July is a pretty busy month for me and I’ll be spending a lot of time with family and away from the computer. So I thought it was a good time to bring some posts home, especially all the stuff I’ve been sharing on Miss Matatabi the last few months. This one is back from February!
I love to sew for my daughters, but recently I’ve been trying to sew more women’s clothing, so today I’ve got a skirt that I made for myself and I’m so excited to be here sharing it with you!
If you know me, you know that I’ve been a HUGE Nani Iro fan for a few years now, but unfortunately my local fabric store stopped carrying the fabric. I had to search elsewhere to feed my Nani Iro addiction and that’s how I found Miss Matatabi. Frances has been my official supplier ever since! I started out only buying little bits of fabric and using it only for my daughter because it’s pricier than most other fabrics and I didn’t want to buy a large amount of yardage. But after realizing that a toddler does not need or appreciate the perfection that is Nani Iro, I was determined to start using the fabric for me. And I’m so glad that I did!
nani IRO month is going on strong around blogland and you can follow all the stops on the Miss Matatabi blog. The projects have all been SO AMAZING. I love seeing how each person has been using the already gorgeous fabrics to create such unique garments (and an amazing blanket).
To tell you that I love nani IRO fabric is pretty much as high on the list as “I love sewing” on the ‘duh-that’s-obvious’ statements about me. I love nani IRO and that really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who knows me. I found some nani IRO double gauze in my local fabric shop three years ago and I softly gasped at the beautiful painted flowers, then I sharply inhaled at the price, but then slowly sighed when I felt how soft and luxurious the double gauze was. And I haven’t looked back since!
nani IRO is designed by Japanese artist, Naomi Ito. I love the unique hand painted designs and the high quality fabric. It’s really like nothing else out there. I decided to go through and find my old nani IRO projects and round them up for you . . .
Sweetheart Bubble Dress // 1st Birthday Dress // Floral Baby Dress
Everyday Skirt // Little Letter Halter
Signature Look Top // Foldover Clutch // A-line Tunic
Ethereal Dress // Neon Dot Double Skirt // Reversible Spring Coat
Looking back at these pictures, I noticed two things. 1. I’m really drawn to her dots and florals – she just does them so well. I’ve never used any of her other prints. And 2. Out of all of these projects, only ONE was for me! I figure it’s about time to change both of those things :)
Nani IRO fabric isn’t cheap. Before, I loved the way it looked, but could really only afford to buy little pieces, which is why it was easier to sew things for a kid, or use it for an accessory. But after a while, I realized that even though I’d have to spend a lot of money buying several yards of fabric to cover my adult body, it would still be totally worth it. I appreciate this fabric and will wear it a billion times more than my toddler ever will. I spend the time, effort ,and money to make the garments – why shouldn’t I get to enjoy it?
So then I decided ALL THE NANI IRO FOR ME! Haha, just kidding. But you know, I deserve nani IRO, and I think that you do too . . .
The month of June has officially been named “nani IRO month” by Frances of Miss Matatabi. She’s asked some of her friends to help her showcase the latest collection of nani IRO fabric and I’m pretty sure we all just JUMPED at the opportunity. Be sure to check out her blog for all the latest projects being shared throughout the month.
For my first project, I chose a really unique fabric called Freedom Garden (A – France) and decided I wanted to sew something for me. It is double gauze and comes in three colorways and the design is kinda crazy and out of control, but in a beautiful way. I went back and forth about it – can I pull it off? What would I make with it? Is it too crazy? I asked people on Facebook and Instagram what they thought I should make and I got some reeeally great suggestions. But in the end, I decided to make a good ol Wiksten Tank.
I knew that this would, by far, get the most wear and I am in need of some basic tanks and tees for the summer and as I transition back to work. Sure, I could have made a special dress, but honestly, I just don’t wear dresses very often. This tank, on the other hand, I’ll reach for again and again.
LOOK AT THIS FABRIC! It’s like Naomi Ito just went all craaaaaazy with her paints! I felt like I was sewing and wearing some modern art. Should this be a museum exhibit? I love the variety of both bold and subtle colors in this fabric. And the interesting variety of brush strokes.
Double gauze is dreamy fabric. It’s soft and airy, it’s comfortable and breathable. It’s lovely to sew with too. The only things to look out for is that because it’s a looser woven fabric, it can stretch out when sewing curves. And it can get wrinkly when it’s worn/washed. But I still love it. It just feels soooo nice.
I’ve made the Wiksten Tank before and I really like the fit. It’s perfect up top and then conveniently covers my mid-section.
I did make a couple of slight modifications to the pattern. I lengthened the tank by a 1/2 inch for just a little extra coverage. I also raised the neckline by about 2 inches, because as much as I like the look of the original neckline, it was always just a little too revealing and I felt uncomfortable at work since I’m constantly bending over to work with young kids. Since I noticed a little gaping at the neckline in the back with my previous Wiksten, I made the same alteration as Rae did to decrease that, except I only moved the pattern over by 1/2 an inch, instead of a full inch. Worked fine for me.
I can honestly say, I don’t have anything else in my wardrobe quite like this! It’s fun to have a little something different from everyone else too :)
Be sure to check out the entire nani IRO stock in the Miss Matatabi shop. They are all soooo gorgeous. I have several other prints in my stash just waiting to be sewn up, but I mostly just like to stare at them and pet them :)
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the bloggers participating in nani IRO month! I’ve got another project coming up later this month with more nani IRO – but this time with a fabric I’ve NEVER sewn with before! Wish me luck :)
*This fabric was generously given to me, but everything I said is 100% my own opinion – I wouldn’t lie to you about nani IRO! And trust me, I spend my own money on nani IRO too. ;)*
Today I’m sharing a tutorial on the Oliver + S blog on how to alter a shirt pattern with sleeves to a sleeveless shirt! I modified the Lullaby Layette Shirt pattern for the tutorial, but you can use this method for pretty much any pattern.
Head over to Oliver + S to check out the full tutorial!
I made the Lullaby Layette Shirt pattern (View B in the 3-6 month size), but I made a few modifications. Besides making it sleeveless, I decided to add a little gathered skirt. It was actually supposed to be more of a peplum top, but I made the skirt so long that it became a dress! But that’s ok, I think this will actually fit her for awhile!
Before adding the skirt, I shortened the bodice by a couple of inches and also took the sides in a bit, so it was less A-line. I was too nervous to add snaps to this amazing fabric (the chances of me messing up and tearing a hole in the fabric was too high), plus there’s something so sweet and more vintage-y about buttons, so I went with these light blue ones. I think I made the right call.
This fabric! It was a gift from my good friend, Frances, AKA Miss Matatabi. It’s a nani IRO double gauze and it says “Fuwari Fuwari” on the selvage, but I didn’t recognize it, so I knew it must be older than a couple years. Well after I cut into it I asked Frances about it and it turns out it’s a super rare print from 2006! VINTAGE NANI IRO (yes, 2006 is vintage when it comes to a fabric line). I suddenly felt mortified that I had just cut into it!
But Frances said that it was probably a good thing that I was able to use the fabric without the pressure of having to create something “worthy,” and I think she’s right. This fabric probably would have sat in my stash forever and ever, and at least this way it was used to make something special for my daughter and maybe someday it’ll get passed on or something. Random question – do you save your handmades? When they are outgrown, do you give them away? Store them? Toss them?
In other news, Kaya is getting harder and harder to photograph. That window of time when she could sit up, but not move has been too brief. She’s already getting ready to crawl and I can barely get her to sit still for a few seconds. Oh boy!
Anyways, I’d love it if you headed over to the Oliver + S blog to check out my tutorial. It’s my first time posting over there! :)
Hey! It’s Kids Clothes Week! No long lists over here this time. Just working on two things. First one was to finish up this skirt I started a week or two ago. I was going to make this springy skirt for a specific project and had the fabric cut out and everything before deciding to scrap it. Well, not scrap the skirt entirely, but just not for that specific project. But I couldn’t let this gorgeous fabric go to waste! So I finished up this double layered skirt and it was a pretty quick project.
The main fabric is Nani Iro Colorful Pocho – neon on dark green, but I’m not sure that you’ll find it available anymore. I remember snatching it up from Miss Matatabi immediately after seeing it and then, well, hoarding it for the last year and a half. It is a soft and lightweight double gauze and as dreamy as Nani Iro double gauze always is.
The bottom layer is a chartreuse cotton voile from Michael Levine. It’s very lightweight and a bit sheer, making it perfect for layering.
I basically used this Double Layer Simple Skirt tutorial except I added a separate waistband with two casings for elastic. It also has pockets which is really a deal breaker these days for Yuki.
Yuki has always said she loves this fabric – she would pick it out from my shelves and ask me to make her something, but I could never figure out what to make. I thought she would love this skirt, but she is a little unsure. Part of me is sad that I used up this long hoarded fabric on something that she may or may not wear. But I also feel like this neon trend (which I’ve fallen for) is not going to last forever, so I might as well go for it while it’s still hot.
What are you working on this week?
Miss Matatabi is my favorite online source for Nani Iro and other fantastic fabrics from Japan. Seriously, check it out. I just spent way too much time drooling over all of the new stuff she’s been adding to her shop. IT’S SO GOOD. If you don’t know, now you know.
Anyways, if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you may have seen a tiny preview of this skirt and the injury I sustained while making it. It was totally worth it though! Head on over to my guest post to catch all of the details of this skirt.
And enjoy whatever is left of your weekend!
I made my very first sewing project from a Japanese sewing book back in August from the book a sunny spot 女の子のまいにちの服 (Every day clothes for girls).
When I was in Japan over the summer, I picked up a couple of pattern books including this one. It has a lot of simple but cute, very feminine outfits for little girls. If you’d like to see more pictures from the book, Japanese Sewing Books has a thorough book review here.
When I decided to sew up my first project, I picked the cute “A-line tunic” because it is adorable but also a super simple sew. Even though I couldn’t understand the Japanese directions, I could easily tell how it was constructed by looking at the diagrams.
It is just two pieces (front and back) plus bias for the neck and arm holes. Add some gathers and lace or piping along the neckline and you’ve got a sweet and twirly little tunic. I highly recommend this as a starting project for newbies to Japanese patterns!
I used this double gauze Nani Iro Melody Sketch that I picked up in Japan and it is probably one of my favorite fabrics ever!! I think it’s so puuuurty. It’s from an older line, so it’s harder to find, but it looks like there is still some available here. Double gauze is really lightweight, so it hangs really nicely and it’s a perfect top for warm weather.
Again, it was definitely a manageable project for a first timer. The hardest part for me was finding the pattern pieces I needed on the pattern sheet. If you’re interested in purchasing this book, you can find it on Amazon, Etsy, or Kinokuniya.
I have one more top that I’ve made from this book to share with you later this week. But until then, I wanted to make sure you all knew about this great resource for sewing from Japanese sewing books. It’s called Japanese Sewing Books! You really should check out her site for a dictionary of sewing terms, help with understanding patterns, plus translations, book reviews, free patterns and sew alongs. It really is a fantastic starting point if you’re a beginner to Japanese patterns and between that site and the Japanese Sewing Book Series here next week, you’ll hopefully be ready to tackle those patterns with confidence!
I’ve loved seeing all the projects that you guys have sewn up from Japanese sewing books. Please keep sharing your links with me – they are very inspirational! Until next time!
you & mie is an Amazon affiliate. I will earn a small commission for Amazon purchases made through links provided in this post.
I’m re-posting this Reversible Spring Coat tutorial that was originally up on iCandy Handmade for their Basic Bodice Series. The premise of the series was that if you have a great bodice pattern and some ideas for mixing it up, you can pretty much make anything!
It’s going to take a bit of pattern altering, of course, but I’ll walk you through it and it’ll be pretty simple!
And the finished product will be a sweet and practical coat for your little one! I used 2 lightweight fabrics (nani iro double gauze and linen) to make a spring coat since I know the weather will be warming up soon.
- 2 fabrics (yardage will depend on what size coat you’re making)
- 4 buttons (or as many as you desire, just be sure they are the same size and you have enough for both sides of the coat)
- interfacing (optional)
- bodice pattern
- sleeve pattern (or draft your own)
- tracing paper
I started out with Made by Rae’s Geranium Dress pattern for my bodice because it’s the pattern I’ve been using for dresses recently, but you can use pretty much any basic bodice pattern. I went up one size because this is outerwear and I want it to fit over clothes, so instead of 2T which my daughter usually wears, I cut out the 3T size bodice pattern.
The original pattern has the front bodice piece cut on the fold and a button placket in the back, but we want our button placket in the front and will cut our back piece on the fold. So, the first step is to cut the extra off the back bodice. Place the front bodice pattern on top of the back bodice pattern lining up the bottom of the armhole and bodice. Mark the fold line onto the back pattern and cut on the line.
On your tracing paper, line up the straight edge of your back pattern piece with the edge of your paper and trace the shoulder seam and armhole. I raised the neckline so it hit about an inch higher at the fold line.
For the front pattern piece, you’ll want to take another piece of tracing paper and tape it so it hangs over the straight edge of the back coat pattern by 1.5 inches (1/2 an inch for seam allowance and another 1 inch for the button placket). Place the front bodice pattern to top so that the bottom of the armhole and the straight edge lines up with the back piece. Trace the shoulder seam and armhole of the bodice pattern. I brought the neckline up by about 1/2 an inch.
You’ll also need to draft a sleeve, collar and pocket pattern. For the sleeve, I actually used one that I already had. To make sure it’d fit, I cut a muslin of the sleeve piece and after I sewed the front and back pieces together of the coat, I checked to see if it would fit in the armhole, then adjusted the pattern as necessary. If you don’t have a pattern piece for a sleeve, you can find many tutorials for drafting your own with a simple web search.
From Fabric A, you’ll need:
– 2 front pieces
– 1 back piece (cut on the fold)
– 1 collar piece
– 2 sleeves
– 4 pockets
And from Fabric B, you’ll need the exact same thing.
Now we get to the sewing part!
*If you are using super thin or flimsy fabric, you may want to fuse interfacing to one or both of the collar pieces to add more structure. I did not.*
Place your collar pieces down (1 from Fabric A and 1 from Fabric B) with right sides together. Pin and sew the outer edge. Clip rounded edges to reduce bulk when you flip the collar right side out.
Place two pocket pieces together (right sides together) and pin. Sew around the edge, leaving a 1 inch opening. I like to sew along the opening as well because it helps flip the seam allowance in when you turn the pocket right side out.
Flip the pocket right side out, press flat and sew onto one of the front coat pieces. Stitch close to the curved edge of the pocket, back stitching several times at the tops of the pocket to reinforce the corners (don’t sew the pocket closed!) Repeat with the other 2 pocket pieces for Fabric A.
*Again, if your fabrics are really thin, you can add a strip of interfacing to the front coat pieces where your buttonholes and buttons will be. Cut two strips of fusible interfacing 1 inch wide. The length will depend on how many buttons and where you will place them. Fuse them to the wrong side of your front bodice pieces 1/2 an inch from the edge. I skipped this step too.*
Open up the coat at the shoulder seam, right side up. Find the center of the sleeve and pin that to the shoulder seam, right sides together. Continue pinning the sleeve to the armhole carefully. Sew and press seam. Repeat with other sleeve.
Take your prepared collar and line up the center with the center of the back of the coat. You want the right sides of Fabric A to be facing up for both the collar and the coat when you lay them on top of each other like this. Pin the inner edge of the collar to the neckline of the coat. Baste the collar to the coat.
Take one of the sleeves and fold it out (towards the wrong side) by about 1.5 inches. Slide it inside the other sleeve, line up the bottom seams of the sleeves and pin the ends of the sleeves together.
Sew the sleeves together along the pinned edge. Go slowly and untwist the coat to your left as you go along. Repeat with other sleeves.
Flip the coat right side out through the opening in the bottom. You’re almost done!! Press all the edges of the coat out. Hand sew the opening shut using a slip stitch. If you want, you can top stitch along the entire outer edge of the coat.
Sew your buttonholes where desired and attach your buttons. You’ll want to either use the same buttons on both sides or at least use the same size buttons. I sewed buttons to both sides of the coat at the same time using one thread.
I hope you guys have fun with your bodice patterns and are realizing all the endless possibilities a great pattern has. If you sew up a reversible coat using this tutorial (or any from this site), I’d love it if you shared it with us in the you & mie flickr pool!
Thanks for stopping by :)
So I took a break from sewing . . . a 22 day break (who’s counting ;))
But now I’m back!
And my first project is this reversible spring coat that I made for iCandy Handmade’s Basic Bodice Series. You can catch the full tutorial over there!
The idea behind the Basic Bodice Series is that if you have a great bodice pattern and know how to alter the pattern or add some embellishments, the possibilities are endless in terms of what you can create. So this coat, and all the other projects from series guests, started with a basic bodice pattern. You probably already have one in your pattern collection. In my tutorial I’ll show you how to alter your pattern to make a reversible coat!
They also have a linky party going on right now for all of you who want to share YOUR basic bodice creations. So if you’ve ever used a bodice pattern to make something, link it up here and your outfit might be featured at the end of the series!
I still can’t believe I cut into my Nani Iro Metallic Pocho for this coat. This stuff is GORGEOUS (and not cheap)! But it feels good to just go for it sometimes, and I think it paid off this time. Yuki looks pretty darn cute in her fancy coat :) And I wish you could see the subtle shimmer of these dots! Man, it’s beautiful. I really think the next time I sew with Nani Iro, I need to make something for me!
Anyways, it feels good to be back at the machine. I’ve got lots of fun things coming up, so it’s time for me to get busy!
But for today, please hop on over to iCandy handmade to check out my tutorial and say hi!