make it perfect pattern parade: nani iro shearwater kaftan & giveaway!

10 Jul

FINALLY!  a lovely double gauze garment just for me!

nani iro shearwater kaftan

i’ve bought double gauze fabric a few times, and i’ve always ended up using it for those pesky kids.  haha.  i actually intended on making something for E with this too, but it was just perfect for my next self-sewing project….even though i had only 1.5 yards of it, about half a yard less than the pattern calls for.  there was a lot of planning before i cut.

nani iro shearwater kaftan

the pattern is the Make it Perfect Shearwater Kaftan.  it was my first time sewing a Make it Perfect pattern, though Toni’s patterns have a great reputation.  my friend Gail has sewn many and one of my favorite quilting bloggers, Ashley from Film in the Fridge, went on a spree where she sewed, like, four Shearwater Kaftans in a week!

nani iro shearwater kaftan

i had heard the Shearwater Kaftan was a quick sew, every version i’d seen seemed to fit well, and i’d never seen people mentioning any major struggles with it, which is always a good sign.  the reputation was right! it was super quick and easy to sew!  just a couple hours for me, and that included a break to get the baby back to sleep in the middle.

nani iro shearwater kaftan

i made the small and the fit is just a tiny bit tight through the chest, but what isn’t these days?  it’ll be fine after the little fella is weaned, so i’m not sweating it.  all these tops i’ve been making lately have been nursing-friendly (i wear a nursing cami underneath, then a flowy/knit/button up shirt over the top) but not specifically modified for nursing because it’s such a temporary state of being.  so other than the “temporary body shape making something tight that normally wouldn’t be” issue, i love the way it fits!  the top is loose but not overly voluminous, and feels really flattering.

the one thing i did see from others was that the neckline facing shows when it’s worn, so rather than just serging the facing edge, i turned it under and topstitched, then tacked it down at the center with a few hand stitches. i also turned my bias tape all the way to the inside rather than keeping it visible on the outside, which made my neckline a bit wider than designed.

nani iro shearwater kaftan

the fabric is dreamy, right??  it’s Nani IRO Pocho in light gray with subtly glittery white polka dots.  it’s double gauze, as i mentioned, which makes it so soft and drapey (double gauze is two layers of gauze tacked intermittently so it acts as one fabric).  i bought it at Bolt, but your friendly internet purveyor of fine Japanese fabrics, Miss Matatabi, has it online along with quite a few other color ways of the Pocho!  Nani IRO month = every month, you guys.

nani iro shearwater kaftan

sewing with double gauze is a bit like sewing with knit – the weave is so loose, you can stretch it to fit along curves (like sleeves to armholes) and i find a walking foot is very helpful to keep it feeding evenly.  it’s hard to get sharp points and it likes to shift, so use plenty of pins when you sew and steam when you iron.

nani iro shearwater kaftan

i love the sleeve tabs on this shirt and probably won’t ever wear them full length!  i just like to roll my sleeves.  it’s a cute, summery look.  btw, i added interfacing to the inside of the sleeve tabs so the double gauze would support the tiny buttonhole.

nani iro shearwater kaftan

one thing that tripped me up a bit was the PDF pattern piecing – i prefer a consistent margin around all four sides so i can chop off two sides and overlap them easily (this method), but this pattern had varying margin widths so i couldn’t do that.  since it was only a front, back, sleeve, and a couple little pieces though, it wasn’t too much extra work to trim the pages individually, and the rest of the pattern instructions were clear and easy.  i think this would be a nice starter pattern if you’re looking to sew for yourself, since the fit is forgiving, it’s fast, and there aren’t any closures.

nani iro shearwater kaftan

i should mention that i’m also wearing my chambray maritime shorts – i actually tried a few different pairs of storebought shorts on with the shirt but these were my favorite fit!  love that.

OKAY!  giveaway time.  Toni has generously offered one Make it Perfect PDF pattern of your choice to one lucky winner!  i set up a rafflecopter for ya…click through to enter.


and be sure to follow along the Make it Perfect Pattern Parade!

MIP Pattern Parade Button

The Make It Perfect Pattern Parade Virtual Catwalk introduces…


P.S. the usual disclosure about receiving a free pattern and being honest in my pattern review.

P.P.S. thanks again to the ol’ ball and chain for taking my photos!  :* 

129 Responses to “make it perfect pattern parade: nani iro shearwater kaftan & giveaway!”

  1. Kristin July 10, 2014 at 5:06 am #

    So pretty! All these posts on Nani IRO lately are really getting to me. I’m going to have to get some!

  2. createnic July 10, 2014 at 5:09 am #

    love this shirt! when i finally sew for me one day this will be on the list!

  3. createnic July 10, 2014 at 5:11 am #

    my favourite summertime dessert? home-made ice-cream. yum!

  4. PendleStitches July 10, 2014 at 5:22 am #

    The fabric is glorious. It looks like a shirt made of clouds. Perfect summer wear

  5. Tara July 10, 2014 at 5:24 am #

    It turned out so great! Your photo shoot is beautiful too. You caught just the right light

  6. lilysageandco July 10, 2014 at 5:28 am #

    I definitely need some double gauze for myself now. I’ve used it before on my girls, it’s so lovely. I keep meaning to look up Nani iro…stumbled across a post about double gauze yesterday too…the universe must be telling me something!

  7. Julie July 10, 2014 at 5:36 am #

    I love the combo of the shorts and kaftan. My fav summer dessert is peaches and vanilla ice cream.

  8. piggyandbear July 10, 2014 at 5:48 am #

    Gorgeous–love it! **ice cream is my fave for summer!!**

  9. Rachel July 10, 2014 at 5:53 am #

    I love her patterns!

  10. Renee //nearestthepin July 10, 2014 at 5:54 am #

    I’ve been contemplating this pattern forever – it looks so great on you! My favourite summer dessert, hmmmm maybe a chocolate mousse.

  11. carolyn July 10, 2014 at 5:55 am #

    Awww, the perfect pairing of fabric and pattern! They go perfect together!

  12. Mary Jo July 10, 2014 at 5:55 am #

    Let’s see….probably a drippy ice cream cone!

  13. Annika July 10, 2014 at 6:02 am #


  14. Ms Cleaver July 10, 2014 at 6:11 am #

    I’ve been eyeballing this pattern for a while, it would be the perfect replacement for a beloved shirt I had to retire about 2 years ago and still miss. Your combo with the fabric makes me really want to make it and try out some double gauze too!

  15. Ms Cleaver July 10, 2014 at 6:12 am #

    Also – my favorite summertime dessert? Cherry Pie. all the way.

  16. Emi July 10, 2014 at 6:12 am #


  17. Michelle July 10, 2014 at 6:18 am #

    This looks great! I didn’t think I’d be into a “kaftan” pattern but this looks like a comfy not-too-relaxed top. Thanks for the giveaway!

  18. Michelle July 10, 2014 at 6:20 am #

    Also, mint ice cream with brownies. Year round.

  19. natmeeks July 10, 2014 at 6:27 am #

    Classic summer ice cream. Especially here in the hot south! Love your blog Kristen! Thanks for inspiration to sew.

  20. Jana July 10, 2014 at 6:27 am #

    I’m not really big on desserts, but my favourite for summertime is definitely fruit salad!
    Also, I love this kaftan even though I’m not usually the kaftan type. (:

  21. Joanna July 10, 2014 at 6:33 am #

    Oooooh I adore eton mess, got to be my favorite summertime dessert :-)

  22. carufigue July 10, 2014 at 6:34 am #

    Love the fabric. That blouse looks so good with those shorts!!!! Thanks you for make this version. The original version is stack in my head and I didn’t imagine it with any different fabric. :)

  23. gail July 10, 2014 at 6:37 am #

    double gauze for you = hooray!!! it’s a great looking shirt, i love the sleeve tabs – and nice to hear it’s a fast sew!

  24. Dora July 10, 2014 at 6:38 am #

    Anything cold. We live in Texas. Your kaftan turned out great! I have this pattern but have not made it yet. Maybe it’s time to take out the sewing machine.

  25. Heidi July 10, 2014 at 6:48 am #

    Beautiful!! Ps: i love ice cream… Regardless of season!

  26. Teresa @Aurea's Kitchen July 10, 2014 at 6:54 am #

    My favourite summer dessert, just some fresh summer fruit.

    That fabric is really gorgeous.

  27. Susan C July 10, 2014 at 6:58 am #

    Love the top! My favorite summer dessert? Ice cream. I’m a purist ;)

  28. Kristie July 10, 2014 at 7:06 am #

    Smores. Followed by otter pops. And slushies from Sonic.

  29. rachel July 10, 2014 at 7:11 am #

    So, so pretty, Kristin! I love the way you finished the neckline and turned the notch in instead of using the facing. It looks so professional. Did you decide to stop truncating your posts? I read from Feedly and I was able to read the whole thing on Feedly this morning.

  30. Julie R. July 10, 2014 at 7:29 am #

    What a beautiful top! I love the fabric you chose; its gorgeous. This would be a great pattern to add to my collection.

  31. Jennie Coffman Lindstrom July 10, 2014 at 7:30 am #

    I love your shirt and shorts! I like s’mores with my girls!

  32. Rhonda S. July 10, 2014 at 7:43 am #


  33. Mary July 10, 2014 at 7:43 am #

    Anything with ice cream ;)

  34. heather feather July 10, 2014 at 7:48 am #

    Ooh I’ve never seen this pattern before but I love it! That Fabric looks dreamy!
    I love ice cream all the way!

  35. Julie July 10, 2014 at 7:49 am #

    Ice cream with chopped up Bing candy bar in it!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. Amy Ellis July 10, 2014 at 7:50 am #

    Love it! I’ve been wanting to try Toni’s Waterfall top, so I hope I win! My fave summer dessert is lemon sour cream pie!

  37. Anna July 10, 2014 at 7:50 am #

    it’s so so pretty! you look hot!!! Great fabric choice, you’ll wear it forever

  38. alanaKNITS July 10, 2014 at 8:15 am #

    I love watermelon in the summer! I love your top. I’m on the lookout for tops that are nursing friendly too.

  39. Tonia Jeffery July 10, 2014 at 8:25 am #

    I love homemade ice cream and watermelon!

  40. Mary Ihla July 10, 2014 at 8:33 am #

    Love this pattern! Old-fashioned strawberry shortcake (the kind made with baking powdered biscuits and real whipped cream) is my favorite summer dessert.

  41. Ashley July 10, 2014 at 8:45 am #

    ice cream, ice cream and more ice cream! Oh and frozen fruit…maybe the two together? :)

  42. smeebot July 10, 2014 at 9:39 am #

    Beautiful fabric

  43. Bridget July 10, 2014 at 9:43 am #

    Love it! It would be a good way to keep the sun off without feeling constricted or hot.. and I LOVE DOUBLE GAUZE!!!

  44. Bridget July 10, 2014 at 9:43 am #

    Oh and fav summertime dessert has got to be Strawberry Shortcake for sure!!!

  45. jillamsberry July 10, 2014 at 9:51 am #

    I have some double gauze that’s burning a hole in my fabric stack. This pattern could be just the excuse to use it on myself. :)

  46. Nicole July 10, 2014 at 9:52 am #

    I really need to make myself something with double gauze – and not just a scarf!

  47. Nicole July 10, 2014 at 9:53 am #

    Oh, lol. We’rd supposed to comment on summer dessert. It’s got to be ice cream! Either DQ soft serve, Jeni’s, or homemade Jeni’s.

  48. Alli July 10, 2014 at 10:15 am #

    Your new shirt looks great on you! :)

    hm, I think my favorite summertime dessert is macarons!

  49. Sarah J. July 10, 2014 at 10:16 am #

    Ice Cream!!! Although it’s an all year favorite (yes even in the freezing, snowing, blowing winter). Thanks for the chance to win- love this pattern!

  50. kaiaandjesse July 10, 2014 at 10:19 am #

    Favorite summertime dessert? Strawberry shortcake. Yum!

  51. sorahart July 10, 2014 at 10:26 am #

    Fresh strawberry pie!

  52. shae July 10, 2014 at 10:33 am #

    Peach or blackberry cobbler are pretty delish..

  53. Allison July 10, 2014 at 10:39 am #

    Definitely ice cream!

  54. Jess July 10, 2014 at 10:40 am #

    Frozen fruit / fruit-ish bars. I have some lime ones right now and am trying to spread them out, but it’s hard; I just want to eat them all in a short time.

  55. Bettina July 10, 2014 at 11:04 am #

    perfect combination of fabric & pattern = magic! it does look stunning!

  56. Kate July 10, 2014 at 11:14 am #

    I love that fabric!! And my favourite dessert is a tie–fresh strawberry pie or rhubarb crisp.

  57. replicatethendeviate July 10, 2014 at 11:16 am #

    Love your version and double gauze tips! I love berries and cream.

  58. metka July 10, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

    Icecream is the best!

  59. binkorama July 10, 2014 at 12:40 pm #

    popsicles – not an ice cream girl – but frozen desserts are great in summer!

  60. kim July 10, 2014 at 12:45 pm #

    oh my gosh. the MINUTE summer starts to roll around (and i live in texas, so it’s pretty much year round), my freezer gets stocked with toasted almond fudge ice cream! it’s been my #1 since i was a kid and it doesn’t look like that will be changing anytime soon! lol

  61. ninjajnin July 10, 2014 at 1:14 pm #

    your top is cute, perfect for summer! I just finished a nani iro dress for myself, the fabric is adorable!

  62. Melissa July 10, 2014 at 1:38 pm #

    I love fruity lemony desserts for summer!! :)

  63. Kristi July 10, 2014 at 1:42 pm #

    LOVE this fabric, so subtle so nice.

  64. gerdurjonsdottir July 10, 2014 at 2:00 pm #

    My fav summertime dessert is definitely a bowl full of Norwegian strawberries and cream.

    Great shirt btw!

  65. gerdurjonsdottir July 10, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

    My fav summertime dessert is definitely a bowl full of Norwegian strawberries and cream.

    Really nice shirt btw!

  66. fenna July 10, 2014 at 2:19 pm #

    strawberry milkshake made with real strawberries

  67. AnnZ July 10, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

    I love ice cream sandwiches. And peach pie a la mode. And just ice cream heaped in a bowl, maybe with some Grape Nuts for added crunch (and nutrition! HA!!)

  68. Jen July 10, 2014 at 2:49 pm #

    Cute! I’m just about to make a poppy tunic for myself. Would love to try this too!

  69. linynp July 10, 2014 at 2:49 pm #

    Wow I love it! Ok I know what I’m making’

    • linynp July 10, 2014 at 2:51 pm #

      Oh and my favorite summer dessert is orange sherbet!

  70. the F girl July 10, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

    You look so fresh and summery in this top, it’s very lovely!

  71. Karen July 10, 2014 at 3:07 pm #

    Love this top, really must buy some double gauze. My favourite summer desert is homemade apple cake and toffee sauce with a bit of ice cream!

  72. Marjory W. July 10, 2014 at 5:04 pm #

    I would love to win a pattern! I also love fresh fruit with vanilla yogurt.

  73. Nancy July 10, 2014 at 6:41 pm #

    What a great fit on you and it looks so comfortable! Anything w strawberries in or on it in summer, yum :-) thanks for the chance to win.

  74. fionamakes July 10, 2014 at 6:42 pm #

    Love the whole outfit – both the kaftan and the shorts! Must try both!

  75. Kathy E. July 10, 2014 at 7:18 pm #

    Great look with that pattern! I love soft billowy styles.
    My favorite summer dessert is ice cream…chocolate of course!

  76. Ali M July 10, 2014 at 7:21 pm #

    Popsicles all the time please! That looks like a great summer pattern, I have trouble finding great easy shirt patterns so I am happy to see this!

  77. Heather July 10, 2014 at 7:53 pm #

    Definitely ice cream in this FL heat! Love that top. Looks comfortable too!

  78. lisacrafty July 10, 2014 at 8:36 pm #

    Anything sweet ;) very flattering top!

  79. angie s. July 10, 2014 at 8:38 pm #

    Favorite summertime dessert…peach cobbler with a big scoop of ice cream. Yum!

  80. Dita Bybee July 10, 2014 at 8:45 pm #

    Nothing beats ice cream for summer! :)

    • Dita Bybee July 10, 2014 at 8:45 pm #

      Btw I’d just like to say that I really love this top! I’d love to try sew with double gauze, it seems like the perfect fabric for summer top :)

  81. Kristie July 10, 2014 at 8:58 pm #

    Homemade ice cream sandwiches.

  82. Amy July 10, 2014 at 9:32 pm #

    This looks comfy and easy! Something to keep the sun away while nibbling watermelon, perhaps?

  83. Jen July 10, 2014 at 9:56 pm #

    I absolutely adore this super summery top (and it looks great on you)! Sewing for myself is on my to-sew list – I think I’ll need to add this pattern to my board! :)

  84. melle e July 10, 2014 at 10:00 pm #


    I clicked on the link for her page/shop and couldn’t get it to load. I googled just in case there was some typoese going on, and went thru the Google link. It seems Google thinks her domain is non-existent.
    Any suggestions?

    Also, my favorite summer dessert is fresh fruits… watermelon, peaches, plums, all kinds of berries. And if I want something more than fruit, I’ll make Pioneer Woman’s fruit pizza. Omgosh it’s good!

    • kristin July 10, 2014 at 10:05 pm #

      i just tried and it took a while and a few refreshes, but it’s loading now. maybe give it a few minutes and try again? :)

      oh i need to try that fruit pizza! my kids would probably think it’s hilarious, too.

  85. karriesmith July 10, 2014 at 10:03 pm #

    anything ice cream is my fave dessert

  86. thimblenest July 10, 2014 at 10:16 pm #

    Really lovely–I’ve been wanting to try sewing with double gauze for ages!

    • thimblenest July 10, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

      and peppermint ice cream or pb/chocolate ice cream is my favorite dessert.

  87. Candi G July 10, 2014 at 10:31 pm #

    Love this! Also my favorite summer time treat is seasonal fruit with real cinnamon whipped cream.

  88. Kendra_ (@Kendra_) July 11, 2014 at 2:56 am #

    Pistachio ice cream for me :)

  89. Robin July 11, 2014 at 5:21 am #

    Ice cream

  90. Cindy July 11, 2014 at 5:28 am #

    Thanks for the giveaway. Love the top.

  91. courtney July 11, 2014 at 6:02 am #

    Banana pudding!

  92. Mikea July 11, 2014 at 6:24 am #

    Thrifty Ice Cream!

  93. Erin Waters July 11, 2014 at 6:41 am #

    Have been eyeing that top for a few years now…plus that fabric – I hope I win!

  94. Rae July 11, 2014 at 6:59 am #

    ooh that really IS lovely!! :) And you are lookin’ good, mama!!

  95. darlene macdonald July 11, 2014 at 7:48 am #

    Nice job on your blouse! When we were all younger my sibs and I loved my mom’s strawberry jello pie. She’d bake a pie crust. Then inside she’d mix together partially set strawberry jello, whipped cream and berries then freeze it! With a family of 7 kids it was gone in minutes! Loved it then and love it now :)

  96. Suzanne van Vliet-Struik July 11, 2014 at 7:53 am #

    Strawberries and cream of course

  97. Heidi July 11, 2014 at 9:12 am #

    Absolutely gorgeous top!!! My fave summer dessert is blueberry pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream :)

  98. Deborah July 11, 2014 at 10:45 am #

    Ice cream – maybe with some strawberries….

  99. Meritxell July 11, 2014 at 2:10 pm #

    My favorite summer desert.. Mm… Peaches and homemade fruit icecream

  100. Nathalie July 11, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

    Very Nice tunic. I tried the water-ballast blouse and like it a lot…

  101. lauradodson July 11, 2014 at 3:53 pm #

    My fave summer time dessert are Popsicles. We have a stash in the freezer all summer.

  102. Laura Dodson July 11, 2014 at 3:57 pm #

    Love your Shearwater! We consume boxes and boxes of Blue Bell Popsicles for our summertime dessert.

  103. Jennifer Sauer July 11, 2014 at 6:21 pm #

    I really like light desserts in tHe summer. By put they MUST include whipped cream …so there goes “light”. Hahaha! Triple berry fool is a favorite.

    Lovely shearwater. Thanks for your review.

    Jennifer in kansas

    • Jennifer Sauer July 11, 2014 at 6:22 pm #

      “by put” ???? That is the strangest auto-correct I’ve had in a while! “But”… ☺️

  104. Sarah July 11, 2014 at 7:33 pm #

    My favorite summer dessert is watermellon. Thanks!

  105. Amanda July 11, 2014 at 8:08 pm #

    I love ice cream!

  106. Nicole July 11, 2014 at 10:25 pm #

    I have some double-gauze that needs a pattern–this looks so comfy and easy for summer! I can’t choose: my two favorite summer desserts are lemonade pops and strawberry-rhubarb pie. Love!

  107. Patti July 11, 2014 at 10:26 pm #

    Strawberry shortcake!

  108. liazak July 11, 2014 at 10:51 pm #


  109. Laura S July 11, 2014 at 10:53 pm #

    Lovely! And my favorite summertime dessert is blackberry pie with ice cream. Yum.

  110. Katie July 11, 2014 at 11:33 pm #

    Looks super comfy! My favorite summer dessert (or just dessert really) is this pineapple/Cool Whip cake concoction my mom makes. Reminds me of childhood 😀

  111. Elizabeth July 12, 2014 at 5:13 am #

    Strawberry Shortcake! Thanks for the giveaway!

  112. Melissa Q. July 12, 2014 at 8:56 am #

    This is just downright dreamy! I was very tempted by the kaftan myself because I love living in summer tops like this. Yours looks so beautiful (as are your amazing photos.). I finally bought myself some Nani Iro and can’t wait to use it. Maybe I need a shearwater kaftan after all.

  113. Shannon July 12, 2014 at 5:32 pm #

    I love making something with whatever is in season at the time. Strawberry shortcake, peach cobbler, blueberry buckle…love them all!

  114. Jessica w July 13, 2014 at 7:56 am #

    I love eating grilled peaches a lot during the summer.

  115. greenlightediting July 13, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

    Ice-cold watermelon!

  116. kaloskraft July 13, 2014 at 9:11 pm #

    Definitely ice cream!

  117. sarah July 14, 2014 at 11:54 am #

    Nice Cool Seedless Watermelon.

  118. Erica July 14, 2014 at 1:37 pm #

    I love it! I’ve always wanted to try that pattern, but have never gotten around to buying it. I really hope I win, but if I don’t this may give me the impetus to do it :)

  119. Erica July 14, 2014 at 1:38 pm #

    watermelon :)

  120. oliver's fancy July 14, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

    This is so good. I really need to get more Nano Iro for myself…it’s so dreamy. Can’t wait to shop at Bolt when I come out! I’m so jealous of your great self-photography skills! You do such a great job on the selfish-sewing posing. Also totally feel ya on the tight tops from the nursing body. So glad my top section is returning to normal proportions as our nursing journey wraps up. And my fave summer dessert is ice cream :)

  121. Cheryl B July 14, 2014 at 5:11 pm #

    Smores over the fire – yummy chocolate gooey-ness!

  122. Jennifer July 14, 2014 at 7:21 pm #

    I never saw anything that I thought cute enough that would fit and warrant the effort of making it myself. Now, I am obsessed with your tops. I am marking them for my birthday wish list.

  123. Shanna Ryan July 14, 2014 at 9:09 pm #

    My favorite summertime treat is homemade sugar cookies or pig cake!

  124. kristin July 16, 2014 at 3:24 pm #

    *** giveaway is now closed – thank you to all who entered! the winner (Nancy) has been contacted. ***

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