Nani Iro 2024 Fabric Collection

Posted on April 26, 2024

The much anticipated Nani Iro 2024 Fabric Collection has arrived and, as always, it does not disappoint. With new artworks and a fresh, vibrant colour palette, this collection is perfect for all your summer sewing projects.

Designed by Japanese artist Naomi Ito for Kokka Fabrics under the brand name Nani Iro, these designs have a beautifully distinctive hand painterly quality to them.

Nani Iro 2024 Fabric Collection

From 2024 onwards, all the Nani Iro cotton double gauze fabrics will be made using organic cotton, not only that, the entire lineup will be made of natural materials including linen, silk and tencel. 

Nani Iro 2024 Fabric Collection Margo Pal Edelweiss Gunsei Touch a Chord

This year, five stunning new designs have been introduced, each printed in a choice of colourways and on two different fabric bases per design. There are four floral designs in varying scales along with one painterly subtle stripe design called Touch a Chord. 

Margo, pictured above, is one of the new botanical floral designs for 2024. This beautiful painterly artwork takes inspiration from the lifecycle of citrus flowers and fruits and the rich landscape that surrounds them. 
Nan i Iro Pal Light Linen Fabric
Also new is the modern floral called PAL, which is an abbreviation of Peace and Love. Shown above in the Blue on Dark Grey colourway, the print colours are really interesting and work beautifully together.
Nani Iro 2024 Fabric Collection

Sitting alongside, and complimenting the new designs is a small reprint series of long-selling patterns that continue to be loved. This year they have rested past favourites such as Lei Nani and Birds Eye and, instead have re-introduced Encounter, shown below, as well as Saaaa Saaa.

Nani Iro Encounter Light Linen Fabric Grey

The pattern for the dress above is from Nani Iro Sewing Studio, a book containing 18 beautiful sewing patterns designed by Naomi Ito to compliment her fabrics.

Nani Iro 2024 Fabric Collection

All of these beautiful designs sit together perfectly to create a cohesive collection. I hope you love these fabrics as much as I do and I can't wait to see what you make. 

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The Assembly Line • A-Line Midi Skirt Sewing Pattern Review

Posted on March 08, 2024

There's no doubting the fact that skirts have been having a moment in recent months and this has continued into 2024. 

The Assembly Line A-line Midi Skirt Sewing Pattern Review

The A-Line Midi Skirt Sewing Pattern by The Assembly Line is a great sewing  pattern if you're new to sewing as it's easy to make plus there are four different options to choose from which are shown illustrated below.

The Assembly Line A-Line Midi Skirt Sewing Pattern Review

As the name suggests, it has an A-line fit and key details include an elasticated waistband and side slant pockets. The pattern comes with several versions to choose from - the regular waistband, the paper bag waistband with belt loops and a belt, the regular straight hemline, the rounded hemline and the elasticated hemline. 

The Assembly Line A-Line Midi Skirt Sewing Pattern

Inspired by a quilted ready to wear skirt that I saw last season I made the regular waistband option of the A-Line Midi Skirt in the Thelma Quilted fabric in Black by Mind the MAKER

I chose to make the version with the regular waistband. And because the fabric has vertical quilted stitch-lines and is lightly padded I and made a couple of modifications to accommodate my chosen fabric:

  1. The centre-front and centre-back seams were omitted and the pattern pieces were pivoted slightly to cut them on the fold. (If you decide to make this amendment remember take off the 1cm seam allowance) This modification would also work well for striped fabrics.
  2. Instead of side slant pockets I adjusted the pattern slightly and replaced these with in-seam pockets using the  Thelma Thermal Solid fabric in Black to reduce the bulk of the skirt at this point.

The Assembly Line A-Line Midi Skirt Sewing Pattern

Other than that I followed the pattern, the instructions were really clear and my skirt came together really quickly. I added an additional stitch-line through the centre of the elasticated waistband as shown in the photo below. This not only creates a lovely detail but it also prevents the elastic from twisting within the waistband casing.

The Assembly Line A-Line Midi Skirt Sewing Pattern

This is a lovely style both to make and wear. It's a great skirt for beginners and experienced sewists alike. It's definitely a pattern that I'll be making again. In fact I'm planning my next make, this time in denim without the modifications.

The Assembly Line A-line Midi Skirt Sewing Pattern Review

I'm wearing the skirt with the Elastic Tie Sweater, also by The Assembly Line, made in Sevenberry Rustic Indigo fabric Spaced Lines.

The Assembly Line A-line Midi Skirt Sewing Pattern Review


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Our Top 10 Best Beginner Sewing Patterns

Posted on October 29, 2023

If you're new to dressmaking choosing the right sewing pattern for your first project is not only really important but it can also be a little daunting.

There are lots of fabulous patterns available these days that are ideal for those with little or no sewing experience including tops, dresses, skirts, dresses and pyjamas... here, Here, I've pulled together, what I think, are some of the best sewing patterns for beginners and beyond.


True Bias ∙ Ogden Cami

The Ogden Cami is a simple vest top that can either be worn on its own or as a layering piece under blazers and cardigans. 

True Bias Ogden Cami Sewing Pattern

It has a soft V neck at both the centre front and centre back necklines, and delicate spaghetti straps. The neckline and armholes are finished with a partial lining for a beautiful, high end finish. 

It's a great fit, I've made several now and it works well all year round. Once you've gained confidence there are several hacks of this ever popular style to make various dress options.

The Assembly Line ∙ Cuff Top

The Cuff Top sewing pattern is an easy to make style with a straight fit, boat neck and half sleeves with deep elastic cuffs.

The Assembly Line Cuff Top Sewing Pattern
The Assembly Line Cuff Top Sewing Pattern

One of our most popular patterns, the Cuff Top is easy to make with grown on sleeves. I've made several and it works equally well in both plain and patterned fabrics. Plus there is a free download to change the neckline to a round neck on The Assembly Line website.

Maison Fauve ∙ Palma Top

The Palma Top is the perfect beginner's sewing pattern for your summer wardrobe! Simple, but with pretty details including a pleated back with yoke, closed with pretty knotted ties.

Maison Fauve Palma Top Sewing PatternMaison Fauve Palma Top Sewing PatternThe Palma features a loose fit and scoop neckline make it ultra comfortable, as beautiful worn as a blouse or tucked into trousers.

The Assembly Line ∙ V-Neck Cuff Top

The V-Neck Cuff Top features full, gathered 3/4 sleeves which are contrasted by a sharp V neckline. The sleeves are grown on which eliminates the need to set the sleeves into that armhole which can sometimes be tricky, especially when you're new to sewing. The Assembly Line V-Neck Cuff Top Sewing Pattern

The Assembly Line V-Neck Cuff Top Sewing PatternBring a sense of contemporary bohemia to your everyday life by pairing the V-Neck Cuff Top with relaxed trousers and smart skirts. 


Closet Core ∙ Cielo Dress & Top

The Cielo Dress & Top is an easy, breezy take on a boxy tee and shift dress with an option for statement sleeves. Loaded with interesting details and interchangeable features, it's sure to become a wardrobe building favourite, plus it's really easy to make.  

Closet Core Cielo Dress & Top Sewing Pattern
Closet Core Cielo Dress & Top Sewing Pattern

The Cielo makes for an easy fitting dress with sleek inseam pockets, or you can make it without pockets. Choose between a semi-cropped top with a cuffed short sleeve or dramatic gathered long sleeve. All views have a slightly dropped shoulder, angled shoulder yoke and roomy fit, with a choice between an elegant bias binding or faced neckline finish.

Friday Pattern Company ∙ Wilder Gown & Top

The Wilder Gown is a loose, flowy, tiered dress that can be sewn up in lots of different ways! It has raglan sleeves and ties up at the neck and is very easy to sew.

Friday Pattern Company Wilder Gown & Top Sewing Pattern
Friday Pattern Company Wilder Gown & Top Sewing Pattern
The Wilder can be made as a top or dress, long or short sleeved, with one skirt tier or two. The design is fairly modular so once your confidence grows it's easy to customise and make your own bespoke version.
Tessuti ∙ Bella Dress
The Bella Dress is a flowy A-line dress featuring full length sleeves, a centre back seam with top-stitching along with optional in-seam pockets. 
Tessuti Bella Dress Sewing Pattern
Tessuti Bella Dress Sewing Pattern
Bella is an easy, comfortable style which can be dressed up or down. 
The Assembly Line ∙ A-Line Midi Skirt

The A-line Midi Skirt is an easy to sew style with a modern finish. It has an A-line fit and is detailed with an elasticated waistband and side slant pockets.

The Assembly Line A-Line Midi Skirt Sewing PatternThe pattern comes with several versions to choose from - the regular waistband, as shown above, the paper bag waistband with belt loops and a belt, shown below, the regular straight hemline, the rounded hemline and the elasticated hemline. The Assembly Line A-Line Midid Skirt Sewing Pattern

With all these options to choose from it's a great beginner pattern. I've made one with the regular elasticated waistband and it really is a quick and easy make, not only that but it's a great style as well.

 Tessuti ∙ Demi Pants

The Demi Pants are a pull-on, cropped style featuring an elasticised waist and full leg with side stitched down pockets. A clever pleat detail at the front and back hemline is finished with a bias bind band at hem.

Tessuti Demi Pants Trousers Sewing Pattern

Comfortable and stylish, the pattern is quick and easy to make and suitable for day or night. 

I hope this article has inspired and encouraged you to get started and plan your first sewing project.

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Christmas Gift Guide

Posted on December 02, 2022

With Christmas fast approaching I've recently added some lovely sewing related gift items to our online store. I thought I'd share a few of these with you here to give you some gift inspiration for the "sewist" or "stitcher" in your life... or perhaps even as a treat for yourself... I know I've got my eye on one or two of these suggestions...

The Draper's Daughter Sewing Gifts

We have lots of lovely embroidery Stitch Kits including new to us brand Slow Evenings. By Miriam Polak, an inspirational craft blogger from Germany, these beautifully packaged kits were designed with gifting in mind making them a perfect gift for yourself or a crafty friend. The Book Lady Embroidery Kit is shown below, click here to full all four kits. 

Slow Evenings Book Lady Embroidery Stitch Kit

We also have beautiful modern Kits by Stitch Happy including both Embroidery Kits and their new Macrame Plant Hanger Kits. Designed and sourced here in the UK, they're suitable for both  beginners and those with a little embroidery experience.

Our Nancy Nicholson Kits are always a firm favourite with our customers and it's easy to see why. The Cat Embroidery Kit, pictured below, combines stitch interest with colour to great effect.

Nancy Nicholson Embroidery Stitch Kit
Mend your way to a more sustainable wardrobe with these beautifully tactile, hand-turned solid wood darning eggs by Socko. The eggs are beautiful simply as an object, they're really tactile and lovely to hold. The egg comes with a small length of darning yarn, a darning needle and needle threader, together with darning instructions. 
Socko Wooden Darning Egg
The latest edition of TAUKO Magazine would make a fabulous gift for any sewing enthusiast. With 10 modern designs by international designers complete with step by step sewing instructions and actual size paper patterns.  a 128-page collectable magazine with a modern aesthetic. 
Tauko Sewing Magazine
Our fun packs of Woven Labels by Kylie and the Machine make a great inexpensive gift with packs of 8 labels costing just £5.50. 

Why not take advantage of our current offer: buy three packs of labels and receive a FREE Label Collectors Tin, worth £9.50, with the code FREE-KATM-TIN until Sunday 11th December. 
Kylie and the machine Woven Labels & Collectors Tin
All of the Merchant and Mills products are beautifully packaged. Even the humblest of items, such as a box of sewing pins, is elevated to "must-have" status due to their stylish branding and packaging! If you've a modest budget, then why not select a few of their sewing notions and create your own bespoke gift.
Merchant & Mills Sewing Accessories
If you're still not sure what to buy the sewist in your life then our E-Gift Card, is the perfect solution. Starting at just £5 and available in denominations up to £100, the lucky recipient can then choose their perfect sewing gift at their leisure.

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