sen ritsu archer for nani IRO month

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.

sen ritsu archer

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.

sen ritsu archer

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.

sen ritsu archer

the pattern is Grainline’s Archer, my second Archer (first was Rosie).  this one was even more successful than the first – here’s what i did:

  • 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

sen ritsu archer

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.

sen ritsu archer

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!

sen ritsu archer

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.

sen ritsu archer

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!




47 thoughts on “sen ritsu archer for nani IRO month

  1. Catelyn says:

    I love this! My favourite Archer to date. I cannot wait to have some time to sew an Archer… I also have some of this fabric in the mail. So perfect!

  2. oliver's fancy says:

    I’m suffering from an intense case of jealousy over your free nano iro! 🙂 I do love me some nano iro even though I’ve only bought it once so far. This really does look like an anthro shirt! You are killing this selfish sewing!!

  3. Kristi says:

    Love, love, LOVE! Well worth the effort (in sewing and photography). I’ve had the pieces of the Archer cut out for months, but no time to focus on figuring it out. Must do it now. I want your shirt!

  4. jennifer says:

    I love it. It’s perfect! I think sewing for kids is much more satisfying because it almost always looks good (fit, etc) but sewing for adults is satisfying in that (like you said) you get to wear it forever! but I have trouble with fitting it to me and looking good. you seemed to have nailed the fit thing. Looks awesome!

    • kristin says:

      exactly. and i had fit troubles too, but it seems if i do fewer dresses and more separates it works better for me. definitely tricky though. thank you!

  5. craftinessisnotoptional says:

    gorgeous! and it it TOTALLY anthro. you are braver than I, posing at the park with your clicker. and I agree-the number one thing I love about sewing for myself is that I can wear it for a LONG time, not just months. ha!

    • kristin says:

      some people gave me longer looks, other people seemed to act like it was a normal thing they see every day (there WAS a firedancer practice going on at another corner of the park…so…portland…). haha thanks!

  6. lindsay says:

    Such a lovely top for a lovely lady! You are such a beauty, and this top is gorgeous on you! Love the copper and I think it is perfectly ‘anthro’ 🙂

  7. Cherie says:

    Ah, yet another thing to steal from your closet! Seriously though, you’ve convinced me – compass, must get – Archer, must sew!! This is the most gorgeous shirt, Kristin! Impeccable sewing too.

  8. Tara says:

    You’re such a badass. Sewing another buttondown and then taking tripod pics in public. Balls of steel! Love the shirt. Nani iro deserves to be made into something that will be friggin appreciated, and the kids just don’t get it.

    • kristin says:

      haha balls of steel, that’s me. and totally – i appreciate the crap out of this shirt! Em barely even wore her double gauze nani IRO ayashe. that’s always such a bummer.

  9. gail says:

    Man, that looks like a crazy amount of work, and so totally worth it because it’s perfect! Seriously, it looks 110% store bought. At your finer store, or course 🙂 I’m really loving Nani Iro month!!

  10. Monica says:

    Yes, VERY anthro! I was thinking the same thing. I love this fabric! So cute… I haven’t tried this pattern yet, but I need to pin this so I can follow those tips when I finally try 🙂

  11. Kelly says:

    Eeeeeeeee!!! I adore this shirt. I want to marry it. OMG. It’s just so good, I am having heart palpitations. And that fabric is holy crap amazing!! There just can’t be anything better than free Nani Iro, really. Sorry I am a little overly excited and proud of your grown up sewing lately, you are a seriously talented lady 🙂

    • kristin says:

      aw kelly, thank you so much!! means so much coming from my main self-sewing inspiration. just keep telling me the good adult stuff to sew and i’ll keep sewing it. 😉

  12. Ana Sofia says:

    It’s perfect (and I’m drooling over that Nani Iro prints)!
    I might need to splurge on some for myself – I love the fact that you really never grow out of what you sew for yourself (tempting)!

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