Nani IRO Month!


It’s that time of the year when Frances of Miss Matatabi stocks her shop with the dreamiest, newest season of the Nani Iro fabric line designed by the one and only Naomi Ito. If you haven’t already, do check out the interview Frances posted with Naomi’s thoughtful and inspiring responses.


It’s my second year participating in Nani Iro Month, and the 2015 designs may be my favorite. I selected two to showcase, and the first one is called Free Way – hitoiki. Hitoiki, means a single breath, or taking a quick breather. A rather appropriate name for this billowy top I made that feels like a summery respite.

The pattern is from this book, which was yet another generous gift from lovely Karen F. (she of the bestower of the cute French beads).


Although I thought the sheer black of pattern G was lovely, with the temperatures skyrocketing these days, I decided to omit the sleeves. I cut out the size 9, which is supposed to be the equivalent of a small, but it’s so roomy, I could have easily gone down one more size.


Double gauze feels like clouds against my skin. So luscious.


Feeling that one top that makes me look preggo isn’t sufficient, I proceeded to fashion another maternity top out of the gorgeous Jewel Song Metallic Pocho Yozora (Yozora means “night sky”). Miss Matatabi appears to be out of this colorway, but I also have the fabric in a refreshing minty-aqua, and I’m still pondering what to make. In actuality, I’d purchased the indigo prior to Nani Iro Month and received the minty-aqua for free from Frances, but I felt strongly that the top looked better in a darker color. Sorry for the switch-a-roo, Frances! I should let you know that some fabrics that have been featured as part of Nani Iro month may be out of stock at this time as they sell like hotcakes, but Frances is diligently re-ordering so they will be back in the shop!

nim-jewelsong-pocho-yozora2 nim-jewelsong-pocho-yozora3

The pattern is from this book, and the only change I made was to shorten the length by about 7 inches because I didn’t have enough fabric. I love the tie-back feature, and this too is a great summer top, especially for the Fourth of July barbecue that’s coming up — I always eat way too much.


I now have two solidly wearable and comfortable tops that will get sleepily tugged on many, many mornings. Awesome sauce, as K would say.


So! There’s also a fantastic giveaway going on — it’s a must-enter! The giveaway is 20m of fabric, 6 x bias tapes, two books signed by Naomi, and two sewing patterns. Also, Naomi has generously offered to contribute a personal gift from her. As Frances wrote, “I don’t know what it is yet but I’m sure it will be lovely!” Here’s the Rafflecopter for ya:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And I believe I’m the last stop of the blog tour before the grand Miss Matatabi finale, so make sure to check out all the lovelies:

Straightgrain   ∆   noodlehead   ∆   Ute

verykerryberry   ∆   Make It Perfect   ∆   Groovy Baby and Mama

A Little Goodness   ∆   SKIRT AS TOP   ∆   Cashmerette

Sew Little   ∆   imagine gnats   ∆   you & mie

SANAE ISHIDA   ∆   Miss Matatabi

Happy weekend, everyone!

Nani IRO month
Is the best time of year
as far as I know

P.S. I almost forgot! I’ll be at Urban Craft Uprising from 12-1 tomorrow, June 27th. If you’re local, would love to see you!




nani IRO month: Mountain View Dress


Oh, how I love nani IRO….I was lucky enough to be included in the nani IRO month tour hosted by the finest purveyor of Japanese fabric herself, Frances of Miss Matatabi. I adore Frances. She’s hilarious and sweet and the speediest shipper of beautiful textiles. If I lived in Tokyo, I know that we’d be hanging out together all the time, drinking matcha lattes and gushing over fabric.

I look pretty intense up there, don’t I? I feel like I should be holding a sword or some type of weapon. That was literally the only shot that wasn’t completely unfocused because I kept wobbling on those precarious steps. I gave up after a few dozen shots and decided to return to my natural habitat (conveniently, it’s just a few feet from the stairs of death in our backyard):


Some details…The fabric: nani IRO Mountain View double gauze. The pattern: Simplicity 2882. Bodice lining: random black batiste.

I would say that 70% of the time, I have a sort of sixth sense about matching fabrics to patterns and vice-versa, depending on what the situation calls for. I get a visual in my head and I just know. The other 30% of the time, I’m stumped. So if I’m starting off with a pre-determined fabric, I go through my extensive collection of patterns and books (you can see the post about my commercial patterns organization here):


Friends, it was a long and circuitous series of sewing roads to get to this dress. Let me count the ways.

After some mulling, I originally thought I would sew the nani IRO up as a tunic, the muslin of which I showed you on Monday. As much as I liked the style, I couldn’t justify sewing another blue tunic that would look pretty similar to this:


Besides, I always planned on making a dress with the generous amount Frances sent me. So then I tried yet another muslin with Burda 7659. This pattern, by the way, is the very first adult sewing pattern I’ve ever purchased. It was about five years ago now? Can’t remember exactly, but what I do remember is that I didn’t understand sizing back then and bought the wrong envelope — it would have been nice to realize this before I cut into the pattern sheets. Unfazed, I went back and got the larger set. I must have really wanted to make this dress, though I didn’t get around to it until this week. It’s cute:


Love those pleats and because I seem to have an infinite supply of this grey chambray, I believe I can now wear a different grey dress every day for at least a week. Swingy and comfy as it is, I worried that it was solidly in that voluminous maternity camp again, and I very much wanted to steer clear of that for the precious fabric. By the way, I made a mistake and didn’t sew down the pleats, so this is supposed to be more fitted, but I’d already moved on by the time I noticed my error.

Anyway, I considered a few Japanese sewing books and then busted out my Cal Patch Design-It-Yourself book which I’ve never actually used and drafted myself a sundress – this is when I decided wearable muslins are for the birds and tore into my linen closet for unused sheets:


Nope. Probably because of the white faux sateen sheet factor, I got the bridesmaid vibe, and I didn’t want to go there.  There were some major fit issues, but I was rapidly running out of time. I even drafted straps, but didn’t bother trying them. So back to the drawing board, and I drafted myself what I thought would be chic like this pip squeak chapeau halter dress:


Uh, no. I discovered that I don’t like ties around my neck. I have all sorts of issues. At this point, I joked with Frances that I’ll just drape the Mountain View fabric on my body like a toga and bypass sewing altogether.

What I wanted, really wanted, was a semi-fitted summer dress that could be dressed up and down. I think I came pretty close with Simplicity 2882:


The back is gaping a bit and I sewed the size 14 instead of 12 because that’s what was already cut out, but when I finished the dress, I let out a melodramatic sigh, like a lovesick teen. I think it’s beautiful. I love the inseam pockets — all dresses need pockets! The piecing of the bodice gives it dimension and shape without darts, and to me, it seems flattering. The only change I made was to use an invisible zipper instead of a lapped zipper, and I haven’t yet added the hook and eye (who are we kidding? I’ll never get around to it).


Are you still with me? I should have ironed the skirt better, and I apologize for assailing you with so many images of me and my bruised up legs (I’m chronically bumping into things), but the point of all of this is that nani IRO is the fabric equivalent of the most valuable gemstone, and the effort to get to this dress was well worth it.


Thank you, Frances, for the treat! I have another nani IRO double gauze creation to share with you in a few days and this one didn’t require any vacillating!

Make sure to check out all the other lovelies; they’ll make you swoon!

Straightgrain   ∆   you & mie   ∆   Lizzy House

A Little Goodness   ∆   Make It Perfect   ∆   skirt as top

imagine gnats   ∆   Petit à Petit and family   ∆   Saké Puppets

Sanae Ishida   ∆   verykerryberry   ∆   Craftstorming

Ada Spragg   ∆   Groovybaby And Mama

elsie marley   ∆   Miss Matatabi