Before I started sewing, if someone mentioned TNT, I would think of bombs and explosions. You know, trinitrotoluene, the stuff that is used to detonate things and would show up in cartoons, usually blowing up Wiley Coyote. How misguided I was…
In the sewing world, TNT actually stands for Tried’n’True patterns, i.e. a pattern that you have made loads of versions of and has stood the test of time, fit and wear, to become a wardrobe staple.
Why are we talking about this now?
I am really not one to make the same pattern over and over again. Maybe because I have a really short attention span, maybe because I am all about instant gratification, maybe because I want to sew ALL THE PATTERNS OUT THERE! However, I have one pattern that I end up coming back to over and over again. Well, nothing like Gillian’s 9 versions of Cashmerette Concord but often enough for me. Maybe in my case, not sure if it’s a true-blue TNT so let’s just call it my most sewn pattern ever.
I really enjoyed Sue’s (from A Colourful Canvas) post for the Sewcialists, talking how good TNTs are for developing sewing skills. This really made me think about why is it that I come back to this pattern over and over again. It is not basic, and in fact, not even classic at all, yet I still love sewing it again and again. I think it’s because it allows me to be brave, experiment with different fabrics and in a way, guarantee a result I will love.
Let’s take exhibit A: Vogue 9075. This is a pattern from 2015, with culottes bottom that, ok, are still somewhat in fashion, but really, how much longer for? Yet, I can’t get enough of it.
I made it for the first time in the summer of 2015, in a version inspired by Erica B . I really love this, but unfortunately, very difficult to wear on a regular basis. It’s white, pretty see-through and definitely not something you just chuck on to go grocery shopping. However, I love the fact that it’s made out of recovered material, so I find it really hard to part with it. I will probably have to bite the bullet and unpick it to add some lining to the bottom part, otherwise, it will never get worn again. It probably needs a tiny bit more length in the back crotch, but not a lot I can do about it now. Though pleased to say I learned my lesson and made the change to the pattern afterwards and it was never an issue for the next versions. Also, really want to reshoot this and take some nicer pics, this was before I discovered Lightroom and they really make me cringe. Though I still love the fringe – see what I did there :)?
By autumn 2015, my obsession with this pattern was only matched by my craze for scuba, so the culottes version was born. I loved them so much, but because I added a waistband without altering the crotch length, they were quite uncomfortable. And so I tried to alter them and disaster ensued. I basically ruined them beyond repair. Sad face!
However, I did manage to salvage part of the fabric into this sheath dress, which is also based on the V9075 pattern. Well, the top part is. The bottom is a Simplicity pencil skirt pattern. This dress definitely got a lot of wear for work, and it’s a great proof of just how versatile it is. I love that you can get the fit just right, and it’s so adaptable in both knit and woven.
And last but not least, my latest and absolute favourite version, the rust knit with pleather sleeves one. This is definitely the best version out of all of them. I nailed the fit spot on, the fabric is amazing, it doesn’t crease too much, it’s a secret pyjama really, but also looks so stylish, and I get loads of compliments every time I wear it. What more can I ask for? I wore it the other day to work and I did think to myself, “yup, that’s a winner right here!”.
So, what am I going to do if I need a wide-legged culottes pattern or a really well fitting princess seams bodice? Why, Vogue 9075, of course.
WHAT IS YOUR TNT? WHAT ARE THE REASONS YOU LOVE SEWING IT? TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS OR TWEET ME @SEWRENDIPITY.
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