Nani Iro Tunic Dress

This is the first one I made.

Sometimes, when I’m trying a new pattern just to see what’s up with it, I’ll piece together scraps of fabric rather than using new yardage. That’s what I did here.

Front bottom.
Back, with Catthew. I regret leaving those white panels unembellished.

I used some fine linen, some rougher embroidery linen, quilting cotton, fine Japanese gauze, Japanese double-gauze, a vintage cocktail napkin, pieces of a flour sack dish towel I dyed in tea (ha), and unbleached muslin which is one of my favorite fabrics of all, I think.

Here’s a detail of the little pocket at the top. I lined it in Nani Iro cotton gauze fabric. The edging is a snippet I crocheted in linen thread.

A detail of one of the botanical appliqués I used:

It’s a nigella pod from my garden. I just draw the pictures on muslin with a fine felt-tip pen. They fade eventually and need to be redone, but it only takes a couple minutes to go over the original lines.

A detail of the old napkin. It makes me laugh. It’s the piece with the embroidered heart-like shape on it:

Detail of the the other front panel. I crocheted the tiny flowers to attach here and there, and knitted the small length of lace. Both are done in linen. The appliqué is another drawing of nigella from my garden; that one was still in bloom:

It’s a little bit of a pain to fit all the pieces together, but it’s a good exercise, and one way to make sure small pieces of fabric don’t go to waste.

Here is the pattern. It’s a dress or a quite voluminous shirt:

y’all it’s a sack

Atelier Nani Iro Dress O

I plan to disassemble this one. It’s not working for me. However, I’ve held off because I like looking at it, which prompted me to take a photo before I do the deed:

This dress illustrates some of the skills I need to improve, such as making gathers, using interfacing when I’m supposed to rather than stubbornly refusing for no reason, and choosing a pattern which is not a sack.

I would describe this as ‘large sack,’ if we’re keeping track of sack varietals, which I think we should,considering the current proliferation of sacks.

The pattern came from this book:

Here it is, in a couple versions, on models:

Of course, the fabric I chose was not the right fabric for this dress, but I was trying to get only a rough idea of how it would look in real life. It wasn’t meant to be the final version. Since I made it, I’ve decided I’m not in love with this shape at the moment, so I’m not going to try it in a better fabric.

I love the model in it, though. Isn’t she so pretty?

Existing in pieces

Speaking of ripping things out so they can become other things…

Oh my, I feel like I should start talking about something important about life right here, but it’s only going to be about dresses.

I worked for years to learn to make clothing for myself. I worked until my wardrobe was almost one hundred percent handmade by me. Now I’m over what I know how to make; really, really over it.

Okay, wait, no. There’s one style of dress I’ve worn a bit this spring. But other than that. And, let’s face it, it’s not an attractive style of dress. I just still happen to like it for reasons of my own.

Okay, no, that’s not true. I don’t like it, it’s that I can’t face ripping everything out, which is what I’m going to do.

I am going to have so much fabric to work with. Wow, that is a positive thing.

A problem: I have no idea where to go from here, no idea what to make. If I am offered one more dress that looks like a damned sack, I am going to start shrieking. Even Target is selling sacks. What the hell? This is what we were all locked up for? To emerge as duvets? And even the sleepwear is…one piece? No. No. What. What is happening?

I will stop now.

But I keep wondering, where do I go from here, as far as sewing is concerned? It seems the choices are: get a lot better, or make the largest, most crooked quilt the world has ever seen.

A pile of minutes

Here is my first attempt at Junko Okamoto’s Teru pattern. I finished it some time ago, and I’ve worn it a bunch. It’s massive and cozy, and, I think, beautiful.

It was my first attempt at color work, as well. I think it went alright.

Truly, it’s difficult to overstate the largeness of this garment. It could be a dress. In the cold of winter, it is such a wonderful sweater to own. Highly recommend.

Yet another 3 Min. dress. Perhaps you’re wondering if I intend to turn every bit of fabric I own into one. I wonder that, too. I’ve done, um, six? I think? They’re just the easiest thing to grab and wear.

In progress:

A cardigan for fall.

Finished:

This tunic/dress thing. Completely hand-stitched. Couldn’t resist a couple tiny, red details.

I pieced together most of my remaining bits of this fabric to get another garment out of it. I’ve already done two other dresses. I love the print.

During Long Days

The accumulation of acrylic yarn wasn’t mindless, there were reasons, but wow I have more than I wish I had.

I don’t like acrylic yarn. Two things about it I appreciate, though: it wears like iron and it brings the kitsch like nothing else can.

So the cat has a new blanket. He needed one, and we’re both happy.

I love crocheting granny squares so much. Just the most basic ones. Same motion, over and over, seemingly infinitely. It is so soothing. I already have another I’m working on.

Today’s temperature was 95 degrees when I ventured outside, and this steamy, Mid-Atlantic air feels like soup. It’s comically uncomfortable. Every year, I know it’s coming, but it’s hard to remember just how funny and terrible it is until I’m feeling it.

I made another of these dresses from double gauze. It’s the perfect garment if you live in soup, as I do.

It’s so easy and fast to make, one of those one-size patterns, and it’s mostly made of rectanglish shapes.

The double gauze is so good in the hot weather, although really I wear it all winter, too, because it’s my favorite thing.

Slump

These winter months are somehow so tiring. I guess most of us feel that way.

I am proud of myself for managing anything. Have I filed some papers? Good work, me! Made dinner? I have now exceeded expectations!

It’s nice to sit and work on quiet projects. I have a shawl-wrap thing in progress. I nose through my stashes of fabric and yarn, thread and other small things, making plans. It’s a good time to look through what I’ve already made and enjoy it.

I’ve been wearing this sweater constantly. It was a second version of Junko Okamoto’s wonderful Teru pattern. I didn’t do the color work in the pattern, instead adding bits of color as I wanted to here and there.

The day I took this photo I wore it with one of a bunch of tunic tops I’ve made, I think they’re from the pattern book Adult Couture Dress & Smock Blouse by Ryoko Tsukiori. I did them years ago and I can’t remember for sure. Some of my books have very similar patterns so it gets confusing sometimes.

March is the time for blue poppies to bloom in the greenhouse at Longwood Gardens. My son and I took a detour one day to visit them, and that felt really nice.

This week, I summoned the courage to use the last of this favorite printed fabric. Gabrielle, in this photo, was not convinced it was a good idea. That’s okay, because it’s not her fabric.

Making the cuts with scissors is a commitment. I’m making a Nani Iro pattern, this one-size tunic-dress.

The one-size garment patterns from Japanese designers are very compelling, I think, and I find myself reaching for those garments the most lately. They’re comfortable without being gym clothes, the lines are interesting and I love the details.

Small, from Felt

Even though I’m not hiding from the world anymore, I don’t think I’ll stop making tiny mice.

Here’s one of the three I did.

IMG_8990

The skilled and talented Ann Wood provided a free pattern for them, in case you want to try to make some. Here’s a link: link.

I sent the other two to live with my mother-in-law, a true lover of mice.

I gave all three mice scarves to wear, because it’s cold.

The mice are an easy and fun project. They use small scraps of felt and fabric, and I stuffed mine with the snippets of felt left from cutting out mouse parts, yarn ends I cut from my knitting and crochet, frayed scraps of fabric, that kind of thing.

One more angle:

IMG_9003

I hope you’re having a good Friday.