When I first saw the Nanöo range of patterns I was struck by how similar they were to clothes I wore growing up in the (*coughs*) eighties, and that’s probably why I bought both the Idoia and the Lillian dress patterns.

Back then, when summers were endless and filled with roller boots (not blades), Mr Freeze ice pops and water balloon fights; the clothes were just as fun! If I had had an Idoia style dress in the eighties it probably would have been lemon yellow with a rainbow contrasting shoulder panel and poppers not buttons! The Lillian would maybe have been a Hypercolor fabric in orange and pink.

I decided to try and be just as playful with my pick of fabric for this this pattern, and I had this amazing shark fabric from the Dark and Stormy collection by Dear Stella. Unfortunately when I bought the fabric there was only a metre in stock, just one little metre! There was only one thing for it...the Idoia dress was to become a top!

I cut the only pattern size (width) that would fit me and at the same time would also fit on such a small amount of fabric, and I crossed my fingers it would look okay. The red anchors fabric was from my scraps pile, the perfect size for the shoulder panel, and I found some lovely red anchor buttons that pulled the design together.

The pattern itself sews up very quickly, especially when you’re only making half of it! There are no darts or plackets or even sleeves to worry about, just some straight forward seam matching. I had to lengthen the bodice so that it came to the hip, as the dress is designed to accommodate an elasticated waist, but luckily for me my height is short enough that I could still do this without needing more fabric! I also lapped the main bodice up over the shoulder panel rather than the other way around as the red buttons would have gotten lost on the red fabric.

This was also my first attempt at making bias binding with a tape maker tool, which was quite fun and not at all as time consuming as it looks! Although definitely one of those moments where a third hand would have come in...er handy!


I love how this has come together, I just wish I could have made one or two sizes bigger to really capture that oversized 80s feel! It also feels a bit ‘gapey’ across the back of the neck, of course...there must be an adjustment for this. And since this problem is consistent for me I’m going to make it my task to find the solution, so watch this space!

For a summer top, the style and the fabric complement brilliantly, and as a seaside dweller what better place to take the pics than at the beach?! The background artwork (seen in the pics below) lives on the side of a Victorian Pier, and just out of shot there were some early morning swimmers enjoying the sunshine. Mr Distracted and I had a giggle at the idea of me crashing into the waves shouting ‘shark’, although I’m not sure how much that would have been appreciated even if 'technically' it was true!  

I have seen many examples of both the Idoia and the Lillian dresses made in a double gauze, which I think looks so very comfy and is definitely on my list to make, if I could only settle on a colour! But since I can’t stop thinking of the Idoia in ‘lemon yellow with a rainbow contrasting shoulder panel and poppers’, I’m off to scour the internet for a suitable rainbow!