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Lucky Strikes dresses

This was written by Cherie from you & mie for the Miss Matatabi Makers series.

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Hellooooo! Oh my goodness, I’m the worst blogger ever! I love to sew, but photographing, editing photos and writing posts is like pulling teeth for me! I made two dresses a couple weeks ago and was supposed to write this post a week ago and oops, here I am now. Better late than never?

For this Miss Matatabi Makers project I chose from the awesome new Cotton + Steel collections, which is always a challenge – so many great prints, how do you choose!? I started with the sweet floral print from Kim Kight’s Lucky Strikes line, Clothesline Floral in Periwinkle and Red and planned to make dresses for the girls. I’m sharing one here and the other one you can find over at my blog, you & mie!

Clothesline Floral Triangle Back Dress by you & mie

The dress I made for Yuki is made with the Periwinkle floral. I love this fabric. The colors are beautiful and I knew Yuki would love the flowers. To coordinate with it I picked the new basic print, Sprinkle in Corduroy. I love this fabric too! Great color, great print. I guess that’s what I could say about all of the Cotton + Steel prints! Anyways, the two fabrics don’t actually match perfectly, but close enough for me.

Clothesline Floral Triangle Back Dress by you & mie

The fabric is quilting cotton and though I’ve generally started steering away from quilting cottons for clothing, I find that it can work for kids clothes. Cotton + Steel is great quality, easy to sew and easy to wear and wash. Can’t really ask for more.

Clothesline Floral Triangle Back Dress by you & mie

Clothesline Floral Triangle Back Dress by you & mie

I started with the Geranium Dress pattern by Made by Rae, which is my “go to” dress pattern for kids. In fact, the dress I made for my other daughter also started with the Geranium Dress pattern but went in a totally different direction! Anyways, I made some modifications, the back being the obvious one.

Clothesline Floral Triangle Back Dress by you & mie

This triangle back started out as a vision in my head and I had to work out the construction also in my head, which is the scary part about self-drafting or modifying your patterns. Overall, I’d say it worked (in that there is a triangle opening and my child can wear it), but it is not exactly the dress I had pictured, nor is the fit perfect. The most problematic part is that since the bodice is not very fitted, the back gapes open depending on how she’s standing or moving. I may try to adjust the pattern more and use an invisible side zipper to get a more fitted bodice that we can still get her in and out of. Or maybe I won’t and we’ll just call it good.

Clothesline Floral Triangle Back Dress by you & mie

I lowered the neckline a bit and narrowed the shoulders. The skirt is just a gathered rectangle skirt with pockets, of course, and I added pintuck pleats because it’s just a sweet detail. And I can let the pleats out to lengthen the dress in case Yuki has a growth spurt!

Clothesline Floral Triangle Back Dress by you & mie

If you want to check out the other dress I made, head over to my blog to see the details! It’s a wrap dress in the other Clothesline Floral color way and I think I like it even more than the dress I made for Yuki!

Clothesline Floral Wrap Dress by you & mie

Thanks for having me, Frances. Till next time, happy sewing!

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Thank you, Cherie! Connect with Cherie on her blog, instagram, facebook, and pinterest.

Cotton + Steel Matsuri bag

This was written by Leslie for the Miss Matatabi Makers series.

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This month I am back to sewing for my little gal and she was excited to be able to pick out fabric again. Anika is starting kindergarten in September and needs a bigger backpack. I sewed her one for preschool and was looking forward to tackling another one.

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I showed my daughter Cotton + Steel’s canvas fabric from their latest collection and she chose the cute apples. She also scrolled through the other Cotton + Steel’s fabrics in Miss Matatabi’s shop and fell in love with the little pandas. Me too! I chose the Honeymoon and Paper Bandana designs to add to the mix.

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I stumbled upon the Matsuri Bag pattern on Instasgram and I knew that it would be a great bag for Anika. I really liked the shape of it as well as the pockets on the side. I made a few adjustments – I made it a bit wider and deeper (to fit her much loved lunchbox) and I changed the straps to more traditional ones since I didn’t need the bag to be convertible.

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I always enjoy adding some fun touches to my projects such as the patchwork pockets and straps. These are great ways to show off other fabrics that coordinate with the main fabrics.

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Anika is in love with her new backpack (and me too) and it is giving her one more reason to be excited to start kindergarten. Yay!

photo one


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Thank you, Leslie! Connect with Leslie on instagram, pinterest, and flickr.


Dear Prudence Dress

Suz from sewpony has recently released her newest dress pattern, Dear Prudence, and today I’m joining her blog tour with a fun retro-inspired version. The pattern is available in her store and is currently 15% off with the code PRUDENCE15.

dear prudence dress : miss matatabi

Dear Prudence is a dress pattern for girls in sizes 12mths – 10 yrs. It has three sleeve options, a lined bodice with shirring, a piped collar with button accents, and deep, piped pockets.

dear prudence dress : miss matatabi

The fabric suggestions for this pattern are lightweight woven fabrics, however I chose a mid-weight barkcloth from my store and I think it worked well. In addition to the fabrics Suz suggests, I think this would also look great made up in linen, seersucker, oxford cotton, and corduroy. Marta from do guincho made a great knit tee version so there are lots of fabric possibilities with this pattern! I lined the bodice in a fine cotton lawn also from my store.

dear prudence dress : miss matatabi

I really love the piped pockets and collar feature of this dress! I had some linen bias tape that was an almost perfect colour match so used that to make the piping. I didn’t add the collar buttons because this print already has so much going on. It’s a little Von Trapp curtains meets 60s wallpaper, don’t you think?

dear prudence dress : miss matatabi

I made a size 4 based on my daughter’s chest measurement but didn’t think at all about the dress length so the skirt is not as long as I would like. I’m constantly in denial about how quickly this girl is growing up! Once I realized my mistake with the length I opted to leave out the elastic in the back as adding it would have meant even a little more length lost. The resulting a-line shape at the back goes well with this fabric print though so all is well :)

dear prudence dress : miss matatabi

My daughter loves this dress and I do too! Thank you very much for having me on the tour, Suz!

Dear Prudence blog tour

I received this pattern as part of the blog tour but all opinions are 100% my own.

Jaanu dresses in Cotton + Steel

This was written by An from StraightGrain for the Miss Matatabi Makers series.

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Hi Miss Matatabi readers! I hope you’re having a great Summer. Today I’m presenting two dresses in one of the new Cotton + Steel fabrics. The new collection introduces a new Basic: Sprinkle. It was love at first sight, and I picked the peach version because I thought it would combine great with something gold.


I made two dresses with my new pattern, Jaanu. I designed the pattern together with Regina from the Belgian blog Twee Emmerkes Water.
The pattern comes with two options: the Elena skirt and the Norah skirt. This little video clip introduces the pattern.

jaanu button2

For little Ava, I made the Elena version. It has two small box pleats in the front, and two in the back.


I originally embellished the front of Ava’s dress with gold fabric paint, but regretted it immediately and replaced the front with a new one.


I added a touch of gold in the form of small crosses I embroidered on the box pleats.


For Norah, I made the (predictabilty alert!) Norah version. It has six big box pleats around the waist, which give a big, full party skirt.


Here, I added a tiny little bow to each box pleat. Norah claims she feels like Sleeping Beauty in it.


I’m really happy with how the dresses turn out in Cotton + Steel cotton. The fabric gives a lovely drape, and the Sprinkle print is subtle without being plain.

Would you like to give the Jaanu pattern a try? You can buy it in my shop, with 25% reduction if you use the code MATATABI25 (expires July 27).

Or you could win it! Just use the Rafflecopter widget below to take your chance. (If you buy the pattern and then win it, you’ll get it refunded.)

To the giveaway

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Thank you so much An! Connect with An on her blog, instagram, facebook, and pinterest.

nani IRO month week 4

We’ve reached the end of nani IRO month and I can’t believe how quickly it went! Here’s a look at the amazing sewing from our week 4 featured sewers.

Jenny from Cashmerette made the most gorgeous shirtdress in the perfect blue for her.

cashmerette : nani iro month

Skye chose Birds Eye in the ranman colorway to make an adorable dress for her daughter. She was joined by a couple of little cuties in some other beautiful Skye-made creations.

sew little : nani iro month

Rachael from Imagine Gnats used Sound Circle double gauze to sew up her newest pattern for girls, the Springtail Sundress. I love how she used the print!

imagine gnats : nani iro month

Sanae made two beautiful tops and they both look great on her. She chose Free Way and Jewel Pocho double gauze and I especially love the Free Way top. Nice stripe matching, Sanae!

sanae ishida : nani iro month

Thank you so much, Jenny, Skye, Rachael, and Sanae!

Straightgrain   竏   noodlehead   竏   Ute

verykerryberry   竏   Make It Perfect   竏   Groovy Baby and Mama

A Little Goodness   竏   SKIRT AS TOP   竏   Cashmerette

Sew Little   竏   imagine gnats   竏   you & mie

SANAE ISHIDA   竏   Miss Matatabi

Thank you so much for joining us and sewing along this month. It has been so much fun and we’ll do it again for sure. If you haven’t had a chance to see what everyone made yet please do visit all the lovely people who sewed and blogged with us! xo

I am beyond excited to be here today with our exclusive interview with Naomi Ito, Japanese artist and textile designer. Beloved in Japan and internationally amongst both art fans and textile lovers alike, Naomi brings uniqueness to the sewing world in the form of textile paintings. She has been creating nani IRO, her textile label for Kokka, since 2001 and each collection is stunning reflection of Naomi as an artist. Naomi’s textiles are so breathtakingly beautiful it is truly a joy to be able to work with and wear her fabrics. I recently had the pleasure of meeting Naomi and listen to her speak about her 2015 collection and she was incredibly warm, bright, and inspiring. This is her first translated-into-English interview and I窶冦 thrilled to be able to share this with you.

Nomi Ito interview (nani IRO textile Designer): miss matatabi
Nomi Ito interview: miss matatabi
Nomi Ito interview: miss matatabi

Naomi Ito

Textile designer / watercolor artist
Born in 1971. Began showing her work in 1994 in Osaka, Tokyo and Paris. Her works have been used in TV and print advertising, picture books, and on book covers, and her prints and other artworks shown around Japan and internationally. She has been producing textile paintings under the label of nani IRO Textile since 2001, and in 2012 launched the label ITSURA TEXTILE, designed to link art and living.

Miss Matatabi Does your textile brand nani IRO have a concept?

Naomi Ito Nani means beautiful in the Hawaiian language. Iro is the Japanese word for color, and from its kanji character, harmony, balance, and a meeting of light and dark. I paint out of feelings of affection, rendering nature, what is in the heart, and so on, as if plucking a flower complete with the air around it.

MM With many nani IRO textiles, the approach is more artistic or painterly than one of design: what is it that inspires your work?

NI I paint to spin a tale that portrays a kind of comfort, that makes people happy when they feel it on their skin. I paint in the hope that each textile will be like a single poem, a single letter.

MM Obviously we don’t get to see them, but what are your originals like?

NI I usually paint them in watercolors. More recently I’ve been enjoying producing textiles using other techniques.

MM Word has it that dyers say printing nani IRO is tricky due to all the fine detail. Can you describe any parts of the process leading up to the finished fabric that you approach with particular care?

NI Apparently it is becoming more unusual these days to give specifications for one color at a time in a textile by using swatches for each color. I ‘ve become very accustomed to choosing one color at a time from among many. And nani IRO textiles can have as many as 23 colors laid down using separate silk screens. Colors can shift at the critical stage though, so I make it my business to go to the factory during that part of the process and make any necessary adjustments. The dyers and I compare how we feel about the results as the job progresses. These are dyers I’ve worked with for 14 years, so bouncing ideas off each other is hugely enjoyable, and they are partners I really depend upon.

MM You’ve produced a lot of different fabrics to date: do you have any favorites, or any that you feel particularly attached to?

NI The first one I painted, 14 years ago, was POCHO. I painted it at what was then my little studio in Osaka. I remember my mother suddenly turning up to visit when I was working on it and exclaiming, 窶廾oh, that’s good!窶 Her father (my grandfather) designed textiles for menswear.

Nomi Ito interview: miss matatabi

MM What was the theme for the collection you released in January 2015?

NI Out in the countryside where I live, in front of the studio is a small orchard we’ve planted. Beyond it are fields, then you cross a stream to a forest. Every day as I look out the window, nature goes about its business in all its wondrous variety. This landscape I gaze on daily has so many different faces. When I take things felt on the loveliest, most sparkling days of my little existence and render them as pictures in my own style, joyfully painting vestiges of freshness and light on white paper, for some reason I find myself, as I pursue my practice, with an incredible sense of sharing, like the soul of someone in a faraway land whom I have never met connecting with my own.

MM Have there been any particular designer or artist influences in your textile design or painting?

NI I think the first artist I came to like when I began painting was Georgia O’Keeffe. It wasn’t just her paintings that attracted me, but her lifestyle, where she lived, how she comported herself.

MM Who would you collaborate with if you could? Only hypothetically, so it could be some great figure from the past even, or someone close to you.

NI I’d love to make textiles with my granddad! It would be wonderful to design menswear fabrics too and show them to him.

MM On a slightly more personal note, do you have any favorite objects or other things, daily rituals, things you’re particularly interested in at the moment?

NI One thing I can say is that taking time for tea is precious to me. I start with that first pot in the morning, then make fresh batches as I paint, my way of pausing for breath. There are tea fields nearby. I also put tea flowers in my tea. I love that time of the morning spent deciding on today’s combination of cup and leaves.

MM Working this much while bringing up a child must be a struggle at times. How would you describe your working style?

NI Once I’ve taken him to kindergarten, my time is my own. I make some tea, give the studio a quick tidy, and work out my schedule for the day. Then, again, when he goes to sleep, I choose whether to go back to painting, or read a book, write a letter, do some cleaning, or maybe just go to sleep as well.

MM What is your studio like?

NI It has a large window facing east, and from it, a view of the natural surroundings.

Nomi Ito interview: miss matatabi

MM Many of your fans have children of their own I imagine. These days you work as an artist, but what was your own childhood like?

NI I used to love playing outside a lot 窶 picking flowers in the meadows, having little adventures on my bike with other kids around the neighborhood. I also used to be a very keen pianist and played right up to starting university.

MM nani IRO fabrics are used in all sorts of settings, have any in particular made an impression on you?

NI Different companies have kindly wanted to use my textiles, and in terms of collaborations, I’m always grateful for the unexpected encounters I have during the production process. Not to mention when I spot my fabrics around town! And when I come across handmade pieces on places like Instagram! To me the physical presence of the fabrics is suffused with the joy of painting, joy of choosing, of making, and of giving and sending.

Now that I think of it, one striking scene does suddenly spring to mind. A French artist had a store in Tokyo, and to coincide with the day of my visit he took down the flag outside and without any fuss swapped it for a piece of nani IRO fabric. I remember tearing up at this wonderful surprise, whimsical yet in perfect taste.

MM What have you got planned next?

NI At the moment I’m painting next year’s textiles. Get ready for a new world of nani IRO, with a new sensibility. I’m painting what strikes a chord with me now, unfettered by the past. I’m also getting ready to publish a book.

MM Do you have a message for your overseas fans?

NI Thank you for finding my textiles. For picking them up, putting them next to your skin, using your imagination to give them a new life… I don’t really have the words to describe it.

Nomi Ito interview: miss matatabi A display at ATELIER to nani IRO. Enter the chambers to savor a world of fabric alongside the fragrance of individual blended herbal oils inspired by each design.

Thank you very much Naomi!

Follow Naomi on instagram where she shares lovely glimpses into her daily life. If you窶决e ever in Japan be sure to visit the flagship nani IRO store in Osaka, ATELIER to nani IRO. It has the largest collection of nani IRO fabrics in Japan and is a beautiful little space. In the meantime we have a large selection of nani IRO fabrics in our store and happily ship worldwide. Also, have you heard about nani IRO life piece Award? It窶冱 a nani IRO sewing contest held every year and for the first time it is open to international entries. I窶冦 really excited about this and I hope you窶冤l enter! Registration is open from June 1st to August 29th and you can enter here.

nani IRO giveaway: miss matatabi

Translated from Japanese by Pamela Miki Associates.
ツゥ 2015 Miss Matatabi All Rights Reserved

Spectacle backpack

This was written by Leslie for the Miss Matatabi Makers series and nani IRO month. Leslie is really great at pairing fabrics and colours and it’s always so much fun to see what she makes. And if you haven’t yet found her on instagram I recommend seeing what she’s up to there. She always makes time for creativity and it’s really inspiring!

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Nani Iro Month – my favourite month of the year! Have you ever tried choosing just one or two Nani Iro fabrics. It is almost impossible. Miss Matatabi stocks so many awesome Nani Iro fabrics and it took me a very long time (too long!) to choose the ones I did. photo 4 copy I have been wanting to make a backpack for a long time now. As soon as I saw the Nani Iro Spectacle Canvas I knew this was the fabric to use. I then remembered that I had A Day in the Park Backpack Tote pattern by Liesel +Co. that I bought years ago. Perfect combo! photo 1 The Nani Iro canvas is wonderful. It’s not too heavy and not too light. I am now dreaming of more projects to use it for. I chose to line the tote with Nani Iro Clear Heart metallic gauze. Now every time I peek inside my bag I get to see some more loveliness. photo 2 (1) For the straps and bottom of the backpack tote I used some Nani Iro Pocho laminated double gauze. Frances is sold out of the colour I used but she has some other laminated gauzes here. I love these laminated Nani Iro fabrics and used some for my laptop cover that I use every single day. Let’s chat about the backpack tote pattern. I am so happy with how it turned out and I am super excited to start using it for work. It’s a versatile bag that can be used as a backpack, a shoulder bag or you can just carry it like a tote bag. It’s got an interior zipper pocket and a divided patch pocket. photo 1 copy

Straightgrain   竏   noodlehead   竏   Ute

verykerryberry   竏   Make It Perfect   竏   Groovy Baby and Mama

A Little Goodness   竏   SKIRT AS TOP   竏   Cashmerette

Sew Little   竏   imagine gnats   竏   you & mie

SANAE ISHIDA   竏   Miss Matatabi

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Thank you, Leslie! Connect with Leslie on instagram, pinterest, and flickr.


nani IRO month week 3

Hi there, how’s it going? Have you been sewing up a nani IRO storm? I’ve loved seeing what you’re all up to on instagram at #ilovenaniiro. Keep the good stuff coming! nani IRO month week 3 was all about beautiful garments for women and the cutest toddler ever. I’m feeling really inspired seeing all these great projects! Toni from Make It Perfect made a Waterfall blouse in the delicate and pretty en Garden print. nani iro month : make it perfect Groovy Baby and Mama Trine made an Aeolian T-shirt dress and it was the perfect choice for Jewel Pocho! nani iro month : groovy baby and mama Kristin from skirt as top turned Spectacle shun into a perfect-for-summer Grainline Studio Alder dress. nani iro month : skirt as top Cherie from you & mie made the most adorable two piece romper for her little girl. It is so bright and cheerful! nani IRO month : you & mie Thank you so much, Toni, Trine, Kristin, and Cherie!

Straightgrain   竏   noodlehead   竏   Ute

verykerryberry   竏   Make It Perfect   竏   Groovy Baby and Mama

A Little Goodness   竏   SKIRT AS TOP   竏   Cashmerette

Sew Little   竏   imagine gnats   竏   you & mie

SANAE ISHIDA   竏   Miss Matatabi

Have you entered the giveaway yet? There’s still a little over a week to go! xo
nani IRO month continues today with two very different but equally beautiful projects. Anna Graham from Noodlehead sewed some Sound Circle canvas into this gorgeous bag. I love how this print looks with leather! nani IRO gypsy sling : noodlehead Kerry from verykerryberry made a modified Merchant and Mills Factory dress. It’s so pretty on her! Her blog post is a great read too – it’s fun to read about her sewing process and see how this dress came together. nani IRO Factory dress : verykerryberry Thank you so much, Anna and Kerry, for taking part in nani IRO month!

Straightgrain   竏   noodlehead   竏   Ute

verykerryberry   竏   Make It Perfect   竏   Groovy Baby and Mama

A Little Goodness   竏   SKIRT AS TOP   竏   Cashmerette

Sew Little   竏   imagine gnats   竏   you & mie

SANAE ISHIDA   竏   Miss Matatabi

See you soon with more featured projects! #ilovenaniiro

Fields Of Joy

This was written by Ute for nani IRO month. I’m so excited that Ute is visiting here today! She often sews with nani IRO and she really knows how to highlight the beauty of the prints. Please visit her on instagram or flickr to see more of her gorgeous handmade garments and beautiful nature shots.

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Thank you so much Frances, for inviting me to join in with nani IRO month!


To be honest, ever since discovering nani IRO – and Miss Matatabi (it was through Anツエs wonderful blog!), quite a few months have been nani IRO month for me! One of my first sewing projects was a dress from Naomi Itoツエs pattern book in Peaceful Cooing.


I almost always cut into my nani IRO fabric immediately, as I usually know what I want to make with it. And when Frances generously offered that I could sew whatever I wished with one of the prints from the new collection, I knew I wanted to use Clear Heart for a Tessuti Tokyo Jacket. The simple cut with the magyar sleeves doesnツエt interrupt the bold brush strokes of this print and I am especially in love with the back of the jacket.

I paired the double gauze with khaki green linen, which corresponds well with the print and I made matching linen pants from another Tessuti pattern, the Suzy Pant. Together it looks nice and dressy but I will also wear the jacket more casually with jeans.


I sewed the jacket together at one of my favorite places, the Uckermark, a region in Germany about two hours away from Berlin, where a dear friend of mine has a little holiday cottage. The village where the house is located is called “Herzfelde”, which could be translated as “Heartfield”. What better place to sew a fabric named Clear Heart? The rapeseed was in full bloom that weekend and the weather窶ヲ capricious窶ヲ It was close to raining when I took these pictures. Quite dramatic and I had to be very quick!


Still, bringing together my favorite fabric and my favorite place brought me a lot of joy.


窶廰et’s wander slowly through the fields, Slowly slowly through the fields, I touch the leaves that touch the sky, Just you and I through fields of joy, All trouble slowly fades away, Slowly slowly fades away窶ヲ..窶

(Lenny Kravitz, Fields Of Joy)


Beautiful fabric can do that to you, and nani IRO does that for me every time.

I hope I did this special print justice! I am so happy I was given the opportunity to join so many wonderful and talented seamstresses to declare my love for nani IRO and the artist behind it.

Thank you, Naomi Ito, for creating wearable art!

Straightgrain   竏   noodlehead   竏   Ute

verykerryberry   竏   Make It Perfect   竏   Groovy Baby and Mama

A Little Goodness   竏   SKIRT AS TOP   竏   Cashmerette

Sew Little   竏   imagine gnats   竏   you & mie

SANAE ISHIDA   竏   Miss Matatabi

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Thank you so much, Ute! We’ll be back again tomorrow to continue the nani IRO sewing goodness. Have you entered the giveaway yet? It’s a good one! :) #ilovenaniiro