste the unsewn side before attaching it to the neck of the body.

Make sure when you baste this that you have things lined up so that it lies flat. I had to rip my baste stitch out and do it again because something wasn’t laying correctly and it looked wrinkly. Not good.

Before I could attach this to the body piece, I had to learn something new- gathers. I’ve never done a gather in my life. Here goes nothing! Good thing I have this tomb of sewing knowledge on hand-

Good call on this Christmas present, biffle. Good call.

It's actually surprisingly easy. First, you sew two lines. One inside your seam area, and the other on where your seam will go (roughly).


Then, you pull on the bottom thread (what comes out of your bobbin) of each line and it causes it to bunch up. Then you just spread them out so they look even. Tada!

So making gathers was WAY easier than I anticipated. Cool. Learned something new today!

Once the gathers and interfacing are finished, you line up and pin the neck panel and body panel together with right sides facing each other.

And end up with some that looks about like this.

Stitch them together. I had to go over mine a second time because part of my gather seam was peeping out a tiny bit. Then, you sew the front and back panel pieces together at the shoulders- I didn’t take a picture. I used a zigzag stitch on this part since it’s hidden and I wanted it to be stronger.

After front and back are together, iron a seam at the neck so you can hem it and not have an ugly raw edge. Then sew it neatly! Mine probably could have been straighter.

Next the body sides come together. I used a zigzag stitch on this one too.

I did two, one where I wanted it and then one closer to the edge. I don't have a serger so this will have to do.

Right about here is where I started feeling impatient and like this should be ready to wear by now. This what it looks like without sleeves.

This is about where I hit a snag. As I mentioned, it’s winter and I wanted this thing to have sleeves. Unfortunately, although everything else at this size of the pattern worked just fine (in fact was maybe a little big in some areas), I apparently have gigantic arms. Because when I started to work with the sleeves, it looked like this:

Well, maybe you can't see it, but the fabric is not connecting with the back side. In other words, if I sewed this shut and then attached it as directed, my arm had about 0 chance of fitting through without hulking my print fabric!

This had me a little stumped. I decided I had enough of hunching over my table all day and I would come back to it the next day. I came up with a different solution that I think worked out ok. Although I would have liked my sleeves to look like the picture. Oh well.

That weird bell piece is the sleeve. I decided to cut the long strip at the bottom (since that part did fit around my arm right), hem it, and just make it into more of an accent than an actual sleeve.

I hemmed them and they were about 2 inches wide. Then I sewed them into a closed circle, pinned them to the armhole (which required some adjustment I'll get to in a minute).

The armhole was still a bit bigger than the sort-of-sleeve I had created. I ended up turning this inside out again and taking a bit more off the sides. That got rid of some of the excess, but I still had a little gap- I sort of gathered it in the armpit where hopefully no one will notice!

Neckline and everything all finished.

The back of the neck gapes a little bit- almost like it needs a dart or something? It’s not as bad when the shoulders are sitting where they’re supposed to.

Back- sorry, this was camera auto-pilot since hubs was not around to take one for me.

My newest wardrobe addition!

Ok I won’t lie. It’s not 100% finished- I still have to hem the bottom (you can’t see them, but it’s pinned up in this pic). I just HATE hate hate hemming things because it never goes smoothly for me.

Something I noticed on the very few examples of real people who made this out there in the blog universe, was that it sort of pulls in the sideboob/armpit area. I guess we’ll find out if that drives me crazy or not later. I think I might try to make my sister something with the same fabrics- she’s smaller so I should have enough- maybe a summer top with the plain blue and printed blue braided together for straps. Anyways, it’s not perfect but it’s not too shabby for my first pattern attempt.



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