Thursday, April 05, 2012

12 on a Desert Island Revisited

Exactly four years ago today I wrote a post called 12 on a Desert Island...which was about the 12 (and in my case 10) patterns I would take with me if I had no access to stores or internet sources to use to sew.  The ten patterns I chose were in heavy rotation, at that time.  Four years later the list needs to be updated.  And let me quantify something...I called the post 12 on a desert island but Lisa said that you were moving somewhere without access, not necessarily a desert island. I guess my inner drama queen came out when I titled the post! *LOL* 

My new list of patterns are:
The first pattern I would bring would be my TNT dress pattern.  Four years ago, I had just begun to really experiment with cutting up my pattern, to push it's boundaries.  Now I feel like I'm rambling around in a space where the only walls are the ones I put up.  This pattern can be anything I envision it to it would definitely go with me.

The second pattern would be my pants pattern.  It could be jammies, jeans, work pants, dress pants, etc because I've got it in three different leg width sizes.  So whatever I needed it to be, it could's definitely going.

My TNT straight skirt pattern and the flared skirt pattern would be the next two to go.  Again both of these work for any situation...denim skirt to ball gown skirt...I would be prepared...

latest version of the straight skirt

Summer skirt version of the flare skirt

The Burda Cardigan would be next.  Need a sweater to throw over my pants, skirt or dress...need a sweater coat...need a jacket for whatever...this pattern would's multi-purpose.  I don't know how this pattern didn't make the list the first time because I definitely wouldn't leave it behind now.

New to the list would be V1250.  I've made this dress five times and I'll probably make it a few more times this summer.  It's been maximized, made in several different knit fabrications and I want to add sleeves to it. It can be a top or a dress. It's another dress that can work in any situation...wearing it with flip flops, some tennies, heels or a great pair of evening sandals.  This pattern definitely comes with me.

The Sewing Workshop Mission Top stays on the list.  I know I haven't made any recently but that's because there are still quite a few versions hard at work in my wardrobe.  I would take it with me for future makes because it could be a top in a knit or a woven or a pajama top to go with my jammies. I still have an unrealized version of it as a dress with a tie neckline. This pattern has legs and it deserves to go.

In 2008, there were two jacket patterns on my list...and even though I now wear jackets infrequently, I would no longer take these patterns.  But who knows what occasions might arise when I would need one?  In that case, I would take, Simplicity 2958.  I love the raglan sleeves.  I love how it fits me and works in my wardrobe...and again this is a pattern that could be made in any fabrication for any situation that could arise. Definitely comes along.

So that's 8 patterns...2 less than 4 years ago!  What does that say about me? Especially since I've purchased so many patterns during that 4 year span and made quite a few of them!  I'm sure that if I was in a rush, I would probably grab several more...just to have, just in case!  But if these were the only 8 patterns I was left with...I could make it work.  I could make an interesting well-rounded wardrobe.  So what about you?  What would you take?  Would you even be able to decide?  Do you even have TNT patterns?  Talk back to me because this is the Question of the Day! always, more later! 



  1. Those are definitely some great pattern choices! I like this post and I think I am going to borrow your idea! I am going to have to think about which ones I would take with me though.

  2. Nice pattern wardrobe! I haven't been sewing nearly as long as you have, so I haven't experimented as much and I am still toying with things and searching for a good set of TNT patterns, but if I had to pick my top patterns right now they would be:

    (1) Kwik Sew 2601 - Leotard pattern and my one true TNT. I have used this pattern well over 30 times to make skating costumes, and as long as I can include my self-drafted skirt pattern pieces here, this must come with.

    (2) Vogue 1051 - The best fitting pants pattern I have found so far. If I had to I am sure I could use this for a jeans pattern too, and it wouldn't be hard to do pocket alterations.

    (3) BurdaStyle 06-2011-114 - Elastic waisted pants - my favorite pattern for PJs, but can also look relaxed and stylish in a nicer fabrication.

    (4) Burda World of Fashion 09-2006 - Can I just bring the whole magazine? I love every single coat and jacket in this issue, not to mention the pants, shirts, dresses, and skirts. Really, I think I could take this one magazine and be set for just about anything that wasn't a formal ball. (If I had to pick, I would choose styles #101, 103, and 126 which are all coats that I haven't made yet, but searching for these are the reason I now spend too much time and money on Ebay).

    (5) BurdaStyle Magazine 03-2012-108 - Twist top dress. This style is great - it can be fancy or casual depending on skirt length and fabric. Great to dress up or down.

    (6) BurdaStyle 07-2011-131 - The perfect sheath dress. Need I say anything more?

    (7) BurdaStyle 07-2011-103 - V-neck top. Can look very classy or be used as a PJ top. Very versatile pattern.

    (8) Simplicity 3536 - top pattern with many style variations.

    (9) Simplicity 2451 - skirt pattern with pockets and style options.

    (10) BurdaStyle 02-2011-126 - ultimate classic tailored blazer style jacket. I could see myself altering this to make it less classic, but I think it would be good to have one really traditional pattern hanging about.

    Since I picked 3 coats from the September '06 issue I will leave it off there - that would be 12 total. Honestly though, if I could only grab 12 items they would probably all be Burda (or maybe some My Image or Patrones) magazines since they all have so many patterns included. My top magazine picks that I own:

    BWOF 09-2006
    BWOF 07-2011
    BWOF 10-2011
    BWOF 11-2006
    BWOF 11-2011
    BWOF 12-2011
    BWOF 04-2011
    BWOF 01-2007

    Of course, I have many other issues that I love, but I think with just those 8 Burdas I could probably make nearly anything I could want or need... Except for my skating costumes.

  3. I will talk back because you asked. I haven't been back to sewing long enough to have a TNT but I am trying. Mainly because of you, you have clearly demonstrated the benefits of using TNT`s.

  4. I just love how you take a TNT and can change it up and totally have a new look.

    I have a TNT pants pattern from Bernina My Label that I have made into pants, shorts and capris.

    I am currently working on what I hope will be my TNT shirt pattern from Sure Fit Designs. I also have a skirt pattern from them also but haven't made more than 1 skirt with that pattern.

  5. I do have TNTs and, it's ALL because of you!!! As I've said before, yours is the first sewing blog I found, and you were talking about TNTs and UFOs and I had to learn this strange language sister girl. So after 5 years, now I too have TNTs, not many UFOs, ands of course the occasional dreaded WADDER. I would; however, have real trouble choosing 10 to from my hoard to take to the island. Guess I just wouldn't be able to go, huh?

  6. I love how you use your TNT and morph it into your vision. During my working life I didn't have the time to fuss around changing a pattern to look like something I saw and wanted to emulate. I also wore only slacks as I walked every lunch time, rain, shine, wind, and snow. I have a
    Burda pants pattern 6395(ancient) that I have used countless times. There is a Bali Butik, 102 Kusamba tunic pattern that is a straight forward top, set in sleeves, and button front that I could be many things, e.g. colour blocked, sweater, blouse, tunic, perhaps a coat. I have not made this yet but V 7975 looks like a good princess seam jacket that could be versitile. I love V 1250 and will make this a few more times, now that dresses can figure in my life. I've just taken a pants fitting class and we used McCall 3740 Palmer and Pletsch pattern that is now my pants TNT. AND a girl has to have a hat so V8405 is going with me; from short brimmed and sporty to large brimmed and floppy it will do it all. Just to add that I am breathlessly awaiting my Hot Patterns Plain and Simple Essential Shift dress and top pattern to arrive; I love that top and in the video, Trudy uses it in so many ways.

  7. This is a fun exercise! I would have to put my TNT-tee M9185 on the list, the M5137 kimono dress, and the pants from V8718. Most of my skirts are either a half-circle or a gathered rectangle, so no pattern needed. However, I will have to find a TNT jacket pattern before I go to the desert island!

    What I'm more concerned about is getting enough fabric in this desolate location. Will I be able to bring my entire stash? LOL

    Have a great weekend and Happy Easter!

  8. HAHAHA! I just started a file-drawer sized box of my "favorite favorite" patterns. There are over 40 in the box right now. (I must be the Octomom of pattern collectors, as I would never consider giving any of them up for adoption.) Guess I just simply love to sew.

  9. I love your collection. Of particular interest to me is the cardigan/tee set. I have a McCalls pattern for this but it is out of my size range. What I have just done was design a cardigan in PatternMaster Knits 5. I guess I will see if I can make it a TNT. Thank you Carolyn for your continued inspiration.

  10. You are the Queen of TNT. I am always amazed, impressed, surprised and admiring of how you do it. I have a few TNT; but I don't use them as a jumping off point as you do. I think that is a great creative ability you and some others have.

  11. My goal this year is to have a good set of tnt patterns. If I was still in America I might not be so hard pressed to have a set just yet or so quickly but shipping is so expensive here and I don't want to be burden on anyone so I'm trying to make due with what I have and use patternmaking skills to turn them into the new ideas I envision. One thing I am learning are what clothes
    es I like the most and flatter me the most. So maybe April 6, 2013 I'll be able to answer your question better.
    Ps: please forgive any strange editting or typos I'm using my cell phonebecause my laptop is currently broke so no more blogging for me for a while.

  12. What does that say about you? Only good things - you've learned that most patterns are variations on the same base and how to do them. You've also gained the confidence that you can.

    I know the basic pieces I'd need, but haven't been sewing enough to get the patterns to do the job yet.

  13. Hi!
    I rarely reuse a pattern, but I collect them so I have hundreds of pattens. Just like you have a massive fabric stash, I have a massive pattern stash!
    Anyway, a question I want to ask you and whoever reads this: what is a good fabric store(s) in SanDiego? Any leads welcome!

  14. Carolyn, what an impressively concise list! You really are the master of morphing the TNT.

    I'd have to think on my list, but it would include the Sewing Workshop Teagarden T, which I have now made about a dozen times. It would also include the Au Bonheur jeans pattern that I have made 3 times, so far, and love the fit. And it would include several Marcy Tilton (Vogue) pants patterns. I'm still working on perfecting the princess seamed top/jacket, but once I do, that would go. And of course it would include several Style Arc patterns, and especially my TNT tee, which came from one of the Style Arc patterns and I can't even remember which one. And definitely the Style Arc Linda pant.

    Gee, that is probably close to 10. :)

  15. Smart choices! You know what? I've read nearly 100 reviews of Vogue 1250, but after seeing what you did with that pattern and that you've made it 5 times........ I'm getting it today!
    Love this post :)

  16. Hi
    Just a little "coucou!" from a french woman living in Paris!
    Your website is very interesting!

  17. Your tried and true's are so classy and clean-lined. I love how you pared down to the 'essence' of TNT. I have hree tried and true's, but these would not be my complete wardrobe, as I flirt with many others. My go to's are a t shirt (from which i also make a dress), wrap dress, and skirt.

  18. I'm enjoying your blog and your Flickr photostream.


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