Simplicity 1019: Better Than Basic Tee

By | December 5, 2016
I promise you -- the camera is crooked, not the art. Because I can't live in that kind of madness.

I promise you — the camera is crooked, not the art. Because I can’t live in that kind of madness.

How many times do you buy a pattern for one specific piece, only to find yourself making something completely different? It happens to me all the time. I bought this pattern for the leggings, which I haven’t made, and ended up stitching up this cute little tee, which I hardly glanced at when I bought the pattern.

This is a Mimi G pattern from Simplicity. Due to the limited amount of fabric I had (I had a scrap piece of knit and was determined to make something with it!), I shortened the length and the sleeves and took this from a potential statement garment to a simple tee. I’m so pleased with this not-so-basic basic!


Here’s why:

  • There are bust darts drafted in for a non-boxy fit
  • The side slits let you easily make this into a longer tunic
  • The button panels along the shoulders are actually functional

I seriously thought they were faux panels or epaulettes. Turns out, this is a working button and buttonhole. (And, if you have a large head, you might need it — the neck is rather tight.

I fought the process. I wanted a quick and easy make, and I didn’t care about whether the buttons were functional. The instructions have you make a facing to finish the neckline, and I didn’t want to fuss with a facing on a t-shirt. After trying to find a shortcut and eventually just following the instructions anyway, I think that’s the way to go. The functional buttonholes are a nice detail, and the facing isn’t an issue (unless you’re working with a tissue knit or sheer knit). I was trying to be a fabric cheapskate, but I had just enough to create the facings.

Close up on the functional not-actually-epaulettes!

Close up on the functional not-actually-epaulettes!

I will note that if you don’t like a high neckline, this might not be the pattern for you. I don’t mind it, but I can imagine some people would be driven crazy.

Another note — this pattern is great for fabric leftovers. I was able to squeeze this out in tunic length with short sleeves in less than a full yard! Making wearable pieces from scraps is SO satisfying!


I think the hardest part of making this was picking out the buttons. There are a lot of cheesy, tacky, dorky buttons lying in wait in your average Joann Fabrics. I don’t think these would be my first pick if I had more to choose from, but my husband talked me out of the fake crest-ish buttons I was leaning towards. (And I thank him for it.) If you’re got some cool 1/2″ buttons laying around, that’s just another reason to try this tee.

While I’m clearly not super-inspired by this project, it’s another solid basic that I’ve already gotten some good weekend-wear out of. Score, I guess?

Slightly out of focus, but you can see the slit and bust darts.

Slightly out of focus, but you can see the slit and bust darts.

Welcome to the closet, my Scrap Busting Slightly Fancy Tee!

3 thoughts on “Simplicity 1019: Better Than Basic Tee

  1. Donna F

    You look great in the tee even though you might not have liked working on it. Some day I will try sewing a Tee instead of bags and quilts.
    Happy Creating.

  2. Carmen

    I love it. You’ve talked me into it. I need to have this pattern now. Plus, I’ve been on a total knit kick this past month. Great job!

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