June 23, 2015

Nani Iro, Miss Matatabi, Hokusai and a giveaway!

Triple Japanese for the win! My latest make, as part of Miss Matatabi’s Nani Iro month, is another McCall’s 6506 shirtdress, made with the most delectable Nani Iro “mountain views” double gauze.

Nani Iro McCall's M6696, Miss Matatabi

If you haven’t yet discovered Nani Iro – or Miss Matatabi’s store for that matter – you should go and stalk them immediately. Nani Iro is the creation of Japanese watercolour painter Naomi Ito, and she has a wonderful range of high quality textiles, from linen to knits to double gauze which I’m using here. You can follow her on instagram here for beautiful behind the scenes photos and to see what inspires her dreamy designs. Double gauze is a unique fabric: it’s soft to the touch, sews and presses wonderfully, and is perfect for semi-structured garments.

Nani Iro McCall's M6506, Miss Matatabi

I met up with Frances, the owner of Miss Matatabi, when I was in Tokyo, and we went for coffee at a hipster cafe to chat about all things sewing and expat related. The icing on the cake was when she produced 4 yards of this gorgeous fabric for me!

I decided to replicate my previous M6506 (also made of double gauze, as it happens), and I just made a few adjustments to the pattern from last time – adding a little more to the armscye for bra coverage, adding belt loops, lengthening it by 2 inches (I entirely failed to notice it’s a Petite pattern the first time…), and using a sew-in interfacing in the collar.

Nani Iro McCall's M6506, Miss Matatabi

The pattern is a nice alternative to the infamous M6696: it’s a bit faster to put together, and the bodice fits me a little better (though it has already been FBA-ed from the D cup, I was hardly going to get out of that one). The pleats are also perfect in this double gauze – just a little bit poofy but not too much!

Nani Iro McCall's M6506, Miss Matatabi

And what do you know, it perfectly matches my graduation bag from my Mum. Thanks, Mum!

Nani Iro McCall's M6506, Miss Matatabi

Don’t be fooled: this is what I look like most of the time.

It only seemed fair to wear it on my outing to the new Hokusai exhibition at the MFA in Boston. The prints on show were spectacular, and of course I matched many of them in my Japanese blues (that’s the main point of art viewings, right?).

And this had to be done:

Nani Iro McCall's M6506, Miss Matatabi

So tell me, are you a fan of double gauze? What else do you recommend using it for? It’s definitely too soft for some projects, but it’s so irresistible  that I need more doublygauzy projects!


Here are the other stops on the Nani Iro month tour, and check out the awesome giveaway of over $400 of Nani Iro stuff!

Straightgrain   ∆   noodlehead   ∆   Ute

verykerryberry   ∆   Make It Perfect   ∆   Groovy Baby and Mama

A Little Goodness   ∆   SKIRT AS TOP   ∆   Cashmerette

Sew Little   ∆   imagine gnats   ∆   you & mie

SANAE ISHIDA   ∆   Miss Matatabi

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Nani Iro fabric provided for free by Miss Matatabi. Embarrassing fangirling of Nani Iro, entirely my own.

92 thoughts on “Nani Iro, Miss Matatabi, Hokusai and a giveaway!

  1. Heather says:

    you are always such an inspiration! thanks for sharing & for the giveaway! 🙂

  2. Katie says:

    I love how much of a fun time you had in Japan! This is a gorgeous dress and I am a definite Nani Iro new fan!

  3. When I saw this on Instagram I couldn’t wait for the post!! Such a lovely dress! I’ve never used Nani Iro or double gauze before.

  4. Michelle T. says:

    Your dress is beautiful! It is very inspiring to find well fitting clothes made by someone with so much personal style. I saw and touched (fondled longingly) Nani Iro in New York at Purl Soho and it felt wonderful! I waited and my fave was gone forever. Miss Matatabi is a find.

    1. Miss Matatabi is the total best! Shipping is really fast and reasonable as well.

  5. Sarah says:

    I LOVE Nani Iro fabric. Wearing a double gauze blouse right now!

    1. Go Nani Iro! A blouse is a great idea

  6. sewingaddict says:

    What a lovely dress! The fabric is perfect for the pattern. Thanks so much for sharing with us.

  7. Great pattern and fabric!

  8. I have been skulking (here AND) on her store for months now – seeing the fabric sewn up has knocked me over the edge. Purchases being made this week!

  9. janene says:

    Such a beautiful dress 🙂

  10. Jenny, you’re amazing! I love your dress and the colour was made for you! Thank you so much for taking part!

    1. Thank YOU for the lovely fabric! It’s lush.

  11. Judi in Tinton Falls says:

    I’m not sure what double gauze feels like. Is it opaque? Does it wrinkle easily? It looks so cool, perfect for humid days.

    1. It’s not opaque, no – it’s literally two layers of thin cotton that have been attached somehow, so it probably has the same density as a thicker cotton but still has a lot of drape. Yes it does wrinkle pretty easily though – it’s not so much like linen with hard creases, but lots of little creases.

  12. Katie says:

    Love me some Nani Iro.

  13. Jessica says:

    Fabulous dress! Love the fabric and the pattern and I especially love that it’s petite! I’m going to have to add it to my list. Thanks for the giveaway!

  14. Michelle says:

    That last picture is a riot! 😀 This dress is gorgeous. I haven’t used a Nani Iro fabric yet. I’m tempted. The prints are amazing!

  15. Gosh, oh my gosh! I didn’t really consider the mountain views, but after seeing yours I regret not purchasing it! Must remedy that soon! I love this pattern over the infamous pattern because it doesn’t have back gathers. I need this pattern in my life!

  16. Donna says:

    Gorgeous. Love the color.

  17. Brenda says:

    This dress is great to on you! It’s great to see this fabric made into a dress. Because of the odd fabric width, I’ve never been able to understand how this would look. Thank you!

  18. sarah says:

    gorgeous dress. I love the delicate way that nani iro fabrics incorporate nature.

  19. I actually prefer this pattern! This dress is so lovely.

  20. annie says:

    I am in love with that mountain views print! It has been sitting in my cart on etsy. Soon.

  21. Andie L. says:

    Love the dress! That fabric is so gorgeous! 🙂 🙂

  22. Deon W. says:

    I’ve been dreaming of this fabric for a while. How lucky you met the fabric artist. I have a print by Kawase Hasui over my bed – not Hokusai, but same style.

  23. I paw at Nani Iro every time I see it but have never actually bought any. It is so darn pretty.

  24. katrinat says:

    I’ve been seeing all the Nani Iro makes pop up in my instagram feed and now i want to make my own. I love your dress!

  25. Chris Griffin says:

    Love the fabric.

  26. Mary Danielson Perry says:

    Absolutely lovely, Jenny! That fabric is gorgeous and so is that bag. What a fabulous graduation present! This outfit is just divine for summer.

    1. Isn’t the bag great? My Mum got me one that she knew would fit my laptop and sewing stuff for when I lug it all over to Grey’s Fabrics – very thoughtful!

  27. michelleinsea says:

    Pretty! I just sewed with double gauze for the first time recently, and I now love it! The stuff I had was solid color and by Kobayashi stuff, but I’m really curious to try some in a Nano Iro print now, too.

  28. Cweet Gal says:

    I did not know about Nani iro .. Home page looks cool , but I am unable to guess how to browse , translation is not neat in my browser

    1. It’s easier just to peruse Miss Matatabi – I included the direct link just in case anyone was interested in the original artist’s website

  29. This is such gorgeous fabric, and looks great in this dress! I’ve only ever seen double gauze once, in a small local designer quilting shop, but I’m very intrigued to try some!

  30. LaLa Sews says:

    What a gorgeous fabric and pattern combo. I don’t know anything about double gauze but you’ve made it look fab. Love the Museum pics. I’ll have to check out the store – Nani Iro’s watercolor styles are beautiful.

  31. NewRibena says:

    I bought some Nani Iro fabrics over two years and still haven’t gotten the courage to cut into it yet. Your dress is beautiful though and is a big encouragement

  32. kaytedoggett says:

    Ohh, I checked out the Etsy store from you link and I’M IN LOVE!!! Tell me though, did you line that dress in the cotton gauze? I assumed you’d have to but I’m okay with being wrong (less work).

    1. No, you don’t need to line double gauze – it’s opaque and actually feels really nice next to the skin

  33. Jana says:

    I’ve been admiring the Nano Iro fabrics from afar but haven’t bought any yet.

  34. ellegeemakes says:

    Cute dress! I love double gauze because it feels so great against your skin. I’ve used it for shirts in the past and a nightgown. But after seeing your dress, I’m inspired to try this too! It is super soft though, not crisp at all, but it worked great for your dress…

  35. Ellen says:

    Beautiful dress, gorgeous model and fantastic blog!

  36. Katie Emma says:

    I have one dress out of double gauze and it’s one of my favorites! I have not used any Nani Iro fabric yet, but I’ve definitely stalked it!

  37. sewmanju says:

    The fabric is gorgeous and the pattern is fab on you.

  38. Abigail says:

    I love the fabric! And the dress! I entered the giveaway and my fingers are crossed…I have really bad luck and normally don’t win things, but one can dream!

  39. Beth says:

    i love your dress, the fabric is absolutely gorgeous! thank you for such a fab giveaway 🙂

  40. I have some Freedom Garden that I have been trying to work up the nerve to cut into… It actually is a really pretty tablecloth, too, so I don’t mind.

  41. Clare says:

    I am obsessed with this designer!

  42. I liked the shorter version of this pettern you made.
    You have a beautiful legs and I dont see a reason to cover them, IMHO the proportions are better when the dress is shorter.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  43. Elizabeth says:

    I would love to try some Nani Ito. Especially double gauze!

  44. Kelley Camp says:

    OMG! Love the fabric and the dress! It looks absolutely fabulous on you!

  45. Katie says:

    Swoon! I wouldn’t have thought of double gauze for a shirtdress but it softens it down beautifully. Those back pleats looks gorgeous. I bought some Nani Iro in NYC and I’m stumped for what to use it for…

    1. Yeah I wasn’t sure if it would work out, but I think that all the darts and shaping means it’s alright!

  46. Shannon Snyder says:

    Thank you for the chance to win! I’ve been wanting to try out some double gauze 🙂

  47. Amanda Smith says:

    Just lovely on you! Perfect fit and such beautiful colors. I need this type of dress in my closet.

  48. Elissa East says:

    Such beautiful fabric. My daughter is going to Japan for a language and textiles tour soon – I have told her I will give her spending money for material. I will now tell her to look out for this name/brand. Dress was beautiful too

  49. Cammie says:

    Wow! That shirtdress is amazing, the colour scheme looks like it was made for you! I’ve been ogling that same fabric in the green colourway for a while now, (It reminds me of how I thought the Yorkshire dales looked when I was a kid) but I haven’t taken the plunge…yet…

  50. Ada says:

    Love your shirtdress! Gorgeous fabric!

  51. This is quite frankly too beautiful Jenny.

  52. Sheena says:

    I just ordered my very first Nani Iro fabric from Miss Matatabi this week and I am soooooo excited to make a dress with it! I can only hope it will be a lovely as yours!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  53. what a fabulous dress!! I’ve never sewn with nano iro but have patted it a few times….

  54. Beth Carver says:

    The dress is oh so lovely! I very much need to perfect a TNT pattern so I can sew with Nani Iro – you’re blog inspires me with hope!

  55. Rachel says:

    I love your shirtdresses! I’m still writing up the courage to make buttonholes, myself. So gorgeous!! I’ve never used Nani I do, but I’d love to, so thanks for the giveaway!

  56. Jennie says:

    I love your shirtdress, my favourite rtw dress is a shirt dress and I really need to comat my fear of sewing for me and make one!

  57. That fabric is amazing and the pattern is a perfect match!

  58. I love Nani Iro fabric! I’m a massive fan of the Japanese aesthetic and Nani Iro incorporates this with a modern feel perfectly. Thank you for the giveaway!

  59. Jenny says:

    I am just making a shirt dress using a rayon which is a bit of a pain but drapes well. I know Nani Iro would be perfect for my next one and have been stalking Frances on Etsy for months. One day I hope to buy some but quite frankly I can’t choose just one. This is why it hasn’t happened yet. Jennylarking at gmail dot com

  60. Ariane Kring says:

    This looks like such beautiful fabric. I love the colors and would love to try it out.

  61. Diane O says:

    What a beautiful dress…looks like you have a wonderful time. Love Japanese fabric.

  62. deb says:


  63. Gina says:

    I’d been eyeing this fabric for a while, but when you posted it on instagram the other day, I gave in and ordered it from Miss Matatabi. I’m going to try to restrain myself from making a shirtdress with it so I don’t look like a total stalker! I just made a Deer and Doe Belladone with some Cotton and Steel double gauze and I LOVE it! The only thing is that you must be sure to not use big long stitches when you hand stitch your neck and armhole binding because that wobbly double gauze will get rumpled up in the wash and your raw edges will start peeking out – ask me how I know!

  64. I’ve been seriously drooling over Nani Iro and knowing that I don’t have time to get some and make anything up this month, but am plotting, oddly enough about the mountain views double gauze.

  65. V Reed says:

    It’s stunning! The color is so perfect with your bag! However did your Mum know? 🙂 I have never sewn double gauze, but seeing all the makes on the blog hop has me very intrigued!

  66. neurula says:

    Such a lovely print! I’ve always wanted to try double gauze 🙂

  67. Siobhan says:

    I love that fabric and find the drape really interesting.

  68. Sara says:

    It’s so beautiful! I’ve never tried double gauze or any Nani Iro fabrics, and I’m thinking now, I really should!

  69. megret1979 says:

    This dress is glorious- color, fit! Ha- if I had checked my feed yesterday before we met I would have demanded to see it in real life!

  70. That fabric is so gorgeous! The colors are perfect for your skin, eyes, and hair!

  71. stephanie says:

    Gorgeous fabric! And I love your pic at the Hokusai exhibit under the way – LOL! Off to stalk the Miss Matatabi store and drool over some Nani Iro. &hearts

  72. Tanya Maile says:

    You are just on a roll with your shirt dresses! Major love for this one! Double gauze is so wonderful and paired with that glorious print and your shirt dress pattern, it sure does make this an outstanding dress!

  73. Sarah Jane says:

    I’ve been coveting the gorgeous Nani Iro Double Gauzes like crazy lately. So, so gorgeous! Love your shirt dress!

  74. puu says:

    thanks, mum indeed! enjoy them both as they are perfect together! 🙂

  75. I have always been fascinated by the beautiful prints from Nani Iro , and everyone always says how lovely they are to work with. I would love to give them a try myself 🙂

  76. Ginger says:

    Such a pretty dress and fabric

  77. Pat says:

    Awesome fabric and dress! I went to this exhibition today too 🙂

  78. gibbylet says:

    Thank you so much! I’ve not worked with double gauzes but certainly have been admiring these prints and wondering if I’m up to trying to learn to work with a new fabric.

  79. Kirsty says:

    What a beautiful dress! You are right, the pleats are a nice touch rather than gathering.

  80. amcclure2014 says:

    I love the dress; gorgeous fabric. I’m intrigued by this fabric, I haven’t seen this in person but it sounds great.

  81. I’ve been stalking Nani Iro for years! I love the dreamy watercolors and the light, bright colors.

  82. I’ve made one dress from double gauze and you’re right, it is so nice. Just have to be careful because seams seem to show through quite easily.

    This fabric, in particular, is GORGEOUS! Ungh

  83. Tammie S. says:

    Even better than the last shirtdress! 🙂

  84. gingermakes says:

    Man, what a beautiful dress! It’s so lovely!

Let me know what you think!