Sunday, August 23, 2009

TNT Anyone?

I've been thinking a lot about TNT patterns, or Tried and True patterns. I have a tendency to reuse patterns a great deal. I know other sewists do this too, like Carolyn. I don't think I'd enjoy sewing as much as I do if I didn't have TNT patterns. They are like old friends. You may not call on them regularly, but when you need them, you know they'll be there for you. However, lately I've been depending on them a whole lot. I don't see anything wrong with it either. How many of us wear the same clothes over and over again because it just fits right? Like it was made specifically for you and sewn in the most wonderful fabrics. That's what a TNT pattern can do for you every time you visit the sewing machine, if you want.

New patterns are like meeting new people. You may hit it off right away, but then again, you may not like each other at all. Your personalities can work together if you don't spend much time together, but they won't be there for you when you really need a friend. New patterns have to be altered, for me more than once. It takes a lot of work to get a pattern to the TNT phase and many patterns, actually most patterns, just don't make it to this stage.

Lately, I've been getting a lot of mileage from Burda Plus WOF Spring 08 #418.


This pattern was one that took some hard work on my part to get it to the TNT stage. The one thing it had going for it was that it was a plus half size pattern. Patterns made for short AND fat people are far and few between. The original pattern looked nothing like the blouse I've been using it for.



Of course I made a muslin for it. As you can see, it had some problems. First of all, who thought it was a good idea to put this very high neck on a short fat women? Most of us don't have the long elegant neck of the tall model in their fashion photo. Some of us don't even have a neck. I cut the neckline down so that I could add a collar if I wanted to. As you can see in the composite picture, I made one blouse with a rounded convertible collar and one blouse with a collar and collar stand with the classic button band. Other changes I've made to this pattern was to round the bottom center front for a nice look since I don't tuck in my blouses. I've also changed up the sleeves. Only the top right and lower left blouses have the same sleeve. For the red blouse and the white blouse I used the same puffed sleeve and folded out the puff and added length.

There are still so many ways I can change up this pattern. The only down side to this pattern is that it has so many seams. The back has a center back seam and two princess seams for a total of 6 seams. The front and back princess seams work great for fitting purposes, but these seams also break up the print on any large motif fabric I may want to use. For that reason, I'm still searching for the perfect darted blouse pattern.

I highly recommend that you consider working on getting some TNT patterns. It doesn't have to look like you're sewing with the same pattern over and over again. People will think you're brilliant at fitting, which of course, you are. Making design changes aren't as hard as they look. You might want to pick up a few books on pattern drafting or take a class or two. It's really a lot of fun and look how your wardrobe can grow!

12 comments:

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  2. Thank you Sherril. You have wrote exactly what I needed to read today. Thank you for encouraging us all to keep working on those TNT's.

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  3. I like your comments regarding TNT patterns being like good friends. You have definitely perfected this pattern.

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  4. I definitely need to extend my TNT patterns. Someday, someone is going to notice all my knit tops are very similar...

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  5. You've done some great things with that pattern! It's one I never even considered and now I'll take another look. Since it's a petite pattern, I'd have to make some major length changes, but I usually add 1 inch to the length anyway. Thanks for reintroducing me to this pattern!

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  6. Wow, I love the composite. I made a princess seamed shirt that fit pretty well and this will help me with ideas on how I can make it into a TNT and change it up a bit. Thanks.

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  7. I also love TNTs. All of your blouses look totally different from one another.

    TNTs are what Shirley Adams teaches with her jacket and top patterns. It's fun to take a pattern that you know fits, and redesign it. Add design lines, ruffles, whatever.

    Honestly, you never know how a new pattern will look on you or fit you until you make it. It's always a crap shoot.

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  8. You have really gotten a lot of mileage out of that pattern! But they don't all look the same at all, each one is a nice variation.

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  9. I am such a tops person! All of yours look great and there is nothing like a TNT pattern.

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  10. You have worked magic with this pattern and completed great tops/blouses. Hurrah for TNTs and all the hard work that goes into making them TNTs!

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  11. Sherril, you have inspired me to work on some basic patterns and make some TNTs of my own. I really admire how skillful you are at getting your clothes to fit you so well. I love how you can make garments that look so different, yet have complete confidence that they'll fit perfectly.

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  12. What a great way to describe TNT patterns!

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