What We Made: Volume 6

This month is all about tried and true patterns.
29

Have you ever sewn up the same pattern a bunch of times? When I find a pattern that fits me well, I make it again and again, tweaking the fit and experimenting with different fabrics to play with drape. It’s a great way to learn about how clothes fit my body.

When I first saw the Inari dress from Named Patterns, I fell in love with the shape. With options for both a dress and a tee (you gotta love a twofer) the Inari quickly became my new tried and true pattern. I’ve made both knit and woven versions, in solid colors and in patterns. It hasn’t failed me yet!

03-meg
inari-collage

Who: Meg
Role: Relationship Manager
Pattern: Inari Tee Dress from Named Patterns
Fabric: 1.) Nani Iro double gauze from Bolt 2.) Striped French Terry from Modern Domestic 3.) Grey linen from Drygoods Design

What was your original inspiration for this project? How did it come to be?

With my most recent Inari dress, the fabric inspired the project. Nani Iro fabric and the Inari pattern go hand in hand, in my opinion, because you get to show off so much of the fabric’s design. I lusted after many of Naomi Ito’s designs before picking this one.

How do you plan to wear it?

I love wearing dresses over jeans. I don’t care about the rules!

What did you learn?

I learned not to get cocky. Just because you have made the pattern 5 times, does not mean you can rush through it. I sewed the cuffs wrong on the knit version, but it works, because knit fabrics can roll with the punches, right?

What are you most proud of?

I am proud to step outside of my comfort zone and wear some color. While I dress mostly in greys and blacks, my fabric collection is a big, giant rainbow.

02-meg

Do you have a pattern you simply can’t get enough of? What TNT patterns grace your sewing machine time and time again?

Meg Stively   —   Communications Manager

Meg is here to help you. She's the smiling face behind our customer service and social media. Keeping in touch with our family of stockists, and shipping your orders all across the world, she loves seeing what you're making with our patterns.

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Comments 29

Robin

I love this topic, thanks for asking! Looking forward to reading about other sewists’ TNTs. My favorite is a McCall’s pattern, 8681, which includes a button-up tunic and pants with elasticized waist. It was purchased at a second-hand store for a dollar, and so puts to shame the dozens of other pattern purchases never used! I have made the tunic twice, in silk Georgette’s and wool challis, with go-with pants, for dressy work. Then made the pants separately on at least 3 other occasions I can remember – double-knit (became pajamas) and casual work/every day versions in rayon challis and wool blend. I love this pattern because the pants especially fit regardless of my weight on a given day, are fast and easy to make, can be made with or without pockets (depending on how much fabric I have or how lazy I am), use only 1.25 yards of 58″ width, and don’t look like they have an elastic waist. The tunic has an option for a version with a dart to accommodate a larger bust, which was a great feature, and one I look for regularly now in any new patterns I consider.

Meg

Thanks for sharing! I love it when patterns can be made with less than 2 yards of fabric.

Mary Earle-Sigler thedailysew.com

I have sewn You Sew Girl’s A Line Skirt pattern a few times. It’s easy, flattering, and so basic. The pattern only includes the one skirt but I have found it easy to add patch pockets, change the seaming, and have added top stitching for different looks.

Meg

It’s great when a simple pattern has so many options for adding unique details!

PsychicSewerKathleen tarotbykathleen.com

I’m still continuing to explore patterns to find that TNT. I’ve made a couple of patterns twice – the first time was really my “practice” and ironically I wear it all the time! I love it – the Laurel by Colette :) I made it in a knit and that didn’t work out at all. I’m still learning how to convert patterns from woven to knit. It’s tricky for sizing so I was curious to see your Inari in both! It does make you wonder how many patterns you really need! But alas they remain SO darn hard to resist!

Meg

I made Laurel in both knit and woven, too! For Laurel, I think I went down 1 or 2 sizes for the knit version, but I made the same size in both versions for the Inari.

PsychicSewerKathleen tarotbykathleen.com

Even though patterns can be converted my experience has been that the pattern still seems to work best in the material the designer recommends. I do love the Inari you’re featuring in this article the best but then it’s difficult to tell on a dress form as opposed to on you. I really love this one on you especially – it hangs so nicely and the fabric is set off so well on this simple pattern.

Annette

The Plaintain Tee by Deer & Doe. Only made 2x, but the last one turned out so cute going to make another soon. It’s a free pattern too, which is a bonus.

Nina thumblenina.wordpress.com

It’s so true about making it up in different fabrics and having different end results – one pattern I consider to be a TNT is New Look 6049 but my latest version isn’t working on me at all – I just wrote a whole blog post about it! But I have a Vogue pattern I’ve made up over 30 times in ten years, and it’s NEVER failed me!

kalimak

There are patterns that are becoming potential TNTs for me as I’m discovering their versatility.

I’ve made two Laurel dresses (and I think there will be more) and two Laurel tops (and have concrete plans for a Laurel/York mashup). I’ve been wondering about making up Laurel as a knit dress but am not sure how to best make it work, since it has darts. The Mesa dress from Seamwork has a similar look to what I’d hope to achieve but I gave up on it after a failed muslin — the neckline was way, way too big :-(

Other potential TNTs for me: Grainline’s Scout tee (on version 2 now), Marilla Walker’s Maya top (looking for fabric for version 2 right now), the Delphine skirt from Tilly Walnes’ Love at First Stitch (I’ve made two), and the Plantain tee from Deer and Doe, which has become so far the basis for four tees and two dresses.

Meg

Laurel can easily be made with knits! Here is a post from way back with instructions. Also, Sew DIY recently posted Mesa with an adjusted neckline if it was too big for you.

kalimak

Thanks, Meg! I’ll check out those links.

I don’t know how realistic that is in terms of your work schedule at Colette HQ, but it would be awesome to see some blog posts about fitting/hacks of Seamwork patterns — or accompanying articles to those patterns in Seamwork (beyond the very useful Swatch service). I like many of the patterns but because they don’t get as much coverage in the blogosphere and on the Colette blogs I often find it hard to get the motivation to sew them up.

Meg

Thanks for the idea! I’ll bring it to the team :)

Pelly

My TNTs are the Ginger skirt and the Aberdeen top. I’ve made each a few times, and expect to make many more. Akita has the potential to be a TNT once I tweak the fit a little more.

I don’t believe a pattern needs to work in any kind of fabric to be considered a TNT. Some patterns are designed with certain fabrics in mind. It would be unfair to expect an Aberdeen to work in a woven fabric. Of course you can try, and it might work, but if it doesn’t, it’s not the fault of the pattern. There is always a three-way conversation going on between the pattern, the skill of the sewist and the fabric choice.

Meg

For sure. Sometimes the best fitting patterns have the the most specific fabric recommendations!

Enken

Oh my gosh, definitely Grainline’s ‘Alder’ dress pattern!! In both versions. I have made this pattern about five times, I reckon, in cotton lawns for summer and in flannel for winter. It’s so perfect for our hot climate in Australia. Even better, I can squeeze one out of 1.5m of 112cm fabric, in only a few hours. Perfect!

SJ Kurtz erniekdesigns.blogspot.com

I’ve made my jeans (from the Jeanius! online class by Kenneth King) five or six times. When I get a pattern ‘down’, I remake it endlessly for a year and then never pick it up again (last year was a self-drafted sundress: I think I made six of them, my boss finally worked it out by the end of the summer). The great thing about a TNT is that when you get it figured out, it’s always there for you: you know what fabrics would work with it, and it always delivers when you try it on.

Emily

I live in TATB’s Megan dresses. I’ve made 7 or 8 of them, in a variety of fabrics. They’re quick to make & are easy to fit. Similar to a number of other commenters, I have a number of Laurels…they’re so easy to modify & can look completely different each time. My favourite is a silk georgette with the back darts removed in favour of neck to waist sewn-in pleats & a dipped hem.

Meg

I haven’t made it yet, but the pattern definitely has a good name :)

Marg in Canada

I spend a lot of time getting the fit perfect, and after that I definately want use the pattern a lot of times! My most- used patterns are t-shirts for my bf and I from the Sewaholic Renfrew and Kwik Sew 3299, knit cross over tops from NL 6150, and endless hacks on the Sorbetto top!

Avia R Moore

I’ve made the Hawthorn four times so four – three dresses and a shirt. I adore each version and they are each quite different. They are such staples of my current wardrobe that I imagine I will continue to use the pattern heavily.

Heather asteriskfree.wordpress.com

I’ve made 5 versions of the Pattern Review Winter Street Dress. My FAVORITE one was left behind in a hotel in South Carolina after a business trip. I called and housekeeping couldn’t find it. In my head the lady answering the phone was talking to me wearing my dress. :) Seriously, It always flatters, I’ve made it in ITY, in wool jersey, rayon. With ruffles, without. Just love the dress. I add 4 inches to the hem, as I work in a high school and just don’t wear skirts too far above my knee. I am always complimented on it and it really doesn’t require too much fabric.

Meg

I still think about a cardigan that I left behind in a hotel room in London….when I was 16!

Peri stoppedclockpatterns.blogspot.com

Decades of Style’s ‘Butterfly Blouse’ is one of my favorites. I’ve made two so far, and have the fabric laid out for two more. It’s a very distinctive blouse, but it just works well with almost everything I’ve paired it with and it’s such a great excuse to work with silks.

Heide

Last Spring and Summer my TNT pattern was your Sorbetto top! I think I made myself 8 and 3 for my sisters. It is so easy to modify and easy to wear. I can’t wait to try a few Seamwork patterns for another wardrobe update!

Amelia Wray .thriftmakesew.wordpress.com

I think my TNT is definitely Grainline’s Scout Tee. I think I’ve made 6 at last count. The more I see the Inari, though, the more I feel I need it in my life!

Elle threadtension.wordpress.com

I LOVE this! Nani IRO is my favorite. I love that Inari tee dress… so many people have been making so many great versions of that!

As for TNT’s, I have so many! The Renfew by Sewaholic, but everyone loves that one. I also love McCall’s 3830… it’s such a great basic skirt!

Nicole

I have made about 5 Tessuti Gabby dresses (http://www.tessuti-shop.com/products/gabby-dress-pattern-pdf-a4-print-at-home-1) – I love mixing & matching with the contrast panel, good way to use up smallish bits of leftover fabrics. It’s so comfortable and quick to sew too!

My other TNT is Seamwork’s Akita, I just made my 4th yesterday!

DanielaKayB nordlicht-development.de

If I count correctly, I have sewn _seven_ dresses from the Butterick 6582 pattern :-D

That includes one Christmas themed dress with gold piping and the legendary TARDIS dress with its 4500 rhinestones ( http://nordlicht-development.de/2013/11/21/the-tardis-dress-a-making-of/ ).
Here you can see four of them ( http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k127/danny_KayB/sewing/IMG_20150523_145319_136_zpsahtuimqt.jpg ), with two Cambies.

The pattern is awesome because it is relatively easy to sew once you’ve done the separate left shoulder and the shoulder seam gathers for once.
Also, it is mod-friendly. I’ve used it with full circle skirts and pleated skirts and I’ve moved the zip from the back to the side seam.

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