Challenge Accepted


It goes without saying that I am behind in my blogging!  Earlier in the year, during Sew Japanese In January*, I opted for a little bit of an extra challenge.  I decided to use one of the free Nani Iro patterns (single sized) that you draft yourself from a diagram with measurements.  I had never drafted a garment before, so this was well outside my comfort zone.

*Janaury 2022 was the sixth year that Jane and I have hosted #sewjapaneseinjanuary… an Instagram hashtag to inspire and motivate people to sew from their Japanese pattern and/or fabric stash during the month of January.  There are no sponsors or giveaways, it’s a community event on Instagram that anyone can join in. To account for seasonal differences between hemispheres, we also usually host #sewjapaneseinjuly.  I encourage you to look at both the hashtags as there are lots of inspiring makes from sewists around the globe.


The pattern I selected was from 2006 and the translated title is Mini Double Gauze Smock.

Nani Iro - Mini Length Gauze Smock

I found a piece of double gauze and three different liberty binding prints in my stash (all from The Cloth Shop) and set to work drafting up the pattern.

It was much easier than I thought, and the only trouble I ran into was when I misread a 7.5 as a 9.5!  A side note… I now having reading glasses which might have been helpful during the drafting phase of this project!


After more test runs that I care to admit, I could not get the neck split as drafted to sit nicely.  For the real deal, I opted to change the construction to a facing and extended the neckline binding into ties.  The ties are comically long… but I’m okay with that.


My other notable changes were:

  • Adding 5″ (12.5cm) to the length of the top.  The word ‘mini’ in the title garment gave it away… it was drafted to be very cropped.
  • Adding 1″ (2.5cm) to both the Centre Front and Centre Back to ensure ample ease for my bust measurement (this is single sized pattern).
  • My usual 3/8″ (1cm) forward shoulder adjustment


I also bound the hem for all the extra length I could muster…


and included a sneaky little piece of Liberty binding just for fun.


This an enjoyable project for those long gone summer days.  Melbourne has had the coldest start to winter in 70 years!


Pattern:  Free Nani Iro Pattern from 2006 with the translated title of Mini Double Gauze Smock
Size:  Single Sized Pattern
Fabric:  Japanese double gauze [sold out] & Liberty Binding from The Cloth Shop
Alterations:  3/8″ (1cm) forward shoulder adjustment, added 1″ (2.5cm) to the Centre Front and Centre Back, added 5″ (12.5cm) to the length, bound the hem and change the front neck split to a facing and extended the neck binding into ties.
Outfit:  Trovelore beetroot brooch purchased from EST Australia but borrowed from Sharon, jeans from Scarlet Jones (several years ago) and Rafia Chic shoes (mended by me) from years ago.
Photo Location:  Ballarat


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  • Adorable, and love your double gauze!

    Please note my new email address shown below. I don’t want to miss any of your wonderful makes!

    • Thanks Lezlie. With regards to your new email address, I think that you’ll need to re-subscribe. Just pop the new email address into the subscribe button on my homepage.

  • You should have a go at drafting . It’s such fun to make something flat into 3 dimensions and have it fit well . I did a year long course at Melbourne school of fashion many moons ago and then life got in the way and fairly recently started again . I follow Charlottas school of pattern cutting on Patreon and u tube . She is IMO the best teacher around . I have also done some local ones but keep going back to Charlotta who is very responsive to questions . She actually runs. Beginner courses where you learn yo draft your own blocks and then you can go from there . She has a predilection for vintage details and teaches us how to recreate things like Chanel sleeves and Vionnet twists etc .
    I do like your top although a little chilly for the moment 😉

    • Thanks for all the drafting resource tips. I’ll be sure to do some research… but as I’m a little short of sewing time at the moment, it might have to stay on the back burner for a while!