Saturday, April 05, 2008

12 on a Desert Island

Yesterday Lisa of Sew Random wrote this really kewl and fun post with these specifics:
  • "You have to move for one year to a very small space that does not have access to retail or internet pattern sources. You have only room to take 12 TNT patterns with you. So, what patterns would you take to meet any wardrobe needs in the next year?"
Okay this is right up my alley! I use TNT's all the time. Most of my wardrobe is just a series of TNT patterns rearranged and made over and over again. So I happily sat down last night to write out my list and to my surprise I only have 10 TNTs that I would take with me! Egads! You mean I have so little sewing imagination that I use the same 10 patterns repeatedly! Excuse me but that is truly a heavy revy!!!!

So here are the TEN patterns I would take with me!

This is a workhorse in my wardrobe. I have been making this little tank top for the last 4 or 5 years and have made it out of every fabrication possible, linen, silk, wool w/lycra blend, cotton. It works so well with my corporate wardrobe and makes up quickly now that I've gotten the pattern fitted. A couple of weeks ago, I even made it out of a knit and added a bowtie to it...yeah, this one is definitely coming with me!

I have worked with this pattern in several sizes and have transferred it to pattern paper after pattern paper when I've worn it out. I have altered my pattern from a smaller size to a larger size. I have sliced and diced it and used it so many times that I don't even remember which pattern it originally came from! I have made it in every fabric there yes this would be in the shoebox of patterns that I would take with me.

Take every sentence I wrote above and change the word skirt to the word pants! I even have this pattern in several pant leg widths. So this one would go too.

I actually know where this pattern originated from - Butterick 5932. However, my pattern looks nothing like the original! A have imagined this dress into everything...a Chanel knock-off, a jumper, a dress with a pleat down the front and who knows what the future holds for it! Definitely coming along!

This pattern has only recently been added to my TNT list. It is a notch collar jacket that makes up easily and has seen three renditions in my wardrobe...well one is in the post production stages...but if I needed a great little jacket for any event, this would be the one!

This skirt pattern started life as a one piece, floor length, bias cut skirt which I made at least 10 versions of before I cut it apart. After it was cut apart, I shortened it, changed the grain line not once but twice and generally ended up with a pattern that works for all occasions. It was an important piece in my Jackie Kennedy knock-off suit as well as used for my DD's Easter skirt. Definitely sticking this one in the shoebox!

When Simplicity issued this pattern and then Sew Stylish dedicated a magazine issue to its usage, I was intrigued and in entire issue about taking a pattern and making it your own! You know I had to make some garments from it! After much wrestling and pattern alterations, I have managed to make it a TNT pattern. This pattern offers so much and I haven't begun to explore all the variations yet, so this one would most assuredly make the trip!

I love twinsets and I suffered through the fitting and sewing of several big 4 patterns before I stumbled onto this one. I loved it so much that I bought two copies of it so that I would never have to worry about having it. This has been lengthened to dress length and fingertip length. I have shortened it and made from thin, thick, ribbed and rayon knits. It is a workhorse and a vital part of my wardrobe...into the shoebox it goes!

Its funny that shirt dresses are so hot this spring because this classic style has been in my TNT collection for at least 5 or 6 years. The first time I made it from a lt periwinkle blue linen, I knew I had a winner. It has subtle waist shaping, and an easy to apply collar and collar stand. The original pattern came with short sleeves but my best rendition of the pattern has long sleeves. Its been made in several fabrications and my next version will be an embroidered eyelet sleeveless version for spring. This pattern is seasonless and a classic. It would definitely go with me!

10. Vogue 2285 Jacket
Another hard-working jacket that has been altered from the original pattern! I have used it in several skirt suit outfits, it was the basis for my Easter suit jacket and it's original inception was as an eyelet jacket for spring. This pattern is another great jumping off point...I can use it and end up anywhere!

So Lisa has asked others, "What would they take?" And now I'm asking? What TNT patterns would you take, if you could only take 12? Also, do you use TNT patterns or are you a one-time only user? Think about it and let us (me and Lisa) know!!!

***Special Note***

I am pulling the names for the free Threads magazines tomorrow instead of today! So if you thought it was too late to enter the free giveaway its not! Leave a note tonight 'cause I'm definitely pulling the winner(s) tomorrow!!!!

Til tomorrow!!!


  1. I wish I had 12 tnt patterns. I have maybe 3 that I would make again and again. But, I only have versions of my Hot Patterns Razer pant which I have narrowed and widened the legs. Changed the waist and the zipper. I change my Sandra Betzina t shirt and I make an HP Sunshine top a lot. But it is not really as versatile as the patterns you call tnt. Something to aspire to.

  2. Well, I'm with Nancy K on this one... I have one TNT pattern that I remember, a BWOF wide trousers pattern and I use it to adjust any other pant patterns I'm using. I think I'd pick basic styles that could easily be customized, just like the patterns you listed.

  3. oh,, great post, Carolyn, I don't have as much tnt patterns yet, but I will remember this for a later,, much later blog post

  4. Since you love to sew with knits, do it often, and do it well, how about a post with the top 10 tips for doing so? Can you guess what my next project might be? :)

  5. I knew that the Queen of TNT would have a great list! LOL! You are my inspiration... Thanks for playing along!

  6. How wonderful Carolyn - you can't have too many TNT's!


  7. I like your TNTs. I'm having a hard time coming up with mine.

  8. I've said it before and I'll say it again -- NOBODY works a TNT pattern the way you do! NOBODY!

    I don't have many TNTs. I rarely make the same pattern twice.

  9. I'm more of a "make them once and leave them" sort of person. *Patterns* that is! I get bored easily and it is been there, done that too soon for me. That said, if I actually do make something twice - I really, really like it.

  10. Every time I try a new pattern, my dearly beloved rolls his eyes, because he knows it's going to end up taken apart and redone 6 ways from Sunday. I have about 4 top patterns, 2 skirt patterns and one princess seamed dress patterns. I do like to try variations, but always end up back with my TNTs (which I didn't even know was a classification before I started reading your blog!).

  11. Carolyn,
    You should publish a book with your variations on the TNT. You really know how to use them as classics. I have a few, mostly old Palmer Pletsch ones from the 80's. They had put out a bunch of classics then that were easy to alter and fit. Sometimes I just use them as a template to lay over a new pattern for sizing. A really easy well fitting pant I use is an OOP Burda 2998. It's a side zip, faced waist,slight flare leg pant. It calls for a stretch woven fabric. It makes up so easy because of the plain top. For dresses I use another OOP. It's a Vogue elements dress 9508. It's a shift style, zipper, but it has a nice shapely fit even though it's a pullover. I usually go to these when I need something overnight. Sometimes I do my best sewing like that.

  12. Well this was right up your alley wasn't it? What a great selection of TNT! I admire that about you.
    If you read my latest post, you will see that I am out there buying patterns again.

    However, I am making another Burda skirt from the Burda pattern used in March. I believe though that this skirt would be one that can only last for a year or more.

    But the cardigan and tank top from KS may become a TNT.

  13. That was fun to go through. I love that Chanel knock off dress. The color, the style and you look fabulous in it.

    I'm too new for any TNT patterns, but maybe someday.

  14. Your "desert Island" must look a lot like a cityscape. LOL. You inspired the twist for this years Timmel Swap, and until now, I have to say that I've never gotten so much out of any one pattern. Like Summerset, I'm more of a pattern trollop I guess -never been very faithful to one.

  15. WOW.. You know I am addicted to patterns -- so I don't know if I could pick 10! LOL I will have to sit down and check this one out!

  16. Like most profound ideas, this seems simple and obvious when you say it. I will be working on TNT patterns for the next season. Thank you.

  17. I'm so appreciate of your blog. Thank you for putting it out there so we can see : ) What is the Threads Magazine giveaway?


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