Harley helps.

Harley helps.
Harley, my hard-working sewing assistant.

Monday, July 29, 2019

complete: Nani Iro pocket dress

I made a dress! With the new sewing machine! Wheee!

And not to bury the lede, but: We went to Japan for two weeks, and I completely fell in love with the clothing—especially Nani IRO and their amazing fabrics. I'm hooked.

We tracked down the atelier in Osaka. (Here's my review on PR.) They wouldn't let me take photos of the shop but said it was OK to take pictures of the fabrics. Lots of linen, cotton gauze and sateen in bright colors, as well as buttons and notions, an archive (I wasn't sure if it was possible to buy any of the archived fabrics), and jewelry.



I bought some lovely blue linen with an asymmetrical print:



And the book—the English translation had just been released. And it was signed! (I have a picture, can't seem to post it, sry.)

So anyway. I couldn't stop reading the book—you know when you get really really obsessed with a pattern book? Like that. As soon as I got home, I decided to try out the pocket dress.

Here's the line drawing:


It's pretty ingenious—just front and back pieces, and the front piece is pleated and topstitched in 3 places to form pockets. Here's the dress photo from the book.



It's pretty oversized (lots of Japanese dresses are, I found), but you can add optional buttonholes to the back to take out some of the ease.

I'm not sure if the finished dress works for my body type. This is a size XS-S, believe it or not.


Hand in pocket:



I don't smile:


I wore it to the Willows the other night, and it sure felt good in the 92-degree heat wave.

Not sure I quite have the hang of construction yet, and in the next version, I might shorten it even more (I shortened it by 1 inch here, and moved the slits up) and add those buttonholes. A couple of things I should mention:

1) Tracing is tricky, because the bottom pieces for both the front and back pattern pieces are nested within the top pieces, if that makes any sense. Just make sure the circles line up.

2) It's a pretty simple-looking pattern, but lining everything up (pleats, topstitching, pockets) is HARD. You know that saying: Measure twice, cut once? I measured, and measured, and measured again, and then measured a couple more times, and I feel like some sections are still off a bit. It didn't help that the linen was super-shifty and frayed a lot, and that the shoulder pleats and pocket pleats don't quite line up with each other. I had to redo the topstitching above the pockets after the dress was assembled, because for some reason, I got this weird 3D gap. I pulled them out, pressed everything flat, and then restitched.

When I make this up again, I'm going to tweak the order of construction on the front piece. The instructions in the book say to pleat and sew the pockets first, but I'm wondering if it would make more sense to sew the shoulder pleats, then the top of the pockets, then press to make sure you have an even line, and then sew the pocket bottoms.

So, in conclusion: I'm not totally 100% on board with this version, but the pattern is so, so cool and I want to give it another shot. Looking forward to making up more patterns from the book too.


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