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

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

  1. lilysageandco says:

    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!

  2. Ms Cleaver says:

    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!

  3. natmeeks says:

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

  4. Jana says:

    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. (:

  5. carufigue says:

    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. 🙂

  6. Dora says:

    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.

  7. rachel says:

    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.

  8. Julie R. says:

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

  9. alanaKNITS says:

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

  10. Mary Ihla says:

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

  11. Bridget says:

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

  12. Nicole says:

    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.

  13. Sarah J. says:

    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!

  14. Jess says:

    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.

  15. kim says:

    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

  16. gerdurjonsdottir says:

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

    Great shirt btw!

  17. gerdurjonsdottir says:

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

    Really nice shirt btw!

  18. AnnZ says:

    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!!)

  19. Karen says:

    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!

  20. Nancy says:

    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.

  21. Kathy E. says:

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

  22. Ali M says:

    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!

  23. Jen says:

    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! 🙂

  24. melle e says:


    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 says:

      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.

  25. darlene macdonald says:

    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 🙂

  26. Jennifer Sauer says:

    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

  27. Nicole says:

    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!

  28. Katie says:

    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 😀

  29. Melissa Q. says:

    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.

  30. Shannon says:

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

  31. Erica says:

    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 🙂

  32. oliver's fancy says:

    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 🙂

  33. Jennifer says:

    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.

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