Friday, 20 June 2014

I love Nani Iro

I truly do.  Her prints with their mix of painterly and femininity appeal to my arty side and the fabrics always feel so different to everything else- total quality.  I have sewn with Nani Iro double gauze, double jersey and brushed cotton and I have loved them all.  I was thrilled with Frances's invitation to I Love Nani Iro month to promote the new Spring 2014 collection- who wouldn't be!

I sewed top J in stylish Dress Book One made as a blouse rather than dress length.  This is size 8 and I took out the fullness at the back and slimmed down the sleeves a little.

It's a pretty romantic style which matches the prettiness of the print.  Tucks are not easy on double gauze.  The dual layer of fine cotton (its a bit like muslin) stretches easily so I went slowly and took a lot of care.

I was unsure what machine needle would be best and general googling pointed to a new Universal 80.  However, I did get a few snags with that so I swapped to a ballpoint 80 - these usually sew jersey and have a rounded tip to slip between the knit stitches.  As double gauze has quite a loose weave, the ball point slipped into the holes and was a better option than the universal- no snagging.

I do love the tucks.  They give shaping and texture.  Being small busted, I like a bit of extra interest on the front of tops- tucks and yokes are my favourite. 

The sleeves are quite full with gathers at the top and wrist.  Double gauze takes gathers and pleats beautifully.  The fabric is light and not bulky and the bounce of the two layers keeps an informality to pleats especially so great for a casual garment. 

I did the buttonholes on my Singer Featherweight with an attachment and used Aurifil 50wt variegated- an idea totally stolen from Karyn Valino's version of the same top.  I am a huge fan of Karyn's dressmaking.  Top Tip: painting a little Fray Check onto buttonholes before you cut them keeps the fraying under control.

I had enough fabric left to sneak in a  Belcarra too.  Angela of Sake Puppets made one for I love Nani Iro month too.  She's right, double gauze is a great fabric for humid weather- it really breathes. 

For my previous Belcarra sewing details see here.  For the Sewaholic sew long see here.

I added a little hand stitch detail to the next and lower hem.  Double gauze is easy to sew with an embroidery needle.  Like the ballpoint machine needle, the rounded point easily slips into the weave.  A thank you to my daughter at this point for her photography.  She is studying it at GCSE which has its benefits for me!

I know from previous posts that double gauze is new to many.  I also know that those who have tried it love it.  Its best to start with something easy like a scarf: it doesn't take much fabric, it is easy to sew and there's the bonus of an accessory that is likely to be worn a lot so you get to look frequently at a beautiful print.  Sometimes I see prints that I like but don't think will suit me in a whole garment- maybe the pattern is too big or too dark- again, a scarf breaks up a pattern that would look too big in a garment or and softens a colour that might be too dark to wear as a dress.  For other ideas, take a look at the other participants this month.  Stand out projects for me were Lizzie's trousers along with other separates, Leslie's blanket and Celina's mother and daughter outfits and accessories.

View the Nani Iro range in France's lovely shop here:  I've ordered from her a few times over the years and her service is first rate.
The fabric used for these tops was Sen Ritsu A-in real life the colours are as you can see in the photos here.  Kokka heightened the citrus in the publicity photos I think!
The Nani Iro website has lots of free patterns and shows an archive of previous fabric ranges
Visit the different blogs for this month's makes below showcasing a variety of prints and substrates and different clothes and accessories.

Straightgrain   ∆   you & mie   ∆   Lizzy House
A Little Goodness   ∆   Make It Perfect   ∆   skirt as top
Sanae Ishida   ∆   verykerryberry      Craftstorming
sib blog


  1. Thanks for sharing... Such beautiful photos of such beautiful garments! Really very inspiring, which makes me doubly glad to have the suggestions re:using a ballpoint needle!

  2. I do love me some Nani Iro double gauze! Your tops are both beautiful Kerry I'm sure they'll get a lot of use over the summer :)

  3. TWO beautiful tops! I have never used double gauze. I find it hard to judge the scale of the prints until I see someone's successful garment... and then I feel like a copy-cat!

  4. They are beautiful fabrics. I once made a wiksten tank out of a nan iro double gauze, and it's gorgeous but I found the bias finishes very challenging due to the bulk of the 2 layers.... It was early in my sewing career though so I may fare better with it now!

    1. Bias binding is tricky with double gauze, I think pre made binding would be a good idea with it. I did that with my first Belcarra and got a better finish than with the fold over double gauze binding on the neck

  5. Two gorgeous tops; they look wonderful on you!

  6. what a lovely wardrobe you must have Kerry.

  7. those blouses, but especially the pleated are so beautiful on you -- great work!

  8. Beautiful tops Kerry, they look so comfy for this weather, I definitely prefer loose fitting tops in the summer, much cooler. I think I might have to try some nani iro soon, the scarf is an excellent idea!!!!

  9. I do love your blouses.Gorgeous!

  10. Gorgeous, Kerry! The details are so pretty - you did a great job on the tucks! I love your Belcarra too. I think I'm going to need this pattern. Thank you so much for taking part in NIM! xo

  11. Love those tucks ~ really sweet tops! You're getting quite the wardrobe!

  12. Beautiful fabric choice and I especially love your Stylish Dress Book top J, the cut with your modifications looks great on you and your finishing is superb - perfect button holes *sigh*.

  13. So gorgeous! I have two pieces of double gauze I've been sitting on for ages and now I have to do something with them - it's so hot where I live.... thank you for the tip re bias binding, as I now plan to make one into my first Belcarra.
    I'm curious - i love tehe fit of your Belcarras, and saw your other post with the fitting details. Did you find that you eventually went with her sizing measurements or not? I know that with Big Four and Colette I need to go by my high bust and then adjust - otherwise they're way too big in the shoulders. I haven't tried any of her patterns even though I have a few :( and am wondering about the high bust measurement...
    and where oh where do you get linen bias binding from? Pretty please?

  14. Thankyou Francesca! I didn't make any SBA with this. Size 4 upper body, size 2 side seams, size 0 at the hip. Smaller seam allowance at the neckline to make it slightly higher. The linen bias binding was from Eternal Maker but is sold out I'm afraid. I haven't made any other Sewaholic top patterns so I am not sure about the high bust but I have seen the Belcarra on a lot of smaller busted women on blogs


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