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Sew Along with A Year of Sewing with Nani Iro – Part 4 of 4

August 27, 2022

And we are at the final stretch! If you haven’t caught up yet, here are the links for previous videos.

Quick Recap of what we covered in the last three weeks
Part 1 (6 Aug) – How to use the book, locating the patterns on the pattern sheet, tracing and adding seam allowances.
Part 2 (13 Aug) – Cutting out the fabric pieces, preparing the pieces for sewing,  and completing steps 1 (front to front yoke) and 2 (make the placket)
Step 3 (20 Aug) – Step 3 (Back to back yoke), Step 4 (Sewing front and back yokes together), Step 5 (Attaching the tie collar)

Today we will complete Step 6 (Finish armholes), Step 7 (Pockets and side seams), Step 8 (Hemming)

Shall we begin?

Very straightforward steps today, just take a little time to get things nice and neat, so don’t skip the tedious steps of marking and pressing especially the hemline!

Some notes on today’s sew

Bias Tape
The materials list called for 1m of single fold bias tape (50cm for each armhole). I did not have the right color in my stash of store bought tapes, and also the weight of the fabric is very different. Most store bought tapes are either cotton or polyester. So I wanted to make my own. However, as I was working with 3m of fabric, I only had a narrow strip to work with. This meant I could not cut strictly on the diagonal of the fabric (i.e.45deg) but I cheated my adjust the angle so that I could fit 2 strips of 50cm in the piece of scrap left. This only works if the edge you are binding is not extremely curved, and luckily for me, the armhole lines are made up of rather gentle curves and for the most part it is a straight line. If you are say binding a round neckline this hack may not work as the bias tape may not be as flexible as one cut on the diagonal. Having said that, If you followed the fabric requirements given by the book (3.9m) you should have no problems cutting on the diagonal since the fabric estimate usually provides for some room for error.

Side Pockets
I followed the instructions in the book for making the side pockets, but I did feel there should have been an additional step of understitching the pockets to the side seam to prevent the pocket seams from rolling out and being visible from the outside. A good press should be able to fix that with linen and also because I’m using the same color linen as the outer fabric, it is hardly obvious unless you look really closely. In order to understitch the pockets however, you will need to sew the pocket pieces separately to the front and back of the dress, instead of sewing the pocket pieces together. Feel free to attach the pockets in your favorite methods if you have any, since it doesn’t affect the final look of the dress

List of tools and supplies used in the video  (aff links)

Sewing book – A Year of Sewing with Nani Iro –
Clover Awl (I can’t find the wooden version online sorry!) –
Leonis Water Erasable Marking Pens. I was surprised when I received these because they were so small but despite it’s size they have outlasted any of the other markers I’ve had and does not dry out. –
Clover Wonder Clips (Mini) good for thin fabrics and smaller crafts as it won’t weight it down –
Clover Wonder Clips (regular) – more sturdy for holding pieces together for example when gathering –
Panasonic cordless iron (it’s a small iron and no cord so it’s perfect for crafting. The shape of the iron also means you don’t have to twist your arm to iron hard to reach places like in between buttons –
Olfa Small scissors (super sharp and precise for snipping curves and tiny areas)
Clover Bias Tape Maker – 

This sew-along is brought to you by Zakka Workshop. Zakka Workshop is a publisher of distinctive craft books, patterns, and kits inspired by fresh, contemporary Japanese design. They have lots of interesting craft books so do check them out at!

And that concludes our sew along series! I hope you had fun sewing along and I would really love to see what you’ve made. If you have sewn along with us, you can post it on either FB or IG and tag us @japanesesewingbooks or #naniirosewalong so we can all see your beautiful dresses!

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