Have you heard of Nani Iro fabric? If yes, then you’ll already be well familiar with its charms. If no, this could be the start of something very good. And very bad. Allow me to introduce you to this seriously beautiful fabric designed by Naomi Ito. The details of how I discovered Nani Iro are hazy but it was likely during a search for ‘Japanese Fabric’ on Etsy. Which lead me to the Japanese fabric happy place that is Miss Matatabi’s store! I bought my first piece of Nani Iro; the softest mint double gauze with white polka dots which became these shorts. Since then I’ve stashed away a few floral pieces, one of which will be getting its airing shortly. The prints are beautiful and unusual, kind of like art meets fabric. You could sew a dress or you just fling a piece up as a wall hanging. What I love most is that the prints don’t really fit into any current trend, which means I want to wear them now but I could also imagine wearing them in my eighties! And since June has been declared the official month of Nani Iro love, Miss Matatabi has asked a handful of Nani Iro fans to choose from a selection of pieces from her shop, on the condition that they must only sew….whatever they want?! So I said, hmm let me think about that one… I picked out this Water Window Water Gauze, in the pinky purple hues (it comes in three other colorways!). It was pretty on the screen and possibly even more breathtaking in the flesh. Literally a watercolor painting on fabric. I’ve not come across anything like this print before. It would have made up beautifully in so many things. A high waisted midi skirt was my first idea. But then I decided something simple and boxy like the silhouette of the Rebulique Du Chiffon ‘Monique’ dress would look amazing with the large print. Actually I must have been subconsciously vibing the ‘robe Monique‘ example dress on the pattern cover. Statement prints are perfect for this pattern!The pattern itself is in French. A minor detail, brushed aside in my excitement over the latest batch of patterns by Republique Du Chiffon. I’m blaming this video trailer ( released with the collection) with its cool tunes, cute French girl and general swank for my purchase of the Robe Monique, Jacques Pantalon and the Veste Bernadette. Clearly, a sucker for an atmospheric sell. Take me to France already. When the patterns arrived, I opened up Monique and got a little shock when I remembered it was all in French. At first I thought I could translate the whole thing with Google translate. Then I realised that would take longer than sewing the actual dress, so I only translated the words on the pattern pieces (dos = back!). For the rest I referred to the (limited) diagrams, and my previous experience with facings, throwing in some under-stitching for good measure. Anyway, consider it a miracle that the dress before you looks the same as the one on the pattern cover. Assembling the pattern, minus the French, went okay! I loved loved loved sewing the facings, which are pretty much my favourite finish on any hand-made stuff. Figuring out how to join the facing and the main body at the sleeve ends was a little tricky. Also, the way the main pieces are drafted means that the edge of the sleeve (where the tabs join) ends up on the bias and gets stretched out really easily, especially when you’re sandwiching the tabs between the main dress and the facings. I had to go back and add extra pins here, as I had the same issue as Kirsty from Top Notch, with keeping the spaces in between the tabs even. Next time I would probably stay-stitch the top sleeve edge first. The watergauze was a dream to sew with. Its also super handy having the double layers when it comes to hemming ; you can hand-stitch a totally invisible hem by only catching the inside layer of the gauze with your stitches. Let’s take a moment to muse on sack dresses, which clearly this one is. Being more in the pencil skirt camp I make an unlikely candidate for a sack dress lover. Its a silhouette I’ve never dared to go near before. But I absolutely freakin LOVE this! The extra volume is fun and playful especially in this print! I even added two inches to the length and sized UP (40 from a 38) for extra sack factor. There are strange things afoot around here. What are your feels…do you embrace LE SACK?