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nani iro cotton sateen

Finished Projects Japanese Fabrics

My nani IRO Cotton Sateen dress

March 30, 2017

So I was being kind of ambitious when I said I could finish a dress in a week 🙂 More like one and a half. This happens when I only get 5 minutes at the machine before someone drags me away. So I had to quietly finish bits and pieces of it during his nap and when he’s off to bed at night.

Those of you following me on instagram must have seen my post asking for opinions about making this dress on the cover of this book. (Read the full review here)

I thank you all for your thoughts and suggestions. I think I must have some kind of stubborn streak in me, or I must have subconsciously decided I was going to do it but was hoping for a positive affirmation. 😛 But I think the majority said no to the combination. Many also object to the “cutting” up of the fabric print. But I had the image of the completed dress stuck in my head and I figured the only way not to cut up the pattern in the fabric for a dress is to make it caftan style :P. I was deliberately trying to steer away from the baggy, loose fitting, casual style to make a more formal looking dress. This is because, the default option for nani IRO fabrics is usually double gauze, which works beautifully for everyday wear, but can look rather casual. So I really wanted to try this beautiful cotton sateen on a more fitting dress, and this is the end result. I don’t know about you but I like it!


The ribbed knit at the waist line both created slight gathers in the bodice and skirt, and allows the waist line to be defined, both by the contrast in color as well as the stretchability of the fabric. Some felt the black was too harsh, but as I could not find any other shades of blue that will go well with it, black actually looked better.


This dress has a slight relaxed fit over the bust area to accommodate the gathers at the waist. The sleeves are cap sleeves with gathers near the shoulder seam. You can’t see it but there is no topstitching in this dress. Not even hemlines for the sleeve and skirt hems! Lots of hand stitching within which is also why it took so long to complete.


The only difference I made to the original pattern was the change of a fully exposed metal zip that was to be sewn from the right side to a concealed zip. I did contemplate a semi-exposed metal zip, but decided against it and opted for the safe option of a concealed zip.


Some thoughts to share after working with nani IRO cotton sateen. It is to-die-for!!! I am not kidding… It is buttery and soft and not heavy like some of the other “cotton sateens” I have bought from spotlight in the past. It drapes really beautifully and I’m so in love with this material that I ordered more in the other two colors from Elizabeth Little!

I did mention in my last post that I will be doing a test on shrinkage of the fabrics and here are the results. As they say, always prewash your fabrics the way you intend to wash them, so it’s Machine wash cold + dryer (delicate cycle) for me. I did throw these 10cm fabric squares in a laundry net so that the fraying will be contained. I didn’t want to overlock the edges as I felt that might affect the final measurement of the shrinkage amount. After the pieces came out of the dryer, both were really crumpled, so I ironed them out.

The first piece you see here is the cotton sateen (the white arrows indicate the grainline). You can see that after the wash, there is about 2-3mm lost along the grain and a lesser shrinkage cross grain. So that’s about a 2-3% maximum of shrinkage. That’s quite acceptable considering that most cottons are expected to shrink about 4%. You can see in the after picture, that the washing creases are quite difficult to get rid of though.


The next experiment was for nani IRO double gauze. I have always pre-washed my double gauze in the past since I have always assumed that it will shrink terribly. Part of that misconception also lies in the fact that when it comes out of the machine, it is always in a terrible scrunched up state. However, it is really easy to iron the creases out compared to the cotton sateen. But due to the loose weave, it did fray a bit more.doublegauzeshrinkage1

I was surprised to find that, after ironing it out, the shrinkage seemed to be quite minimal! I think the partial loss of fabric from the edges was more due to fraying then shrinkage. So could it be due to the ironing which helps to stretch out the weave?

In any good science experiment, you should always repeat the experiment 3 times. But hey, this is a sewing blog not a science blog, so don’t take my word (or experiment) results for it :P. You should always pre-wash your fabrics for best results.

That’s the end of my nani IRO cotton sateen report. If you are keen on getting any for yourself, do visit Elizabeth Little before they are all gone! If you are not fast enough, you may want to check out my blog again within the next few weeks as there might be a special giveaway for you all!


Japanese Fabrics

Japanese Fabrics – nani IRO 2017

March 16, 2017

A package I’ve been waiting for eagerly since February just arrived two days ago. Hand-delivered by! It’s school holidays this week so it’s hard to get anything done but I just had to quickly snap a few photos to share with you my lovely fabrics.



SAAAA SAAA Shimanto in Double gauze.
View full panel fabric and project ideas.


Wildflower Window in Double Gauze
view full panel fabric here


Lei nani – For beautiful corolla in Double Gauze
(from top to bottom)
Spring rain, Birds humming and Open sky

Fuccra : Rakuen
マヨルカMallorca / アマルフィAmalfi /エルニド El Nido
The fabrics in the series are named after beautiful places around the world.
This must be my favourite print of all, and one that I have in multiple colorways in my stash. Do you notice something different about the 3 fabrics?

2 of the 3 fabrics above are cotton sateen. I don’t think it’s the first time nani IRO is available in cotton sateen. If I’m not wrong, Shine Many Ways in the 2014 collection was the first, but this is the first time it’s been used for Fuccra : Rakuen and it is so beautiful I’m already ordering more. The fabric is soft and drapey, and smooth to touch.


To give you a better idea, I’m showing you a comparison with my other Fuccra : Rakuen in the exact same colorway but double gauze. I think it’s quite clear in the above picture which one is which.


Here’s a top view comparing similar graphics. The colors in the cotton sateen really do pop out a lot more, and the background color is a lot smoother.


The cotton fabric is thin and drapey, with a fine weave. The surface is silky with a sheen. I do hope it holds up to washing because I have not prewashed it yet and I have had bad experiences in the past washing cotton sateen (not from nani IRO but from other brands) as the sheen may disappear. I am crossing my fingers!

I’m so glad that this new material is available other than the usual double gauze and linens. Double gauze and linens are comfortable and cool for everyday wear, but the truth is that the look is more casual than formal. With cotton sateen, the look will be more refined and luxe, and I can imagine beautiful party dresses, jackets, skirts and blouses in them.

In the spirit of experimentation, I will be sacrificing my own precious piece of cotton sateen. (Don’t worry I can order more from Will prewash it to test for shrinkage and I will make something out of it. So come back next week and see what I have made!