Celebrating TnT patterns

This month is very much a month for celebrating our TnT patterns – that’s Tried ‘n’ True, if you’ve never heard it before. It’s the Sewcialist theme this month but the end of the month (25th November – 1st December) is also One Week, One Pattern – or OWOP if you will – hosted by the lovely Sheona from Sewisfaction. And as I don’t have any finished items to share due to lack of oomph to get photos I thought I’d break my blogging silence with a little post about my TnT patterns and plans.

My TnT Patterns

Dixie DIY Ballet dress

This is one of my favourite patterns and I’m a bit surprised that I’ve only made 3 dresses from it. I’ve also hacked a t-shirt from it and used bits of it a few different hacks – with more planned (and talked about later on in this post).

Ballet dress // One with a more flared skirt // One with a gathered skirt

 

Helen’s Closet Blackwood cardigan


This is my most made pattern and it only came out this year! I’ve made 5 of them – one long, two hip length and two cropped ones. I need to have a bumper photoshoot and actually write a post about them! It’s my ideal cardigan and I want one in every colour.

True Bias Southport dress

Southport // Southport-ish // Another Southport ish

I’ve used the Southport dress loads. I’ve only made the dress as is once, but I’ve also made two simplified versions, a tank top and used the skirt with other tops to make pattern lovechildren.

Southport tank // Newport dress // Simple Sew Lottie/Southport dress lovechild

Grainline Scout tee

Original Scout  // Latest Scout // Middle Scout // Scout hack

I wouldn’t say that I’ve got the fit down on the Scout yet but it’s one of my most made patterns so I thought it deserved a mention. I’ve made three standard versions and two hacked off-the-shoulder versions (only one of which I have a photo of). A Scoutport mashup with the Southport dress is probably on the cards at some point too. If only because I like the name.

New Look 6217


I love my New Look 6217s but I don’t think I’ve got the fit right yet. They’ve all seen better days so it’ll soon be time to revisit the pattern.

 

One Week One Pattern

I actually recently made a video sort of related to TnT patterns. When the Love to Sew podcast ladies asked for questions for their Q&A episode @shar_bozz asked them if they could only make three patterns for a year what would they choose and how would they change them to make them unique, seasonal, etc. I thought it was a really interesting question and I put my thinking cap on to choose three patterns.

So when I saw that OWOP was going to happen again this year I thought that I should probably put my money where my mouth, use one of the patterns I chose and do some of the hacks I talked about in my video. The patterns I chose were:

Dixie DIY Ballet dress

This was the most obvious choice for me. I just really like the way it fits me across the shoulders, which is no mean feat as that’s my tricky spot.

It’s such a simple dress it has the power to look entirely different with just a few tweaks. It’s basically a knit block/sloper. You can change the neckline, add a different skirt and even just changing the fabric will make it look different. A scuba will give you a totally different dress to a drapey viscose jersey.

The t-shirt I’ve made from it is one of the first things I reach for from the clean washing. and I’ve started work on some more garments using it. I’ve cut out a sort of swing dress and I’m hoping to make two of them if possible. I want to make a long sleeved t-shirt and a boat necked dress with a pleated skirt. Overambitious aims as always. I fancy trying to make a cardigan from it at some point too. And it was on my Make Nine plans to make the Seamwork Neenah dress as a top but I’ve been thinking that I might just pinch the collar piece and neckline shape and hack the ballet dress instead as I know I like how it fits.

Sew Over It Ultimate Shift dress

I hadn’t actually made this one when I picked it, I just chose it based on its versatility and hackability. I have made one now – out of flame print quilting cotton. There’s some fitting work to do before it becomes a TnT pattern for me but I’m fairly pleased with it. I had to add a dart from the armhole to the bust after it was sewn up but it’s quite well hidden in the busy print.

Even without any hacking you can make lots of different variations. I made a sleeveless dress but want to make some sleeved tops. I quite like the idea of adding some shirring to the waist of a viscose version too. Lisa Comfort’s pregnancy hack where she added a seam, pleat and tie is lovely too. I’ve thought about giving that a go myself, even though I’m not pregnant. You get the tutorial of how to make it included with the pattern now and I think that you can email them to ask for it if you already have the pattern.

I want to make a slightly more flared version, a bit like the Grainline Farrow dress, and I have thought about copying the pockets from the Farrow dress too. I did think that you could add a seam at the waist for an elastic channel and then slash and spread just the skirt part too. If you’re a flounce fan it’s a great pattern to jazz up with a flounce or a frill.

One of my friends has a really nice collarless coat that I think would be totally copiable using the shift dress as a base. It would just need to be sized up, seam allowance (the inspiration coat has an exposed zip) or overlap (for buttons) added to the centre front. The back also has a pleat that’s sewn down for a few inches so I’d cut it on the fold with a couple of inches added to the centre back. You could also use it to make a 60s style coat if you did buttons, added a peter pan collar and made it a bit more swingy – by rotating the dart out maybe.

Jeans

I don’t actually have a jeans TnT pattern yet so I cheated with this one and didn’t specify what pattern. I really want to work on finding a TnT jeans pattern though. If I didn’t have lots of other things to get done this month I should work my way through the six jeans patterns I now own. I have:

The Simplicity ones are probably the most promising because they have different pieces for different body types but I keep putting off tracing the pattern as I hate doing it so much. I would far rather tape a PDF sewing pattern together so I might go for one of the other patterns first.

There’s not much pattern hackery that I could think of for skinny jeans but jeans are something I’d struggle to live without. And they can look completely different in different fabrics. I did think that you could alter the pockets and give them more of a chino styling in a stretch twill. Once you’ve got the fit right in the hip/bum area I’m sure you could fiddle with the leg shape too for different looks. Turning them into flares by slashing and spreading the pattern at the knee is a nice easy one.

So there you have it. Those are my TnT patterns and patterns that I’d like to become TnT patterns. I’ll be back later on in the month to show you my Blackwood cardi collection after I’ve taken photos and I’ll report back on how OWOP goes. You can follow along on Instagram too.

Are you planning to join in with #sewcialiststnt or #OWOP? Are you a TnT pattern kinda person or more of a pattern butterfly?

5 Sewcialists Who Inspire Me

Have you guys seen that the Sewcialists blog is back up and running? The aim of the Sewcialists (sewing + social media = sewcialist) is to create a community where everyone feels included. Gillian of Crafting a Rainbow and the creator of the Sewcialists wrote a lovely post on her blog about the aim of the Sewcialists blog. I think it’s a fab idea and I’m really excited to see it take off again, find lots of new sewcialists to follow and to take part in the theme months. I’m hoping they do Scraptember again because I could really use some inspiration for what to do with my scraps!

But I’m getting ahead of myself, this month is Tribute August, where the challenge is to make something inspired by another sewer you admire. To quote the blog:

“The “rules” are wide open, so interpret the challenge in your own way. You could:

  • Copy a project exactly
  • Try a pattern or technique someone else used
  • Imagine what your favourite Sewcialist would do with a piece of fabric
  • Push yourself out of your style comfort zone or make some awesome basics to fill in wardrobe gaps”

Throughout July people have been sharing who inspires them on the Sewcialists blog so I wanted to join in. I could easily have listed 20 people so it was really hard to narrow it down to just 5 (and I might sneak a tiny list of some more at the bottom of this post). Okay, lets go.

Gillian – Crafting a Rainbow@gilliancrafts

It may seem a little like I’m sucking up and gushing but Gillian is hands down one of my favourite sewing bloggers. If I see a post of hers in my Feedly I always read it first. Her blog is so helpful and inspiring, she has a great mix of finished make posts, tutorials and helpful series’ like the Better Pictures Project. I love her bright, colourful style. She sews almost exclusively with knits and always looks gorgeous, proving that comfy can be chic.

I’m always really inspired seeing how she hacks her TnT patterns and I’m trying to do that more these days. A couple of recent hacks I’ve made but not blogged yet are a cropped Helen’s Closet Blackwood cardigan and a Dixie DIY Ballet dress swing tee. You can see them both in my most recent YouTube video.

Rachel – @shesewsvintagestyle

I’ve only followed Rachel on Instagram since this year’s Me Made May – always a great time for finding new sewing peeps to follow. But I immediately fell in love with her style, which is vintage without being costume-y. I particularly love this gorgeous outfit:

She’s wearing Nina Lee Portabello trousers and a Sew Over It Silk Cami. As soon as I saw this outfit I started planning my own pink tank top – I planned to use my Southport dress hack – and wide legged navy trousers. I was originally planning Winslow culottes but I’ve wanted a pair of empire waist wide legged trousers since an episode of Agent Carter where Peggy wears a pair with a red blouse and her and Jarvis climb through a vent into a morgue.

The internet is stubbornly refusing to show me the trousers.

I toyed with the Decades of Style 1940s empire waist trousers, which would obviously be the most suitable choice but I’m contrary so in the end I bought the Deer and Doe Chataigne shorts because I like the pockets and the yoke and I’m going to lengthen them into trousers. I think I’ve bought completely unsuitable fabric but I’m doing to try it anyway. It’s probably a bit too drapey so I’m going to interface the yoke and the yoke lining and hope for the best. For the pink tank top I’m still going to use my Southport tank hack but after seeing Helen’s knit Southport dress I’m planning to make it in some fuchsia jersey I’ve got.T

Anya – Anna Zoe@anna.zoe.sewing

I think I’ve saved more of Anya’s Instagram posts to remember the pattern than any other sewcialist. She always looks absolutely stunning in whatever she wears. Her Me Made May posts were brilliant and I really enjoyed reading her little stories each day as well as seeing what she was wearing. Her blog and Instagram are really helpful and she’s done some great tutorials – a mini bra sewing tutorial on Instagram made me buy a bra sewing pattern! Granted I’ve not even printed it let alone started sourcing materials but the thought is there.

I also bought the Kommatia patterns skinny jeans pattern after seeing her fab version (below) and I’m hoping to make them at some point soon. I’ve built up quite a stack of jeans patterns and I still haven’t finished my Ginger jeans. I don’t think they’re going to fit very well but I’m determined to make myself finish them, I can’t abandon yet another pair of trousers at the fitting stage. I also love the shirt she’s wearing in this photo with the Kommatia jeans.

Hila – Saturday Night Stitch@saturdaynightstitch

I love Hila’s style. I love the colours she uses and the silhouettes she chooses. I particularly like her Sewaholic Hollyburn skirts and Granville shirts – I bought the Granville shirt pattern because of seeing hers and I should really buy the Hollyburn pattern too. Another thing that massively inspires me about Hila is her shoes – check out those silver brogues! She wrote about shoe choice in her post about her thoughts on last year’s Me Made May and I keep meaning to expand my shoe collection but I still live in the same tan pumps during the summer and tatty ankle boots in the winter. Which is definitely something I want to work on.

I just love everything Hila wears, her style is so varied but it all works together and everything looks great on her. The Anna dress above is amazing! For my make inspired by Hila I’m going to get brave and cast on an the Andi Satterlund Chuck sweater I’ve had the yarn for for over a year. Not sewing I know but it’ll mean when I finally finish it and sew myself a Hollyburn and Granville combo I can copy this gorgeous outfit:

Hattie – @hattie_van_der_krohn

The beautiful Hattie always looks so gorgeous and well put together. She looked more glamorous at 9 months pregnant than I will ever look. She’s made so many beautiful dresses that I would outright copy. A royal blue SOI Alex shirt dress might have to happen and I definitely fancy a funnel necked Tilly and the Buttons Coco dress now, preferably in houndstooth.

I was super inspired by her collection of Sew Over It Eve dresses and bought the pattern even though I’ve always been afraid of wrap dresses. I’ve bought some beautiful navy and pink floral viscose and I plan to make it this month.

Sneaky honourable mentions

Some of the other sewers I find inspiring:

I could go on and on but I’ll stop now.


Are you planning a make for Tribute Month? If you do take part remember to tag it #tributemonthsewing on Instagram to be included in a roundup post on the sewcialist blog. I’m hoping to get the Eve dress, Chataigne trousers and Southport tank top made but haven’t actually started any of them yet… Eeek!

Tribute August: Who inspires me

I recently discovered the Sewcialists, an online community of  people who like sewing and social media. It seems like a great way to discover other sewing blogs – both on the blog aggregate and the flickr group – and connect with like-minded people. Each month there is a themed sewalong, with past themes featuring colours and most recently Oonapalooza – sewing something inspired by Oonaballoona. This month’s theme is (was?) to sew something by a blogger, who inspires you.

I was mentally running through my feedreader when it suddenly occurred to me that it was Sarah from A Million Dresses who actually inspired me to finally bite the bullet and buy my sewing machine. And it was through her that I then discovered Dolly Clacket’s blog and then through her the whole online sewing community. So really I should make a Christine Haynes Emery dress in some sort of fabulous print.

Image taken from A Million Dresses

But then I wandered through town on my lunchbreak and saw a dress in a shop window that instantly made me think of Katie, from What Katie Sews. I really admire that she’s so aware of her own style and seems to only sew things that fit it and that she’ll wear. I have tried really hard to only sew things that I know I’ll wear and I have worn most of my handmade makes – my red Anna was only worn once but that’s down to fit and has now been dismantled awaiting a new bodice. And when I think about what RTW (ready to wear – it took me ages to figure that out, I kept thinking the R was retail) get the most wear it’s just not fit and flare dresses these days. I do wear them and I’ve got lots of wear out of my Simplicity 2444 but really knit things get the fastest rotation. I have a knit duck print dress that I wear a lot (I wore it on my first date with my manfriend so it will always have a special place in my heart) and a striped straight dress (shift? Sheath? I have no idea what dresses are what) that also gets worn a lot. So I’m going to have a go at sewing knits and I’m going to count it as being inspired by Katie.

I’ve ordered myself a walking foot and the Coco pattern, I’ll order some ponte di roma tonight and get cracking. If sewing knits isn’t horrific I can see Coco dresses with tights or leggings and boots becoming my autumn uniform.

Another blogger who I find really inspiring is Fiona of Diary of a Chain Stitcher. I really like how she challenges herself to try new fabrics and new techniques. Her technique checklist is a great idea that I’m possibly going to steal. Otherwise I’ll put off lapped zips and slippery fabrics forever.

I’ve also been feeling very inspired by Inge and again Katie with their recent pattern drafting. I have actually registered for a pattern cutting course at a local college – nothing like running before you can walk. It’s a whole year course, broken into three 10 week blocks and I’ve only registered for the first one so far, in case I hate it and don’t want to do any more. I’m really excited though. We start with shirts and blouses so I should probably have a go at sewing one before the course starts on the 18th – eeeek!

Pretty much every pattern I’ve bought has been inspired by seeing another blogger’s version but a couple that spring to mind are New Look 6069, which I bought after seeing this version of Lynne’s from Ozzy Blackbeard. Isn’t it lovely? I haven’t made it yet as I can’t decide on the fabric and I was scared of sleeves so wanted to make Megan before trying anything else sleeved.

Image pinched from Ozzy Blackbeard

And the Deer and Doe Anemone skirt after seeing Paunnet’s versions.

Image from Paunnet.com

I also LOVE this cocktail print FrankenAnna from Tabatha Tweedle of Thread Carefully

The Cocktail Anna Dress - side view
Image taken from Thread Carefully

And this Annalotte with added peplum from Jenny at Sewing Pies.

Tangerine Roses
Image taken from Sewing Pies

I’m sure there are dozens more that I’ll kick myself for forgetting as soon as I press publish on this post but that’s a few of the brilliant bloggers who have inspired me. So I’ve sort of joined in my first sewcialists theme, except not really as I haven’t actually made anything, ooh unless I can count my colour blocked Megan as being inspired by Tilly’s colour blocked version in the book.