An *Epic* Round-Up of TNT Patterns!

Hello Sewcialists! It’s Meg, of Cookin’ of Craftin’, coming at you with a round-up of some of the Sewcialists’ favorite TNT (tried ’n’ true) patterns!

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In honor of TNT Month, we thought it might be valuable to pull together some of the patterns that Sewcialists have identified as TNTs. (Ok, fine, it includes several of my personal TNTs, too!) This is obviously not an exhaustive list, so it’s likely I missed yours… Let us know in the comments what your TNT patterns are!

One thing to keep in mind is that one person’s TNT might be another’s fitting or style nightmare. And a just because a pattern is a TNT doesn’t necessarily mean that the pattern fits rights out of the envelope (or printer, as it were), but rather it’s a pattern that fits nicely, whether it took work to get it there or not! As Chloe eloquently put it, “The TNT is a hard-earned shortcut to great fit.” Your TNT could even be a mash-up of multiple features from different patterns or a self-drafted block that fits you perfectly!

Hopefully you have at least one or two TNTs of your own in your sewing arsenal, or are on your way to finding/developing one. Having a well-fitting pattern that you can rely on is both useful and comforting. Knowing that you can always turn to that TNT in a moment of desperation, frustration, or blocked sewjo is a relief of sorts.

Personally, I find that my TNTs are typically basics: no frills patterns that look great in a variety of fabrics and that can be modified to suit different occasions. But that’s not necessarily the case! Some people’s TNT pattern might be a fancy party dress! It all comes down to what you like to sew and wear. In any case, here we go:

Woven Tops

Heather at The Pug & Needle has sewn numerous Grainline Archers over the years in a ton of killer prints!

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Similarly, Dixie at Dixie DIY has made several wardrobe staples from the Grainline Archer pattern, as well as a version for hiking!

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I (Meg of Cookin’ and Craftin’) found that Marilla Walker’s Maya pattern manages to look fabulous in a variety of fabrics and in pretty much any print!

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Similarly, Sarah from Rhinestones and Telephones couldn’t help but make several versions of the Maya in one go!

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Kristi at SweetKM considers the Sew DIY Lou Box Top to be a TNT for her. She’s made the top version and has also hacked it into her ultimate dresss…

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Andie at Sew Pretty in Pink loves the fit of the Cashmerette Springfield top, making it according to the original design, but also hacking it to create a swing dress and a ruffle-sleeved bow blouse!

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Kristy from Scientific Sewing was so enamored with the fit on her Springfield top that she cut and sewed 4 in one day, and cut out an additional 4 immediately after!

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Jane of Handmade Jane has made at least 3 versions of the New Look 6217 top. She’s also made the pencil skirt from the same pattern several times. Talk about a winner of a pattern… two TNTs in one envelope?!

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Christiane (@nani_christiane) has made a half dozen versions of her TNT, the Itch to Stitch Bonn shirt, and has no plans to stop!


Knit Tops

Rachel of Sew Red-y has sewn her TNT Grainline Linden top every possible: colorblocked sweatshirt, short sleeved and cropped, in a print, in solids.

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When choosing fabrics for her TNT LindensBlogless Anna doesn’t shy away from color!

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Carolyn of Diary of a Sewing Fanatic has made so many stunning versions of her TNT t-shirt pattern, the Cashmerette Concord. She has hacked this pattern every which way: dresses, ruffles, statement sleeves, maxis, colorblocking!

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Karen of Did You Make That? has a closet full of tops and dresses made from TNT pattern, Tilly and the Buttons Coco, that suit her spectacularly and are perfect for dog walking.

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Jen at 1000 Hours of Sewing has made several lovely versions of the Deer & Doe Plaintain, , and has mashed it together with other knit top patterns, like the Pony Tank!

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Emily of Enjoyful Makes might have trouble deciding which of the Hey June pattern is  her favorite, as they are all TNTs for her. But she’s particularly enamored of the Halifax Hoodie, which she has made and hacked several times!

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Anya at Anna Zoe Sews has made stunning statement and staple versions of her TNT, the Helen’s Closet Blackwood cardigan pattern, which works equally well in brights and neutrals.

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Masha at The Itinerant Seamstress has found that the Itch to Stitch Lisbon cardigan is a TNT in her wardrobe, seamlessly (ok, well, a few seams) fitting into her handemade wardrobe!

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Lara of Thornberry has made a truly epic number of Style Arc Elle pants in every color imaginable! These simple stretch pants are such a wardrobe workhorse that one can wear them with almost anything!

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Manju of Sew Manju has made several fabulous pairs of the Jalie Eleonor pull-on jeans in a variety of fabrics ranging from stretch denim to stretch corduroy to stretch cotton twill, and has styled them like a boss with heels and knee-high boots.

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Lauren of Lladybird has declared the Closet Case Pattern Ginger Jeans pattern to be her TNT pant pattern, have made it in denim, twill and as pants and shorts…

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Charlie at This Blog is Not For You has declared the Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers pattern a TNT. She’s made several fabulous versions of this sleek pattern.

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The Liesl + Co Everyday Skirt is a TNT for Teri at Fa Sew La who has made casual summer versions, cozy winter versions and everything in between!

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Jenny of Cashmerette has made several versions of her TNT paneled skirt pattern, Butterick 5929, throughout her sewing career. Leather, stripes, plaids, novelty prints… it seems like this pattern works with any and all fabrics!

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The Sewaholic Hollyburn is hand-down Meg (of Show and Tell Meg)’s TNT skirt pattern. When I picture her in my mind, she’s wearing one of her myriad Hollyburns and a hand knit cardigan or a handmade knit tee.

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Knit Dresses

Tiffany at Tipstitched had sewn so many versions of her TNT McCall’s 6886. She’s hacked this simple t-shirt dress in countless creative ways!

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Abi of Sew Abigail has made a ton of Colette Moneta dresses, written tutorials for hacking the pattern, and even hosted a sewing party in honor of it!

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Trine of Groovy Baby and Mama is machine. A Named Clothing Inari t-shirt dress making machine, that is. Prints or solids, whichever she chooses, it always looks cool.

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Woven Dresses

Mary of Idle Fancy has made the McCall’s 6696 shirtdress so many times that she’s dubbed it “The Shirtdress Pattern of Wonder and Bliss.”

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Over the years, Roisin at But it can’t be from Dolly Clackett. She gave me an Easter egg! has made countless versions of the Christine Haynes Emery dress in all the prints!

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Helen of Helen’s Closet has made the True Bias Southport three times, including in a knit, but already considers it a TNT pattern for her!

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Vicki at Sew Vee has sewn the By Hand London Anna dress in every possible fabric: lawn, scuba, chiffon and silk. But you’re most likely to see her wearing a cotton African wax print version.



I knew I had made a lot of McCall’s 6044 buttondowns for my husband (tweaked to fit him just how he likes it), but it wasn’t until I pulled them all together for this post that I realized exactly how many… eight of them!

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Sarah of Wanderstitch has made at least 8 versions of her TNT, the Vogue 8759 men’s shirt pattern, for her other half, choosing some truly outrageous (in the best way possible) prints for a unique and stylin’ look!

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Marcy of Oonaballoona fame is known for her outrageously fun print dresses, but she’s also got a TNT mens pattern that she’s been using for years for her father and husband, the Colette Negroni shirt pattern.

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Claire at Belle Citadel has made at least three versions of the Liesl + Co Metro Tee for her husband, and considers it a TNT! She’s also made the kids’ version for her son several times.

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Heather of Heather Handmade has made two versions of the Thread Theory Jedediah trousers, but already considers it a TNT and has plans to make more versions for her husband!

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Beata from Tatulinka’s Tales has made her husband the Bruce Boxer Briefs from Free Sewing (formerly MakeMyPattern) several times!


Are you feeling inspired? Now go get sewing!

38 thoughts on “An *Epic* Round-Up of TNT Patterns!

    1. A tip on those – their patterns are usually drafted for a slim fit. My husband is tall and slim and they fit him pretty well straight away.

  1. Wow! Fantastic roundup!! I second Andie’s TNT the Springfield top by Cashmerette.
    I’ve bookmarked a few of these to try! ;o)
    One pet peeve I have about sewing for my very fashionable teenage son is that the men’s shirts are shorter??!! Is it just me? Is it a style now? (I’m 60, and sew a lot of vintage for him) I add at least 2″ to lengthen my son’s shirts. And it’s not “his” body type, he falls into average everything.
    THANK YOU!! Loved this!

  2. Meg, you have outdone yourself.
    Sewists featured here, I am in awe of all of you and your majestic makes.
    High fives to everyone.

  3. This is fantastic. There are patterns in here I have never heard of and need to go and check out! Plus loads I have always meant to make and never got around to… Fully inspired 🙂

  4. Thank you Meg for your wonderful collection of amazing makes – and I’m honored that you included me! 🙂 So much inspiration here!

  5. Although I don’t usually comment nor do I have a blog, I found this to be an interesting post and just had to add in my own contribution. I found this topic really fascinating. My favorite shirt for my husband is KS2777 (made over 50 times–groan) and my latest find for myself is the Sew House Seven Mississippi Avenue dress, now made 6 times. I love that it has no buttons or zippers but is for wovens–very fast make. Thanks for this post.

  6. Thank you Meg for doing all this work for us! What an interesting and inspiring array of patterns, fabric ideas and “hacks” for TNT patterns. My latest TNT is the Ebony by Closet Case but I’m working on the Toaster Sweater and I do think it’s going to be even more popular in my wardrobe especially now the cold weather looks like it’s here to stay awhile 🙂

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