There's a thread currently running at Stitcher's Guild regarding classic patterns, meaning those basic ones that become your Tried and True favorites that you use again and again. For me, it's kind of hard to come up with a list for someone else because a lot of my classic/basic patterns are now out of print. I have TNT's from a lot of different pattern companies including Vogue, Kwik Sew, Butterick (!), even Simplicity. I haven't had much opportunity to sew up my Loes Hinse patterns yet, but I really like them. I promised that I'd try to put together a list over the weekend, so here's my first effort. Hey, there's always e-Bay for the OOPs, so you can have them too.
Kwik Sew 2565 is my "go-to" T-shirt pattern. I've made it in onionskin, buttermilk, panne velvet, cotton/lycra interlock, stretch lace, etc. I've had a couple of failures, but more from operator error than the pattern itself. In addition to the rib knit wadder, there was the panne velvet one I made and didn't account for the...shine of the fabric. I was a cute top, but too vavavoom for me to wear. I looked cute on my friend's teenage daughter though.
It also lends itself to the practice of "morphing", you know, where you take a feature off another pattern and add it to the pattern you know and love. I've changed the sleeves to bells, used a different shape neckline, etc.
This pattern features a regular T and a zip-front version. I've only made the regular T, so I can't vouch for the zip-front. The envelope also has a drawing of a lace version with a camisole underneath. The camisole isn't part of the pattern, so the drawing is a little bit misleading.
This pattern is a true TNT which I'm sure I'll keep using. I'm currently using it for the SWAP sewing project. I'm not saying it's the be-all and end-all of all T shirt patterns though. Your mileage may vary. My suggestion is to start with a basic pattern like this and make it your own. Then you can also have a pattern that you can pull out whenever a nice knit jumps into the cart.
Oh, and I decided to post about individual patterns rather than a comprehensive list. It's easier for me to post in short bursts instead of an opus, and I think it's probably easier for you readers, too. Stay tuned for more TNT's in the days (weeks, months) to come.