Monday, September 25, 2006

Thumbs-up patterns

I was thinking over the weekend about 'Thumbs Up' patterns. Pattern Review puts a little 'Thumbs Up' symbol next to any pattern that has five or more reviews, and for some reason I began to wonder what *my* 'Thumbs Up' patterns would be...patterns that I've actually used 5 or more times. I'd consider anything that I've made 3 times or more to be a TNT pattern, but the 'Thumbs Up' ones would be the favorites; the wardrobe workhorses; the ones I'd re-buy if I lost them. Not counting costume patterns, here's my list (to the best of my recollection, anyway), in no particular order:

Loes Hinse City Dress, which I've actually used more as a shell top than an actual dress. I modified the bodice a bit...basically just curving the bottom and tweaking the fit...and now it's my go-to pattern for a woven shell top.

Loes Hinse Cowl TopI've made this in a bunch of different combinations...long length w/long sleeves and cowl, short length w/long sleeves and cowl, short length with long sleeves and jewel neck, short length w/cap sleeves and jewel neck and finally a shell version...short length, jewel neck, no sleeves. I've even morphed on a regular turtle neck, which makes a great approximation of my favorite Lands' End t-neck tops. When I first made it four years ago I was blown away by how nicely it fit; every knit top I had made previous to that had been way too big/baggy in the shoulder/underarm area. Now it's my shoulder fitting template for new patterns.

Loes Hinse Sweater Set This looks very elegant in stretchy, drapey knits. I've got two or three made from slinky, and I've used the shell part of the pattern to get a wearable top out of remnants. The shell needs just a little fitting help...lengthen the bodice at the CF hem by about 3/4" (more if you're busty)...and it's a workhorse.

Loes Hinse Oxford Pant. I make it with pockets, of course...and I've borrowed the pockets from this pattern for other elastic-waist pants and skirts. I have tweaked the crotch curve a bit, but it really didn't fit too bad right out of the envelope. I like to add a little at the sideseams when using a very drapey fabric...very elegant, comfy pants.


Another great 'use the last remnants' pattern is Textile Studio Monaco Shell. I've made both the funnel neck and the v-neck versions and love them both. The v-neck is a great tank-top substitute...just be careful that the knit you chose isn't inclined to curl when stretched. (Yeah, that limits the choice somewhat...but you won't like it if you have a curly knit! Trust me...)

Kwik Sew 2948. The mock-turtleneck collar piece needs to be cut taller and skinnier a bit to fit like my Lands' End sleeveless mock t's, but, worn with the short cardi it looks every bit like a classic RTW set. It's what the In Progress Newman Blue cotton rib is cut from. :) It's my favorite Kwik Sew pattern.


I've actually got one from the Big 4: Vogue 7799. I used the Cowl Top pattern to 'fix' the shoulder/sleeve fit, and I've made a bunch of variations on the wrap version of this pattern. As shown, or with moprhed-on cap sleeves and just a 1" band instead of the high shawl collar, and a couple of them I made just by turning-and-stitching the neckline (be sure to stabilize it first... perhaps even use very-slightly-stretched clear elastic). A great alternate to 'just wearing a t-shirt'.

So...anyone else have any 'thumbs up' patterns?

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