Greetings, fellow Sewcialists! Syreeta Briana here, sending you warm sewing wishes from the Big Apple. You can find me sharing most of my sewing adventures on Instagram (@syreetabriana) though I’ve also been known to blog on occasion.
So we’re here to talk about TNTs. For me, whipping up a TNT is the sewing equivalent curling up with a delightful novel and a pot of steaming hot tea. *aaahhhh*
While I do sew a range of pattern lines, Cashmerette Patterns, by Jenny Rushmore, is my absolute favorite. In case you’ve been living under a rock, these patterns are for built for curve-rich figures. I love how each pattern automatically includes adjustments for swaybacks, pillowy hips, and bountiful bosoms (up to a G/H cup). It’s rare that I have to do more than add a little length to accommodate my height and narrow the shoulders.
What makes most of her designs fall into my TNT pile are the simple style lines, minimal required adjustments, and only a handful of pattern pieces. Once I’ve tweaked the fit, I trace the adjusted pattern onto cardstock and treat it like a sloper — ripe for hacking to bits and creating almost anything.
Having so many well-fitting slopers encourages me to be a bit of a lazy sewist. Just the thought of adding a 36HH-level FBA to a Big4 pattern sends me scurrying back to my curve-friendly TNT pile. These days my closet runneth over with Cashmerette garments. In fact, I’ve sewn over 25 iterations of Jenny’s patterns, this year alone! Guess that makes me Cashmerette Fan-girl #1 *woot woot*
Just for fun, I included some of my favorites below!
Now for a little something new! For this post, I wanted to experiment. Since TWO TNTs are obviously better than one, I decided to try a mash-up of two favorites — the Dartmouth top and the Turner dress. Pencils in hand, I sketched out a design using the bodice of the first, the skirt of the latter, and a self-drafted bell sleeve.
Isn’t she pretty?? I just started sketching my sewing plans this year. It helps me get a sense of how the final garment will look on my figure and avoid potential pitfalls (I’m looking at you, Vogue 9107). Breaking out my colored pencils reminds me of being a kid again and soothes my creative itch when sewing time is limited. But I digress — on to construction!
First, I made up the top in its entirety and tried it on. With a fabric pen, I then marked the desired waistline and zipped the excess right off with my rotary cutter. Since the skirt has a bit of weight to it, I added clear elastic into the seam to prevent excessive stretching. To wrap up, I hopped over to my coverstitch machine to finish the hems.
Et voila! — a dress so nice, I made it twice.I think the dress matches my sketch pretty well. Since I used a TNT pattern, the fit is spot on. I pulled this Lemon Yellow ITY Knit from the depths of my stash. Though I’d originally intended to create yet another Appleton maxi dress, I rather like this one better — it’s perfect for twirling. Plus, hello yellow!!! In such a bright sunshiny fabric, how can you not smile all day!
I can’t wait to make more of these. In fact, my sewing queue has filled up with future versions including a purple wool jersey, a drapey sweater knit, and definitely one or two options with an added waistband or color blocking. The possibilities are endless!
Thanks for stopping by! Have you ever tried Cashmerette patterns? Or mashed-up your TNTs to create a brand new outfit? Shout out in the comments below!
Oh how lovely and cheerful! I love how you did your sketch first, seems like a more deliberate way of making that would avoid the ‘hope this looks good’ mantra. Yes to a ‘ mash up’ of TNT’s. It’s the best!
Yes to mash-ups indeed! And sketching has definitely helped my sewing practice in terms of style and has saved a favorite fabric or two from ending up in the bin. Give it a try sometime! You may like it too.
Love the mash up. I also really really adore the green dartmouth top with those statement sleeves! I might have to copy you on that! <3 <3
Thank you! The green dartmouth is a definite favorite – I feel so very 70s in it 🙂 Feel free to copy – I used the angel wing sleeve instructions in one of my favorite drafting books (https://www.amazon.com/dp/0870055704). Can’t wait to see how yours turns out!
These look really amazing !
Thanks, Megala! And so easy to make too 🙂
Very nice! I can’t sew any pattern without cutting it into pieces! LOL!
Lol. I’m with you… I sometimes spend far too much time in the hacking stage, it’s a wonder I get anything done.
I like the idea of using your croquis. Did you make it yourself or purchase somewhere or?
I made it myself – it’s super simple! Just print out full-length photo of yourself in front of a fairly plain background. Turn it over and shade the entire back in lead pencil. Then place it faceup on your sketch book and trace around your figure. The lead pencil on the back should create a light-weight outline of your figure on the bottom page. Lather, rinse, repeat for a whole set of croquis!
Wow! You have, indeed, a beautiful wardrobe of Cashmerette patterns! Since these are such classic looks that you can repeat each of them, a hundred times and not get bored at all. Love the mashup!
Thanks, Kay! I so love the versatility of these patterns… And I imagine I’ll hit that hundred mark in the not too distant future. lol.
What a great make! I don’t know why but I like it much better as a dress than a top. Or maybe I’m just influenced by how much you’re rocking it – and that colour is MAGIC on you.
*totally blushing* Thank you so much!
Looks great! I’m always looking for undergarments that work better for my H cups–looks like you have a great, supportive bra in these pix. Do you mind sharing which one you’re wearing?
Hey Susan! It is an oversight on our part, but our guest authors likely don’t monitor comments on posts this old. She does link her own blog and Instagram account in her post – perhaps you want to hunt her down? Or I do know the ladies on the Curvy Sewing Collective, both the site and the Facebook group are SUPER helpful and would have topnotch advice. <3