a couple weeks ago, i got an email from Frances of the online Japanese fabric shop, miss matatabi, asking if, by chance, i might want to participate in a little celebration of nani IRO she was putting on in June. to me, nani IRO fabrics are some of the most beautiful and interesting designs on the market, but i’ve only sewn with them a couple times…largely due to cost/selection constraints.
i happened to be out of town when i got her email, with only my phone and a spotty cell signal – plus i believe it was almost midnight – but i couldn’t tap out a YES fast enough!
when one is offered free nani IRO fabric, one says yes. and then one requests enough to make herself a shirt with it.
i chose sen ritsu – b, a lovely neutral floral with metallic copper accents on some of the flowers (didn’t know that part until the fabric actually came, what a perfect surprise!) sen ritsu – a has neon accents and more springy colors, also great. many Nani IRO prints (designed by Japanese textile designer Naomi Ito for Kokka) have a hand-painted quality that makes them unique – i keep finding surprises within the print itself that make me happy. i love the romantic quality of it, and especially the fabric it’s printed on. the famous Japanese attention to detail is evident in both the fabric and the pattern.
the fabric itself is called “compass,” which on the listing is described as similar to a lawn. it’s wonderful. i couldn’t imagine a more perfect fabric for a shirt like this. it’s like a really really nice muslin in texture, semi-sheer (sheer enough that i had to line the yoke and under collar with solid gauze instead of self fabric because the print showed through), but not TOO sheer. it was also great to sew with – not too light/squirrely, holds a crease but doesn’t get as wrinkly as double gauze…and it’s SOFT. so soft.
compass is perfect for clothes…specifically shirts. more specifically, button down shirts.
- again followed the Archer Sewalong rather than the pattern instructions, which are a bit sparse
- followed Andrea’s tutorial for sewing the collar. i also used her tip to use a glue stick to secure the inner collar stand before topstitching, which worked great!
- followed Andrea’s tutorial for sewing a narrow hem (serger method again, cleanest hem yet!)
- shortened the pocket a bit, wanted it a bit more square-shaped to match the femininity of the shirt
oh look, a butterfly! those little details! killin’ me.
honestly for a while i was worried this print might veer too much into “grandma” territory, but my buddy Tara pointed out it was actually more “Anthro,” and she was right! plus check out that price – even at a little higher price point than your typical quilting cotton, my shirt’s material is about half the price of its Anthro equivalent! sewing FTW.
since i’ve sewn two now within a month, it may appear that the Archer comes together quickly – it actually doesn’t. there are just a lot of pieces and steps to sew with a button down shirt and i think it takes a while no matter how many times you’ve sewn it. however, i love the result so much i had no problem investing the time again so soon. this Archer looks so different from my last Archer, too!
oh hey do you recognize my photoshoot location? here’s a hint. lots more people in the park this time = majorly awkward selfies, but i persevered. i just thought a special garment like this deserved better than my back fence, ya know? don’t want you guys to get bored.
anyway, the best part of adult vs, kid sewing is i’ll likely NEVER grow out of this shirt – now that i’ve put the effort in, it will be in my closet for a long time. hmmmm that part sure is addictive! i get to wear this wonderful fabric for years to come!
Frances pulled together a super lineup of bloggers for Nani IRO month, i’m ridiculously honored to be included…follow along here! and be sure to browse through the entire miss matatabi shop – soooo many good things. it’s no wonder she seems to be the “go to” shop for hard to find Japanese fabrics. plus, mail from Japan is super fun to receive!
i love nani IRO!