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nani iro

Japanese Sewing Books in English

Book Review – Nani Iro Sewing Studio (now in English)

April 16, 2019

It’s been about a year since the launch of nani IRO’s latest sewing book and I know many of you have bought the book thanks to the gorgeous pictures and fabric, never mind if you can’t read a word of Japanese. But I have good news for you, for World Book Media (@ZakkaWorkshop on IG) has translated the book and it will be soon available in major bookstores in June!

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Japanese Fabrics

Japanese Fabrics – nani IRO 2019 new designs

March 2, 2019

The month of March is usually an exciting one with lots of new book and fabric launches, in particular, the new nani IRO collection! Just like the previous years, I will have to split up the collection into different posts. Today’s post will cover the all new designs for this year’s collection. In subsequent posts I will be covering – a shrink test for a couple of new substrates, as well as my makes and new fabrics in the basic and colors range. Continue Reading

Translations and Help with Patterns

Translation Request – Atelier to nani IRO Sewing Closet shirt P

March 30, 2018

I was asked to translate the instructions for gathering of the collar in this shirt P, found in the latest nani IRO sewing book. There are 3 variations of this pattern – 2 of them are dresses (N and O)  and the last one is this shirt P. All of them have similar instructions for steps 1-6, so I am translating them here for you.


These translated instructions are for steps 1-6 found on pages 79-80 of the book Atelier to nani IRO’s Sewing Closet.

ATELIER to nani IRO sewing closet / Ito Naomi

button_buy-now-from-cdjapan (1)(affiliate link)

  1. Make Breast Pocket and Attach
    1. Using thicker paper/cardboard, make a template of the breast pocket in the finished dimensions (i.e. without seam allowance).
    2. Double fold the pocket seam allowance (on the side indicated in the diagram) and stitch.
    3. Sew long stitches along the curved edge of the pocket
    4. Place pocket template on wrong side of fabric. Fold in the seam allowance and press. For curved edge, use the long stitches to pull the curved hem into shape and press.
    5. Place pocket on marked position on Front bodice and attach (refer to diagram for stitch lines)
  1. Make Tabs
    1. Place the two tab pieces, right sides facing, sew around the outer edge except for the top edge.
    2. Trim seam allowances to 0.5cm
    3. Turn out to the right side, and top stitch
    4. Make button hole on tab
  1. Make button placket and attach tabs
    1. At the bottom edge of the button placket position on the front bodice, stitch gathering (long stitches)
    2. Gather the bottom edge to the desired length (3cm in diagram)
    3. Fold and press button placket pieces according to the series of diagram (if you see the characted わ – that indicates a fold, 表 indicates right side of fabric, 裏 indicates wrong side of fabric)
    4. With right sides facing, attach each of the button plackets to the bodice. (note the orientation of the piece – 上 means upper, and goes on the right side of the wearer, 下 means lower, and goes on the left side of the wearer)
    5. Wrap the lower button placket around the centre front by turn it to the back, and top stitch in place
    6. Do the same for the upper button placket.
    7. Align the ends of the slit together and sew in the tabs in between. (Refer to the diagram for how to stitch down the bottom end.
  2. Sew shoulder seams
    1. With front and back bodice pieces right sides facing, align at shoulder seam and sew.
    2. Overlock/Zig-zag stitch the seam allowances together to finish the raw edges.
    3. Iron the seam allowance towards the back
  3. Gather Neckline
    1. Sew with the longest stitch length, make two rows of gathering stitches on the front and back bodice pieces respectively, between the marked points on the pattern – ギャザー止り which means end of gathers.
    2. Using the lower threads, pull to gather to the lengths marked on the diagram.diagramcloseup
  4. Make collar and attach
    1. With the two collar pieces right sides facing, sew around the sides and top (stopping 1cm from the bottom edge) as marked in the diagram.
    2. Trim seam allowance to 0.5cm
    3. Turn the collar out to the right side and iron
    4. With the right sides of the outer collar facing the bodice, align the collar around the neckline and Keep the inner collar out of the way.
    5. Clip curves in the seam allowances
    6. Flip the Inner collar over so that the seam allowance is folded over the neckline. Top stitch from the outer side to sew down the inner collar. (refer to diagram for seam allowances)

Finished Projects Japanese Fabrics

nani IRO 2018 – Sewing with nani IRO Linen

March 27, 2018

As part of nani IRO month, it goes without saying that I need to make something out of the new collection as well! Last year I explored sewing with nani IRO cotton sateen, and this year, I decided to make something out of the very same fabric we are giving away, which hopefully will make you want to take part in our awesome one-bolt fabric + book giveaway!

The fabric I used is a thin linen in the most popular blue colorway from the Ripple or is it Pippre series. This is what the fabric looks like. The fabric in the picture is hung with the lengthwise grain vertical, so the selvedges are vertical as well.


But I really wanted to make the bottom border into a skirt, and I also wanted to make a more structured dress compared to what you would normally see. Most of the linen pieces in the book are baggy and even though it would be really comfy to wear, I really wanted to try something else. So I just went ahead with what was in my head, and here is the result! 🙂


As expected, the bottom border for the skirt is really amazing. It’s really like wearing a piece of abstract art! The top of the dress was actually a more rounded neck, but I amended it to a  boat neck so that I could show more of the horizontal stripe.


And this is how it looked on me! The skirt is an inverted box pleat skirt because I felt that using gathers will make it too poofy.


Here’s the back view. Remember that this linen is rather sheer so the dress is fully lined with white lawn.

But I had about 1m left of scraps. So I wanted to make something casual too, for daily wear. I was really in love with the linen by this time because it is so cool to wear for our super hot weather. So with the remnants, I managed to cut out a tank top! And because I wanted to feature both borders, and also max out the use of the fabric, I decided on an asymmetrical tank with a longer back piece featuring the bright blue border.

This piece is not lined, as the dark blue print in the front ensured it wasn’t see-through. But I did use lawn to face the neckline and armholes as I wanted a clean finish around them. This was a really quick and easy project and now I really want to get more nani IRO linen because I wore this the whole Sunday and it was so comfortable and cool to wear.


Here’s the back view. You will notice that linen crumples. Yes But that is part of the relaxed linen look. Which then brings me to another point. I didn’t iron the pieces after washing them. I just wore them as it is and I think not having to iron is a major bonus for me! 🙂


Some of you may be afraid of sewing with linen because it is usually more expensive and seems like it will shrink alot. This is actually not my first time sewing with linen, but the previous times I used thicker ones. This thin linen from nani IRO was actually very easy to handle. In fact it feels a little like a mix of cotton and paper. The slight stiffness is due to the natural fibres of hemp. You may also wonder, if it will shrink alot since most people think that anything cotton/natural fibres will shrink like crazy.

So I did a shrink test.


So the first picture is the before…

2 pieces of 10cm square pieces of thin linen were added to the wash. Cold wash (approximately 25-30 degrees in our weather). The top piece was sun-dried and the bottom piece (with blue streak) was put in the dryer on my regular cycle.



Sorry for flipping the pieces when I took the after photo. The blue streak piece is now above, that’s the one that went into the dryer. I had to tape down the edges with washi tape to keep it flat because they were a little wrinkly. Notice that there was no shrinkage along the lengthwise grain at all! However, there was a 6-7% shrinkage on the cross grain.

Obviously there is not much difference between being dried in the dryer (which is way hotter) than on the line. I said sun-dry but because I live in an apartment it was more like sun/wind-dried in the shade. It dried really quickly though, because it’s thin and rather loose weave. So it’s not as dramatic a shrinkage as some might say, but you should definitely pre-wash the fabric before cutting to avoid any surprises.

If you love that relaxed/free-spirit look, as well as the class Japanese/Muji look. You will love sewing with, and wearing linen. I am hooked and want more.


Love this grungy look!

And so that’s the end of my sewing with nani IRO linen report! I hope this was useful to you. And yes I know I promised to post the translation request last week but I got distracted by the fabric arrival and had to start sewing immediately! The translation is almost done, short of one small diagram. And will be up later this week.