I’ve long been an advocate of sewing with Tried ‘n True Patterns. Primarily because once you’ve got the fit down, it’s easy to make design changes to your pattern. It allows you to experiment with different types of fabric and embellishments too. A TNT pattern also lets you use the pattern pieces you know fit with a new fresh out of the envelope pattern…making pattern alterations easier to do.
I know many sewists believe that once they’ve used a pattern two or three times that it’s a TNT. And I guess in some circles it is. However, I believe that you need to use a pattern 5 or 6 times, for several different seasons and in a variety of fabric types before you actually know how that pattern is going to behave in most situations. I say most because every now and then a fabric will throw you a challenge and the pattern’s TNT status goes right out the window!
I like to encourage sewists to develop a TNT pattern for the basic garment types you wear. So a dress, top, jacket, skirt and pants pattern would be optimum. A well fitted TNT pattern for any garment type in my opinion is not achieved overnight. Personally I’ve been working with my main dress pattern for at least 15 years and as I gain and lose weight, I make adjustments to the pattern. Even when styles/trends change, a change is made to my TNT patterns to reflect that.
Even as I wear the finished garment and deal with its “wearability factor”, I can be mentally editing my pattern for the next use. Which is another important point, you need to be creatively challenged to see this pattern in a lot of different views to use it again. I know when a pattern can be taken to TNT status by how many versions I can “see” when I’m cutting it out, sewing it up and even wearing it out and about.
So why would you want to use a pattern over and over again? Especially since there are so many patterns out there made by a variety of companies, both independent and the Big 4? Well why not? There are only so many garment silhouettes and all patterns are just a variation on a theme. So if you’ve taken the time to get a pattern to fit you, why not use it again? Why not cut it up? Why not use it to emulate a look you saw in a catalog? A movie? On a website? Why not use a border print fabric to transform it? Or take a woven fabric, change your TNT pattern up and use it as a knit fabric? See the possibilities are endless.
A TNT pattern allows you to move past fitting and wearability challenges and move onto the creative side of sewing. It allows you to experiment with embellishments, different fabric types, fabric manipulations…all of the things that drew you to sewing. I mean after you got well fitted clothing!
Why don’t you join me on this TNT journey? I’ve been traveling this road for 15 years now and have experienced amazing creative freedom. Made some garments in designs that plus size sistahs weren’t featured in…took flights of fancy by allowing the fabric to speak to me…and basically stepped out of the box that RTW designers put plus size women in.
I can make whatever I want, in whatever color I like, using the latest details and styles that are currently trending! That’s why I use TNT patterns. So why won’t you join this journey and experience creative freedom too!