TNT’s and Sandwiches

Enter the dragon. Well no just two very experienced and helpful sewists who are glad and most graciously sharing their way through the fitting maze.

cmarie12 Diary of a Sewing Fanatic has to be one of my all time favorites.  She’s awesome.  She’s a tall, plus sized lady who has accepted her body and mastered fitting it to perfection. Oh and she sews the most gorgeous, awesome clothes I’ve ever seen.  I wish I had the link to the post where she describes using her TNT dress pattern.  But I don’t so let me describe briefly her process.  Once she fought her way through the maze of fitting deceptions and fallacies, she possessed a perfect fitting dress. Called her TNT i.e. Tried ‘N True pattern and the basis of many of her creative projects. When she decides upon a new project, she pulls out the TNT. Sometimes she just copies the TNT and explores her design options on the new tissue. But  when she has a new pattern or a particular design detail that she wants to copy she creates a dressmaking sandwich.  She places her TNT on the table; layers it with the new pressed and trimmed tissue and on top of that put a clean sheet of vellum, tracing paper or tissue.  Carefully she copies her TNT adjusting to incorporate the lines of the new pattern.  I really wish I had the link.  It is sheer genius.

SureFitDesigns is a new interest for me.  I’m not inclined to purchase the whole system. It’s pricey and then I’d need to add international shipping, import fees and money exchange fees. But I do believe her DVD is coming to live at my house.  The link goes the videos concerning fitting commercial patterns to your sloper. But you need to understand the entire process.  Her system has you creating your own personal sloper/block from your measurements.  You take specific measurements and plot them out on vellum or tracing paper. You purchase a special tool, also from her, to help you connect the dots creating perfect curves and straight lines just like a Big 4 pattern, except these are your measurements and you are creating a basic pattern. Every woman needs a good basic shell. This will give it to you. Except, there are always variations.  Remember I said I was nearly as deep as I was wide?  Well those kind of issues can’t be accommodated until you make your first muslin.  You make a muslin, she will critique it if you want; then you transfer your changes to your basic pattern.  If you’re smart, you’ll make a 2nd muslin from the altered pattern.  At this point, you are in the same boat as cmarie12 in that you have a TNT; a perfect fitting Tried and True basic shell (OK OK cmarie12 has a dress. SFD will take you that far with the next muslin)  The videos then show you how to take the perfect fitting shell and fit a new commercial pattern.  Holy Cow!  It’s almost exactly like cmarie12’s dressmaking sandwich.  First layer your perfect fitting shell, then layer the new pattern and put a clean piece of tracing paper on top and trace your perfect fitting shell altering to include the new details.

I don’t know who thought of this first. cmarie12 graciously admits she didn’t originate the idea, just uses the heck out of it.  The point to me was

  1. get a perfect fitting whatever
  2. use the perfect fitting whatever + the new unknown whatever + clean tissue
  3. to create fitting new whatever.

I LIKE IT and bow to you both.

Guess what?  I have these perfect fitting whatevers:

Stretch Jean:  Jalie 2908

Woven Jean:  Trudy Jansen 906

Woven Trouser:  JSM (Joyce Simmons Murphy)

Sleeveless woven shell:  Louise Cuttings My Hearts a Flutter shell

Extended shoulder shell:  Louise Cuttings Pure and Simple Shell

Knit Tank: Kwik Sew 3497

Knit T-shirt:  Pamela’s Patterns 104

Woven Raglan blouse:  Butterick 5561

Knit Raglan top:  Loes Hinse 5205

Woven Princess Blouse:  Kwik Sew 3436

Camp shirt:  Mc Calls 5359

Tailored blouse:  New Look 6407

Dolman Blouse: Vogue 8248

Classic blouse: Mc Calls 8620

Woven Tshirt Louise Cutting 22044

Woven Empire Shirt:  Louise Cutting 81508 Ebb

A line dress:  Kwik Sew 2599

I haven’t made really tailored jackets in 4-5 years.  I don’t need them as much as I used to.  I do wear vests and like pants have a few that I return to over and over.  I’m not really into making new vest patterns just embellishments on the old.  As for jackets, I need coats in the winter but the rest of the year a light cover up from time-to time is all that I need.  So those type patterns are not included in my TNT’s.

I do list my knits separately from woven TNT’s.  I’ve mentioned before that I’m kind of a stickler.  A pattern that’s been designed for knits will have several differences.  It will not just be shrunk to remove some ease.

I’ve also got some OK patterns listed up there.  These are patterns that I’d want to continue to fit until they were perfect but would be OK to use with a new pattern.  I’d get a satisfactory, and OK fit rather than perfection.

I’m ready for the next step.