Do you ever get the urge to go 360 with your choices?
I love my solid neutrals (hola navy and black) but I’ve been meaning to add some colour and pattern to my wardrobe for some time now. You know, live a little dangerously 😊
So once I saw this amazingly lovely Nani Iro fabric and sweet pattern – both kindly gifted from Harts Fabric – I knew it was time to take a chance. And I’m so glad I did. Let’s dive in…
I haven’t really sewn ‘properly’ in a year – my last significant make was my Jenny overalls (of dreams). But I’ve missed sewing and have been queuing up some ideas for makes.
Boxy tees made in woven fabrics have been high on my list. I love a good knit tee, but there’s something about woven tees that feel different. Maybe it’s something about how they look special without coming across as too sloppy.
And while I love (LOVE) my hacked maya tees they’re a bit too cropped for me right now. Not a good combination with the excess baby weight I’m still working with.
So I was super intrigued by the Assembly Line cuffed sleeve top pattern. It has all the hallmarks of my favourite tees – boxy shape, kimono sleeve. Butttt with a nifty sleeve detail.
Plus I’m always keen to try new (to me) Indie pattern houses. So obviously this pattern zoomed straight to the top of my ‘to make list’.
The top is a very straightforward boxy top with kimono sleeves that are gathered with a wide elastic to create the gathers. The sleeves are a really nice feature. They’re loose so the elastic is more for decoration then for fit.
The boat neckline is finished with facing, but I chose a different approach (more on that below). It’s quite a wide boat neck – be prepared for bra straps to show. I was of two minds about whether to change the neckline to something more similar to my maya tops. In the end I decided to leave it as intended to see what it looked like. A few more thoughts on this below.
Funny enough, I’ve not worked with any of Nani Iro’s fabrics before. They’ve always been on my radar – having seen countless makes with them. But I never thought to try them out for myself.
My whole ‘neutrals are my friend’ kind of vibe didn’t quite fit with Nani Iro’s beautifully patterned, seldom neutral fabrics. But, happily, I’m turning a corner. And this beautiful double gauze in an abstract print is perfect for an injection of colour and pattern.
A total antidote to neutrals.
I’ve read that this fabric can be difficult to work with, but I didn’t find this to be the case. It behaved really well and a quick press hides a multitude of sins! And let’s be honest – being a little sleep deprived there was a few of those 😁
Details & a few changes
I made this pattern in a straight size S. My measurements would have put me at an M, but I wanted to make something I could still wear once I get back to my pre-baby shape. So made an S and hoped for the best.
Luckily the S fits really well and still gives me enough room around the middle to cover that baby weight. Phew – because that was a risky move! So sizing down might be something worth considering if you’re looking for something not too boxy.
I did make a few very minor changes to the pattern. I used 1 1/2 inch elastic for the cuffs (the pattern says to use 2″ elastic). That was all I had to hand. It doesn’t look like it’s made a huge difference to the shape so that’s another win.
For the neckline I opted to use bias binding instead of facing. I love the bias binding on my maya tops so wanted to use the same here. The finish is OK, but I think I could have done better.
I did everything I could think of to make the bias neckline finish work (stay stitching the neckline, easing the bias tape around the neckline) but it’s still a little too ‘sticky uppy’ – technical term there 😁 – at the shoulder seam.
Maybe boat necklines can’t be finished with bias binding?
I’ve since come across this bias facing tutorial which looks like it has lots of useful tips. So I’ll definitely be reading more on that and reporting back any take aways.
I’m really happy with this top. I love the colour and the shape. Which is basically a double win ☺
I mean, this fabric 😍 Hate myself a little for not having sewn with Nani Iro before. It’s definitely one to keep an eye on from now on.
I’m really happy how it all came together really easily and the instructions were great. I’d definitely recommend it for a competent beginner.
If I were to make this again I’d probably alter the neckline as it’s not 100% my style. I’d maybe take the sleeves in a little as well so they fall a bit shorter. But these are minor things.
I’m looking forward to wearing it lots over the summer and already thinking of makes that I can make to compliment it – and take me out of my solid neutral territory.
Watch this space.
I only ever share products and people I think you’ll like as much as I do (because sharing is caring). Harts Fabric have gifted me the fabric and pattern I used to make this in exchange for sharing my thoughts on my blog and across social media. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.