A new spin on some classic TNT patterns

This post first appeared on the Cali Fabrics blog, in return for the two fabrics I used!

November was TNT month on the Sewcialists blog, so this fall I’ve been digging out some of my favourite Tried’n’True patterns and tweeking them for a new look!


Fabric makes a huge difference with TNTs, and this year I wanted to include some new colours into my winter wardrobe. I’ve always worn quite bright, saturated colours, but when I made my last round of Cali Fabric projects, I fell in love with more muted tones.

(What’s a muted tone? It’s basically a colour plus grey, which makes it soft but not pastel. This article has a great explanation – and might help you figure out what kind of colours you like best!) 

When I picked my Cali Fabrics this time, I went for muted tones of blue, pink, mauve and grey. I love how they all look together, and I think they suit my colouring well in winter.


Up first is a Jalie raglan tee which I’ve made at least 15 times – plus a whole bunch of version of the tank which is also included in this pattern! Jalie really is in a class of its own when it comes to TNTs, because the sizes range from kids to adult in one envelope. I like the side shaping in the pattern, which works well on my pear-shaped figure. I also appreciate the curved hem!


For this version, I raised the scoop neck slightly so it would be warmer, and adding ruching on the sleeves. I always push my sleeves up anyway, so might as well make it a design feature!

The fabric is used is a double brushed poly jersey. It’s a very easy fabric to sew with, because it doesn’t slither or stretch out of shape. I will say though, it’s not actually very warm to wear, although it feels like it should be!


To layer with the raglan tee, I made a sleeveless vest using another TNT: McCalls 5890. This is my one and only Big Four TNT pattern, and I’ve been sewing it since 2012! This time I made it in a dusty mauve rayon french terry. I remember wearing this greyish cool pink tone 15 years ago, and it is fun to try it out again!


Since the fabric is quite lightweight, I decided to add a double-layered yoke to support the shoulders and prevent it all stretching out. I also added some gathering at the yoke for fullness in the back. To change the pattern from sleeved to sleeveless, I brought the shoulders in about 1″ at the shoulder seam, and slightly more at the front of the armscye.


I’m really happy with how this muted colour palette looks together! Experimenting with TNT patterns is always so fun, because you can hack the pattern or try new fabrics and colours, but always know the end product will fit! Since sewing this, I’ve been making TNT leggings and lounge tops like there is no tomorrow – I’m excited for cosy lounging through the winter vacation! What does winter make you want to sew?


22 thoughts on “A new spin on some classic TNT patterns

    1. I just hate the hassle of buying a Big 4 pattern in person an hour away from my house when they aren’t cheap. BUT – one of my goals for 2018 is to try some anyway, so let me know if you have a pattern tor ecommend that seems like my style!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Ooh, those look beautiful on you! Great colours for winter! I’m very much in love with that flower fabric. I wonder if it would go with my colouring…
    Ah, I have so little sewing time at the moment! I could really do with a couple more nursing friendly clothes! 😅


    1. I”d be really curious to know how these colours look on you – we do normally like exactly the same colours, but our hair tone is so different!


      1. Me too! I’ve been on the lookout for a similar fabric since I saw your post, but Cali fabrics doesn’t have it anymore and my look through the German online fabric shops also haven’t turned up anything similar…


  2. Muted colors suit you so well! I love that blue (on you, not me! Me + greyed out colors = sick looking Elizabeth!) and the mauve is just beautiful on you! The overall contrast is great too–you look like you’re in your own skin.


    1. You are basically the one and only person I know who looks absolutely amazing in proper pastels! They look totally weird on me, so makes sense that the grey-ed out versions would be strange on you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Weird is the word–because the contrast level is just right, but that grey is NOT. It’s like Shel Silverstein’s poem, “Almost perfect, but not quite.” So on the flip side, it makes sense that pastels don’t sit well on you since you favor cooler colors.


  3. You always find the prettiest fabrics for your Tees! I’m just making up this Jalie right now. I tried a couple of others but having seen this one (3667 right?) on you I decided to try it. I do love this pattern. I’m making up some undershirts for winter (I know – in Victoria??) but I’m tired of layers upon bulky layers to stay warm. It seemed to make more sense to go back to the old fashioned way of just wearing a decently warm undershirt and be done with it. Decent quality silk knit women’s undershirts are really difficult to find. Fit-wise especially and made of half decent silk knit and not silk knit GAUZE which is how they should be described. So that’s my Christmas sewing for myself – luscious, silk knit undershirts 🙂


  4. I really like these! Usually I’m not a fan of pastel/muted colors, but these look great on you, and might work for me as well (I think we have a similar complexion, though my hair is a bit darker). So real talk, poly always makes me kind of hot and sweaty and I think you’ve mentioned that you have similar results. How is this fabric to wear? I know you said it’s not warm, does that mean it doesn’t make you hot/”sweaty”? ITY makes my skin crawl (this is the closest description I could think of), so if it’s anything like that, I’ll skip it, but if it’s more like a “tough” rayon knit, I’m definitely interested.


    1. Hmmm… I’m not sure quite how to describe it! I don’t find it sweaty like a quilted poly or scuba is… but then, I don’t mind ITY! It feels buttery soft to the touch, but also has a hint of that “catching on the fingertips” thing that poly does and rayon doesn’t. Worth ordering a swatch, perhaps?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Perfect colour for your winter complexion, also i’m Biased because I love to wear greys! Cannot even contemplate winter, we have had 2 days of 39C and finally a cool change in the high 20s, just in time for Chrissy! Enjoy your time relaxing Gillian.


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