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TNT stands for Tried ‘n True, a pattern that you have used over and over and know that it works for you. Not merely from a fitting point of view, but also because it looks good on you, and you like wearing that kind of garment because you feel comfortable in it, and it suits your way of life. As a bonus, using mostly TNT patterns, the colours that look good on you and the sort of prints you like, will result in a strong personal style. So what’s not to like?

I rely heavily on TNT patterns and rarely sew with anything else. This makes it possible for me to sew as fast, if not faster, than I could buy RTW. Not always of course, a special occasion dress or a jacket or coat will take longer. But my steady diet of separates and the occasional simple dress can be made in a few hours, no longer than it would take me to drive to a shopping centre, cruise the shops, try on a heap of garments, despair about the quality, feel bad about my figure and end up with an expensive compromise. And make no mistake, any garment, other than perhaps a tee-shirt, that is not made entirely of polyester WILL be expensive.

Much more rewarding to pull out a TNT pattern, shop my stash of cottons, linens wools and silks, spend a couple of enjoyable hours at my sewing machine and end up with something that will fit and look good, at least to my way of thinking. My non-mainstream style is not everybody’s cup of tea, but then it doesn’t have to be. As long as I feel good in what I have made, my mission is accomplished!

Any TNT pattern is of course open to all sorts of variations to keep things interesting and adapt to the seasons. Here is the latest iteration of the dress pattern I discussed in my last post, a little bit more cold weather friendly with warmer fabric and a cowl instead of the V-neck. This time I also left off the CF and CB seams. But again it is based on my favourite tee-shirt pattern, with the front and back pattern pieces lengthened to a midi length dress. I kept the side splits, so this has to be worn over an under-dress, or a pair of pants, or possibly over a skirt. I haven’t tried this yet, but I will.

The sewing nitty-gritty is as usual on Pattern Review.

The fabric is a heavy cotton velour knit bought at Clear-It in Melbourne maybe 10 years ago. I bought a lot of it because it was only $1/m and have made other garments using it which I have worn and worn. It is a lovely quality, very comfortable, washes up like a dream and is warm as well. Who says you can’t save money sewing? The dress would have taken a bit under 2m of the velour (less than $2) and 3 hours of a rainy Sunday afternoon to sew. As a bonus it goes really well with my me-made jade and silver necklace.

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