Sew a TNT Pattern with a Serger
I don’t know about you, but whenever I receive an invitation to a special event, I get excited about sewing a new dress. I start thinking about fabrics, colors, prints, and accessories. I envision myself wearing the dress, having a great time, laughing and looking fabulous. I mean, when you sew your own clothes, you need to represent, right?
I was recently invited to a “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” dinner party. When the hostess told me what the theme was, I screamed, “YES!” Not only do I love the movie, but I’m a big fan of Audrey Hepburn because her fashion style was so classy.
The problem for me was that I didn’t really have time to sew a new dress with all the fabulous details that scream classic Breakfast at Tiffany’s style. So, I did the next best thing—I made a simple black dress. If you know anything about Audrey, you know she was well-known for her black dresses.
And if you know anything about me, you know that I have a TNT pattern that I pull out almost every time I need a quick sew. Hahaha! You probably know which pattern I used to make this dress without me saying a word. If you’re new to sewing, a TNT pattern is one that has been altered, tried and tested to fit your body.
McCall's 7531 - Learn to Sew Pattern
Yep, that’s right! It’s another McCall’s 7531. I think this is number eight. If you’re new here and haven’t seen the other versions I’ve made, here are a few below. This is the absolute best pattern for new beginners, especially when practicing with knits.
You’ve probably noticed that I omitted the sleeves this time. My plan was to extend the hem to floor length to emulate Audrey’s signature black gown in the movie, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” but I decided to keep it midi length because I’ll get more wear.
Sew a TNT Pattern with a Serger
Since there were only two pattern pieces, I cut and sewed the dress in one day. I set up my Baby Lock Vibrant Serger and went to work. The shoulder and side seams were sewn on the serger. If you decide to sew the pattern with sleeves, you will use three pattern pieces.
I love it when I can sew an entire garment with a serger because I know the process will be quick and efficient. And the benefit of working with a TNT pattern is that you don’t have to worry about how your garment will turn out since it’s already been altered and tested. So, no ripping out serged seams.
The Vibrant Serger is an excellent option if you’re new to serging. It’s actually part of the Genuine Collection, a line of machines that Baby Lock designed especially for beginners. It handles all kinds of fabrics and I’ve been sewing and finishing garments with it for a couple of years now. It’s really a workhorse and I love the beautiful seams it produces.
If you’d like to see how it works, I have a full series of videos on my YouTube channel where you can learn all about the serger. I walk you through the entire machine, show you how to thread it , and we even sew a full t-shirt, including hemming. I’ve added a link to the series at the end of this blog post.
Hemming the Dress with a Coverstitch
I used my Baby Lock Euphoria Coverstitch Machine to sew all the hems. Ever since I received this machine from Baby Lock, I seriously don’t want to hem my garments any other way. The ease and beauty of sewing hems with the coverstitch has enhanced and leveled up my sewing life so much. You will probably see this machine in every post, unless I’m hand sewing the hem.
If you want to learn more about this coverstitch, I have a series of videos on my YouTube channel for this one also. Again, I walk you through the entire machine, show you how to thread it, and demonstrate the amazing stitches you can create. There’s a link at the end of this blog post.
Are you loving this Stretch Panne Velour that I used to make the beautiful dress? When I tell you fabric makes all the difference, I’m not exaggerating. Each time I’ve made this dress, it looked different because of the fabric choices.
I purchased the Velour from JoAnn Fabrics. The fiber construction is 96% Polyester and 10% Spandex. It’s 57” wide and requires hand washing with cold water, line drying, and a cool iron on the reverse side. I actually used a warm iron. Oops! I didn’t have any issues, though, because I pressed the seams only.
The fabric has a beautiful drape and rich looking texture. At the time of this post, it’s available on the website in black, brown (which looks pink), fig, and red (find the link at end of this blog post) .
Pattern Alterations & Sewing Details
My TNT pattern has been altered to fit my body with the following adjustments:
1) Added about 1/2” to the hips for more room
2) Swayback adjustment to remove the excess fabric at lower back
3) Lengthened the hem by 2” because I like my fitted dresses longer.
To make this particular dress, I ended up sewing a 1/4” seam at the sides and I could have used a bit more room at the hips. Even though this pattern is fitted to my body, fabric choice plays a part in whether or not additional adjustments are needed when using your TNT. Because the other dresses I’ve sewn with this pattern had more stretch, they fit perfectly.
So remember: Your TNT pattern will fit the same every time if you’re using the same type of fabric and there are no body changes. However, minor adjustments may be necessary when working with different fabrics and weight fluctuations.
Styling with Accessories
If you make a beautiful garment, grab your purse and walk out the door without adding accessories, I’m calling that a crime. Hahaha! Seriously though, don’t do that.
I never, ever, leave the house without styling my DIY garments. The same way fabric makes all the difference, styling will make or break an outfit. If you’ve been part of my community for a while, you already know that I style my garments before I even sew them.
Add Gloves for Elegance
When I got the invitation to the Breakfast at Tiffany’s dinner, I already knew which accessories I would wear, even before I knew which pattern I would sew. The first item—GLOVES! I think gloves add such class and elegance to an outfit. Did you know that wearing gloves held meaning throughout history? I found a fascinating article on the history of gloves (follow link at the end of this post).
In the photo above, I’m wearing short gloves on the left, elbow length in the center, and opera length on the right. There are rules about which glove length you should wear with certain sleeves, and which lengths to wear at particular events. I don’t follow the glove rules. Hahaha! But I usually stick with short gloves for daytime events and elbow or opera length for evenings.
Hats Protect & Elevate
Another item I knew I wanted to pair with the dress was a hat. However, because the gourmet dinner was held in the evening, I didn’t wear it to that event. Instead, we all wore tiaras provided by the dinner hostess. My ideal hat to wear with this dress is a wide brim, wool hat (like the one Audrey wore in the movie). Hats are great for protecting your skin from outdoor elements, and they can elevate your entire look. I’ve had this beautiful straw hat with an attached scarf for years and I think it looks nice with the dress.
Gourmet Dinner & the Dress
In the gourmet cooking club, the hostess sends out recipes to the members. Each member makes her dish at home and brings it to the home of the hostess for the dinner. I was assigned Ina Garten’s Coconut Cupcakes. I love baking but I haven’t done much in the last 3 years. The cupcakes were amazing and I’ve linked to the recipe at the end of this post.
What's your TNT pattern?
Do you have a TNT pattern? How many garments have you made with that pattern?
Thanks for stopping by,
Remember: When you live in your DESIGN, it is from there that God SHINES!
THIS POST IS SPONSORED BY BABY LOCK. ALL SEWING MACHINES MENTIONED IN THIS POST WERE GIVEN TO ME IN EXCHANGE FOR CONTENT. I AM ALSO RECEIVING FINANCIAL COMPENSATION FOR THIS POST. ALL OPINIONS SHARED REGARDING RELATED PRODUCTS ARE MY OWN.
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