Funnily enough, True/Bias’ Nikko Top & Dress pattern was one of the first patterns I purchased after starting my sewing journey this year. I had no idea how to sew knit fabrics, but I loved how elegant the different versions of this top (and dress!) looked in Instagram photos. Ten months later, I finally got to stashbusting and made the long-sleeved version of the top.
Hopefully, you find this review helpful – and just in time for True/Bias’ 20%+ off Black Friday sale!
- Stonemountain & Daughter Fabric Wide Bamboo Rib Knit in Olive
- Note: I purchased 2 yards at 49″ width. Because I was able to fit the pieces for Size 2 as directed for 58″ width fabric, I have enough extra fabric to make a sleeveless top.
- Matching Gutermann all-purpose thread (Stonemountain does thread matching!)
- Additional Notions:
- 3/8″ clear elastic for stabilising seams
- ball point needles for knit/jersey fabrics, to prevent thread piercing
- Swedish tracing paper for pattern tracing / transfer
I found this pattern to be very straightforward, especially since I had made other tops before. Learning to work with knit fabric was more difficult than learning the pattern itself. Normally, I like to make toiles or muslins before diving into a new pattern.
However, I didn’t have inexpensive practice knit fabric (does that exist?), so I dove right in and hoped for the best. The trickiest part was figuring out the best tension and adjustments on my machine for this medium-weight, slightly slippery rib knit material.
It’s easy to accidentally stretch the fabric while sewing, causing wavy / misshapen hems. I tested a bunch of tension before arriving at a least offensive (but still slightly wavy!) hem when sewing horizontally (the direction with most stretch). I tried fiddling with my quilting walking foot, but found that it actually made things worse. So I ended up using my regular foot at the lowest foot pressure setting.
As you can see in the photo, my hem is slightly wavy with some puckering. I bought some Stitch Witchery fusible bonding that I may try using to redo the hem – but would appreciate any other tips or advice! This doesn’t bother me immediately, because I’m mainly wearing it tucked in, so no one can see it.
What do love about knits is the fact that the fabric doesn’t unravel! So none of the seams needed finishing, which makes it a quick sew.
I made no adjustments when initially cutting out the fabric and went with my usual Size 2 for True/Bias. Overall, the fit is great – I wanted something formfitting but not too tight, and the Size 2 worked almost perfectly.
I chopped off 2″ from the bottom hem – a common adjustment I make since I have a short torso. Surprisingly, the sleeves were plenty long, even for my gangly arms. I made no adjustments here, though I might shorten them an inch in the future – still debating!
When (and it will be a when, not if!) I make this in the future, I’ll likely make the following adjustments:
- Narrower shoulders on the bodice pieces. This is opposite the adjustment I normally make (I usually have to widen the shoulder / underarm area). However, the horizontal seam stretched out a little bit when I sewed it (especially with the stabilizing elastic), and it’s slightly too big. Additionally, I think shoulder seams that sit higher up on the shoulder will mask the fabric bulk at the seams, which is still visible when I move my arms around.
- Smaller rib knit fabric. This isn’t a true modification, but more of a variation. I’d like to make more of these in a lighter weight fabric as layers underneath sweaters / jackets. Something like this organic rib knit (sadly, out of stock for now!) or this sweater knit. It’s tricky finding jersey material with enough horizontal stretch. Very important, because otherwise you won’t be able to get it on!
Overall, I think the True/Bias Nikko Top is a great pattern for any beginner+ sewist. I can see this becoming a tried and true pattern in my collection (like the Ogden Cami), and am excited to make more.