for the love of nani

Wonderful, wonderful Nani Iro - Japanese designer and creator of fabrics that are sooooo beautiful you could just as easily display them on the wall. Really!

I've been sitting on a small number of yardages of Nani's wondrousness for quite some time, mainly because the very thought of ruining the fabric with my unwieldy scissors is the stuff of nightmares but also because I've been waiting for just the right pattern to drop into my hands.

This print is different in that it runs along the selvedge, so if you fold it in half width wise there is a mirror image along the other selvedge. Now the trouble is that when I laid my pattern out that way, there wasn't enough fabric which is a bit of a shame, however an opportunity to be able to say I'm too tall is something I can most definitely live with here. It feels good! In any case, because it's quite abstract and looks beautiful from all angles, I figured it doesn't really matter which way it's used. I mean, birds fly in all directions, right?

And what do you know, I'd been sitting on just the very thing all this time and in fact, if you're in any way an eagle-eyed sort, you may remember this style from a couple of months ago. But it was only when I received a couple of compliments (and who doesn't like those?) when wearing the black version that I decided it was clearly good enough to get a second airing. And because it was already tried and tested, I got those cutters out without a moments hesitation. Plus if all that wasn't enough, the fact I already had the pattern drafted out made it yet more appealing an idea!

So without further ado, I present to you my latest creation. I don't usually wear this colour scheme, it's too 'Continental' for me; in that these earthy shades don't tend to flatter, what with my fair skin and all that, but I figured an extra layer of Laura Mercier 'sexy lips' lipstick would be the perfect antidote!!

I've been finally delving into the vintage fabric stash and doing yet more sewing for MLF but that's for another day. Goodness, I'm becoming most brave!

Enjoy the sunshine. x


  1. Yep it looks good. Very pretty material too. All very summery.

  2. This looks so good I am almost tempted to have a go myslef.

  3. It is very lovely indeed! What beautiful fabric.

  4. It looks stunning and very expensive! Thwe fabric is divine. xxx

  5. it looks fantastic, and I love the fabric, I would NEVER have been brave enough to cut into it.. x

  6. It's gorgeous and definitely suits you though I competely understand the reluctancy not to chop. I have a whole stash I'm way too frightened to cut up....yet!

    take care,

    Nina xxx

  7. Hi, I found you via Sew Mama Sew! Your dress is really lovely and I think it goes fine with your skin tone. There's nothing wrong with being a bit 'continental' once in a while! ;¬)

  8. just gorgeous well done....thanks for lovely comment and yes these days i choose my battles wisely. the flag can stay!

  9. Thank you for all your lovely comments ladies, they are much appreciated.

    Ana, thank you for popping by, I wish I could come and visit you but sadly your blog profile isn't available.

    Kate x

  10. Your bravery has won you quite a prize! Oh it's just lovely...and yes, I do covet your beautiful fabrics. I love the fabric with the cut of the dress. I am what I am but, sometimes I do wish my body shape lent itself to such styles.

    I need to take a page from your book and leap into sewing more for myself. Though I think it would help if I had another pair of hands to assist in the fitting.
    Well done!

  11. Stunning dress, you look lovely in it. Still can't get used to headless blog shots, I always wonder what the top part looks like. Plain old nosy me.

    I was shocked when you shops in London take 75%, not a hope in hell of the maker seeing any profit. Yes all very fair here and at 20% as set by me we were all happy.

  12. Gorgeous fabric, colours and pattern Kate. Your decision to chop has paid off - brave girl!

    Love your very 'modely' pose in the last photo!

    Enjoy these sunny days too.


  13. Just stumbled across your blog and wanted to say the dress you just made is lovely. Love the fabric, really nice and summery.

  14. Gosh, the dress is beautiful! Is the Nano Iro a double gauze? I keep reading about how tricky that is to sew with, but I'm completely in love with her designs.

    Florence x

  15. Thank you all for yet more compliments, they are much appreciated.

    Jeanne, so glad you appreciate my Naomi Campbell-esque efforts, I don't think she needs to worry just yet!

    Lisa, apologies for the headless photos. One day ... one day!

    Florence, this fabric is a linen/cotton blend and a real delight to sew with (and wear). Your comment has me a trifle nervous now as I was under the impression double gauze was great to sew; my swallow blouse was a bit gauzy (not double) and that was no problem at all. My next project is to be a Nani Iro DG (that's the one I have earmarked for the shirring as it happens). Oh well, it looks like I shall be winging it yet again!

  16. that is beautiful - and the dress pattern is just perfect! think i might need to source a copy of that book... simple, elegant and extremely practical. what's not to love?!

  17. Hi, I realize I'm coming here 7 years later, but would love to know what book that pattern is from. I know you said it was a Japanese sewing book but was curious as to the name, etc. Thanks! Love the pattern - love the fabric. And you have probably figured this out by now, but double gauze is a dream to work with. I haven't found it to be tricky at all.

    1. Hi Mardee, sorry this message is so late. The book is called 'Sewing Talk' by Machiko Kayaki https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/496414634/sewing-talk-japanese-dress-pattern-book?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=sewing%20talk%20japanese%20book&ref=sr_gallery-1-2


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