Cutting it short 

I love the Named Clothing Inari dress I made at Easter, so I followed up with a totally un-customised, straight from the pattern Inari Tee.

It’s in Nani Iro double gauze with lovely pearlescent dots which I got (for free! First competition I’ve ever won, and the most I’ve ever wanted to win sonething) from Miss Matatabi (much more from this generous haul to follow).

I love it, it’s great with my high waisted skirts and smart trousers at the office; but at the same time it’s too short to wear casually unless I get / make some high waisted jeans. So I’m going to make more of these, but a bit longer. Watch this space!

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Educating Reeta

I cut this dress out way back in April and quickly got it about three-quarter done. But then my Masters exam started looming so it was put aside. Last week, I did my exam, and a few hours of the bank holiday weekend were fruitfully directed towards completing this glorious garment. 

It’s a Named Clothing Reeta dress, in Nani Iro linen which I bought with some reward vouchers from work at John Lewis. I’m pretty delighted that John Lewis has started to stock Nani Iro. 

And this dress! It’s so stunning! I’m in love. The weather has been humid and hot and this dress has been a godsend. I love the length, the comfiness, the way it flows about my legs. It’s the perfect summer dress. 

Blooming

My two sewing passions right now are Nani Iro fabrics and Named Clothing patterns. 

I bought the pattern for the ubiquitous Named Clothing Inari Tee at the new Ray-Stitch shop a few months back. I want to make at least half a dozen of these tees in Nani Iro double gauze for my summer work wardrobe, but first – a dress! 

I added a gathered skirt. In my usual way with these Japanese fabrics, I just used the full width (selvedge to selvedge) to avoid raw edges. It’s such narrow fabric that it just makes sense. 

The fabric was from one of my favourite online shops, M is for Make. 

Moneybags

It was my step dad’s birthday recently so I made him a wallet. 

I’m still very much in love with my Nani Iro Clear Heart canvas, which regular readers may be getting a bit bored of (see here and here). 

I roughly followed the tutorial here to make this, with some modifications to the fastening. 

Putting on hammer-in snaps was a first for me – I love them! 

Espadrilles

On the day I finished my exams in mid May I took the train to Wales and sewed these espadrilles together in the sunshine at my train table, letting my hands remember sewing after all that frantic essay writing.

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I’d prepared all the pieces before my exam so all I had to do was stitch the uppers to the soles.

I used Nani Iron canvas in the design “Clear Heart”. The lining is in Liberty tana lawn. The espadrilles match my rucksack and duffel bag in the same fabric.

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Tragically these are a bit big on me so I’ll need to make another pair, and give these away. C’est la vie. I’m still very proud of my first ever pair of handmade shoes.

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Bag lady

One consequence of having dual nationality is that I travel rather a lot. Suffice it to say that I’ve been pretty closely acquainted with duffel bags from a very early age.

In Toronto over Christmas, fresh off the airplane, I popped into The Workroom with my dad, and he bought me Grainline Studio‘s excellent Portside Travel Set pattern, which I’ve been coveting for some time, in actual luxurious hard copy, as a not-so-secret Christmas present. This was the excuse I’d been waiting for to snap up a bit of Nani Iro canvas – in the Clear Heart pattern from the 2015 collection – when I got back to London in January.

The results are… delicious!

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I lined the pockets and bag in some Liberty tana lawn which I had in my stash. This was actually the very first fabric I coveted and bought (or rather, my mum bought for me). Before I could sew, before I went to university, before I had a phone or a bank account. Looking back, I’m not sure why I coveted it so much; but at any rate it is the perfect match for the rest of the bag.

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The copper D-rings and zip are from the inimitable, venerable MacCulloch and Wallis. Sadly I couldn’t find matching swivel hooks in copper. Webbing and silver swivel hooks were from Ray-Stitch. The Nani Iro canvas was from Monday’s Milk, because nowhere in the UK seemed to have any left, and it was on sale.

Separately, a friend donated her old Modernaked rucksack to me because one of the shoulder straps had frayed apart and she was being sent a replacement bag. Here’s what the original was like:

Modernaked rucksack

The Liberty fabric on the bag was nice but not my cup of tea; so I replaced it with more of the Nani Iro canvas. Thankfully I was ill at home for a few days. It took an entire day to re-cover  and repair the bag. Mostly it was a lot of hand sewing and embroidery (I could only do the upper flap on the machine – the rest had to be appliquéd on by hand). But no matter – now I have a matching travel set!

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You can still see a bit of the old fabric on the inside

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Flower power

Mmmmm I love this dress. I made it over three nights after work one week recently.

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The fabric is brushed cotton in another wonderful design from Nani Iro. I of course realised before cutting that I was a metre-and-a-bit short of fabric for this pattern, so had an emergency online shop to get some more over from Japan pronto,from the perennially wonderful Miss Matatabi. In the end I used about 3 metres.

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The pattern is drafted from the Merchant & Mills Factory Dress, but I removed 8 cm from the bodice at the waist to shorten it, and drafted my own gathered skirt. I also moved the pocket up a wee bit so it wasn’t so close to the waist seam.

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Generally I found the instructions fairly easy to follow, but the pattern itself was disappointingly mystifying in places. For example, the markings for the dart don’t make a straight line if you joined the dots. And the markings for the pocket look exactly the same and are in the same part of the bodice, which adds another layer of confusion.

Nonetheless, common sense won out and I love this dress. I wore it to see the incredible Giffords Circus last weekend, and felt like a gleeful 5-year-old in it. I wore it again in the week to see Twelfth Night performed in a balmy, blossoming London churchyard and felt strangely camouflaged sitting among roses. In other words, a marvellous dress that will get to go to many exciting places with me.