You’ve Got A TNT Pattern, Now What?

Hey, it’s Carolyn from DiaryofaSewingFanatic and if you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know I love a TNT pattern. Most of my sewing is based upon using TNT patterns.


Because to me getting a TNT pattern is just the first step of the sewing process.  Once you’ve worked out all of your fit issues and made 5 or 6 versions of the garment, what’s next?  Where do you go from there?  Do you put the pattern away? Waiting for the next season to pull it out, full of fond memories of the garments you’ve previously made?  Or is it done with you? I mean you’ve got 5 or 6 great pieces to wear, so maybe you’re ready to move on.

I honestly don’t think that way. By the time I’m on version 2 or 3 of a TNT pattern, I’m already redesigning the pattern in my mind.  Adding details, embellishments, hacking the pattern to give it more space or take space away…just changing it up.  See to me a TNT pattern is the base to start new creative journeys…and I’m always up for a new creative journey!  Aren’t you?

For me this is when the fun begins.  I know a pattern fits and has passed “the wearability test” so it’s time to let it or external stimulants inspire me to start new creative journeys with the pattern.

That’s how my journey began with New Look 6340.

I made four versions of this dress this past summer…each version built upon the previous one – either from things I learned while making it or new ideas that I dreamed of while using it.

So the first one was made just as the pattern says but omitting the pockets.


The second version has some piping (cause y’all know I love me some piping) and a striking print to give it definition.


Version number three, is made from a distinct border print and more piping. I’ve also added the short sleeves to the dress.


The final version has a zipper for ease of access in the back (something I learned from wearing one of the original versions) short sleeves and the pockets added back to the dress front.


Each of these dresses are striking in their individuality yet all are from the same pattern. So you would think I was done with the pattern right?  No…I wanted a way to bring it into the fall/winter season…so besides adding longer sleeves what could I do to make it different from what I’d already created AND take the pattern to the next level.

That’s what I mean about “What Now?” Can you think outside the box, stretch your creativity and make the pattern do a just a little more than it was originally intended? Baby steps to making it do ALOT more than it was originally designed.  Can you change a seam or add more where they presently don’t appear on the pattern?  Color block it?  Add some embellishment? Use the pattern as a base to get an “inspired” by garment?

Now I don’t wear a lot of dresses once the temperatures drop here on the East Coast, so my thought was how to make this style work for the next season?  Why a topper of course! I can add longer sleeves, change the pockets to side pockets and put the zipper in the front instead of the back. Also due to the fabric I used and because I want the topper to go over shirts and turtlenecks easily, I lined it.




As you can see, there are some similarities to my original summer dresses but it does stand alone as an entirely new garment. I’m always looking to take my TNT patterns to new places. Sometimes I’m very successful with these journeys and sometimes I end up with a wadder.  But no matter the end, I’ve learned something new and I’ve stretched my creative wings.

So what about you?  Now that you’ve got that great new TNT pattern, what next? I hope it’s a lot more creative journeys using your TNT pattern to go places you didn’t originally dream!!!