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February 22, 2018

Today we are going to finish up your Nikko top or dress by hemming them finishing up the side slits for the dress views.

Step 15 – Turn the hemline up by 1” (2.5 cm). Pin and press. I am using some fusible knit tape to prevent stretching out the hem which you can see below.


Using a zigzag stitch, coverstitch or double stretch needle, topstitch at 7/8” (2.3 cm) from the folded hem to secure. I like to use my twin stretch needle for my tops because the stitching is pretty visible on these thinner knits. I think that the twin needle looks really professional.

And that is it. Views A & B are finished!

Now, if you are sewing up Views C or D (the dress views) then we are going to finish up the side slits and hem.

Step 16 – If you havn’t already, press the side seam allowances open above the dot and continue to press it open below the dot and pin in place so that it is an even 3/4” on each side. It is very important that this stitching does not stretch out as you sew it. I chose to use the heat n bond soft stretch to help, but I also decreased the tension on my sewing machine which seemed to do the trick. Practice with scrap fabric until it looks right for you.

Using a zigzag stitch, coverstitch or double stretch needle, edgestitch around the three sides of each slit, pivoting at the corners and stitching just above the large dot as pictured. I went with an elongated stretch stitch for this as I find that with the ribknit fabric the stitches pretty much disappear into the thickness.


Step 17 – Turn the hemline of the front dress up by 1” (2.5cm). Pin and press. If using a stabilizing knit tape apply here as well. You do not want the stitching to stretch out the fabric or you will end up with a fish tail effect at the bottom.

Using a zigzag stitch, coverstitch or double stretch needle, topstitch at 7/8” (2.3 cm) from the folded hem to secure. (If your fabric is very stretchy, you may want to consider using some fusible knit tape to stabilize the hem before stitching.) Repeat for back hemline.

Congrats, Views C & D are finished!


Let me know if you have any questions and please tag your versions with #nikkotop or #nikkodress so that I can see them.



February 20, 2018

Today we are going to finish up the side seams and the armholes for Views A and C of the Nikko which are the sleeveless versions. If you are sewing Views B or D (with sleeves) you can take a break and wait for tomorrow.

Step 7 – With right sides touching and matching notches, pin the front to the back at sides.

Sew side seams with a stretch stitch. For View A, sew from the armhole to the hem, backstitching at both ends.

For View C (shown), sew from the armhole to the large dot and backstitch. Make sure that you sew straight down to the dot and not follow the curve of the slit. It should look like this:

Press seam allowances open.

Note that for View C this step must be done on a sewing machine and not a serger to accomodate the slit. If using a serger, you may choose to finish the front and back edges separately and then sew the seam together with a stretch stitch on the sewing machine. Since knit fabric does not generally fray, I decided to not serge the edges in order to reduce any bulk.


Step 8 – You will notice that for the armhole facings, I am using a different fabric than my main dress fabric. If your fabric is a bit bulky like mine I recommend doing this as it will reduce any bulk in that area. You just have to be extra careful that none of your facing peeks out once you turn it under and stitch in the following steps.

With right sides touching, sew the short ends of the armhole facing together. Press seam allowances open if using a regular machine or to one side if using a serger.

With wrong sides touching, fold the armhole facing in half, aligning the long raw edges, and matching up the seam. Press.

Divide the armhole facing into quarters in the same manner as the neckband, placing pins at each quarter matchpoint.


Step 9 – Like you did for the neckline, divide the garment armhole into quarters, placing pins at each quarter matchpoint.


Step 10 – With right sides touching, pin the armhole facing to the garment armhole, bringing quarter matchpoints together. Add more pins if desired.

Sew the armhole seam using a stretch stitch or serger, stretching the armhole facing evenly between matchpoints to fit into the garment armhole as it is a bit smaller.


Step 11 – Turn your garment inside out. Pull the armhole facing to the inside of the garment. Pin and press so that the armhole seam is rolled slightly towards the inside of the garment to make it less visible on the right side. I like it to roll about 1/16″ to the inside to make sure that you don’t see it when right side out. This is especially important if your armhole facing is a different color like mine is.

Stitch along the fold of the facing to secure it to the garment using a stretch stitch. Press.

That is it for today! If you are sewing up the sleeveless top you are almost done. Come back tomorrow for the side seams and sleeves of Views B and D, and then on Thursday we will finish up the hems and side slits. In the meantime, let me know if you have any questions.





February 19, 2018

Welcome to day 1 of the Nikko Top and Dress Sewalong. Today we will be sewing up the shoulders and also attaching the neckband. These steps are for all views. Before starting you need to decide how you will be sewing up your garment. For the steps today I will be using a serger, but you could just as easily use a stretch stitch or an elongated zigzag stitch on your regular sewing machine. If using an elongated stretch stitch, I recommend the settings of 2.5 length and 1 width, but you should practice on your fabric to see what works best for you. Also, be sure to use a ballpoint needle to protect your fabric from damage.


Step 1 – With right sides touching, pin the front to the back at the shoulder seams.

To prevent the shoulder seams from stretching, cut two pieces of 1/4” (6 mm) clear elastic to the length of each shoulder seam. If you can’t find clear elastic you can use regular elastic or even selvage in a pinch. This is important in stretchy fabrics to not only protect the shoulder seams from stretching out over time, but also to make sure it doesn’t stretch when sewing it. If you cut the pieces to the correct length before sewing, you know that you have not stretched out the seam during construction.

Align the long edge of the elastic with the shoulder seam (centered over the stitching line, not the raw edge), pinning to secure. With the elastic facing up, sew the shoulder seams through all layers using a stretch stitch. (NOTE: the elastic should be caught in the seam.) Do not stretch the elastic as you sew the seam. Press seam allowances towards the back of the garment.


Step 2 – With right sides touching, sew the short ends of the neckband together along the center back seam.

Press seam allowances open if on your regular machine, or to one side if you are serging like me. With wrong sides touching, fold the neckband in half, aligning the raw edges, and matching up the center back seam. Press. If you want to you can baste the bottom together at this point to make attaching the neckband to the top a bit easier. I usually don’t though.


Step 3 Divide the neckband into quarters by first placing pins at center front and center back along the lower raw edge. I know it is hard to see my pins because they are white, but if you look closely you should be able to make them out.

Then fold the neckband in half by bringing the center front pin to the center back seam and pin. Place a pin at each fold along the lower raw edge. Your neckband should now be divided into four equal sections along the bottom.


Step 4 – Using the same technique from step 3, divide the garment neckline into quarters. First, place pins at center front and center back.

Then bring center front to match up with center back, and place pins at the folds. Because the front neckline is longer than the back neckline, these pins should land about 1/2″ away from the shoulder seam inside of the front neckline.


Step 5 – With the garment still inside out, insert the neckband into the neck opening so that the right sides of the neckband and garment are touching. Line up the quarter pin markings of the neckband with those of the neckline, being extra careful that the center back, center front, and side markings are all coordinating. Note that the neckband is slightly smaller than the garment neckline so it will pull a bit. Feel free to add in extra pins to make it easier to sew in the next step.


Step 6 – Sew the neckline seam using a stretch stitch or a serger, stretching the slightly smaller neckband evenly between matchpoints to fit into the garment neckline. It is very important that this stitch has good stretch so that it can fit over your head.

Press the neckband up and the seam allowances down towards the garment.

And that is it for today! Easy right? I feel like sewing a turtleneck is like sewing up a tshirt without the hard neckline. Tomorrow we will tackle side seams and armbands for the sleeveless version.



February 15, 2018

With the Nikko Sewalong next week, I wanted to go ahead and talk with fabric and notions with you guys. The Nikko top and dress recommends knit fabrics with about 75% stretch. Obviously there is a bit of wiggle room there, but I have to warn you that if you go down too much in stretch percentage you will not be able to get it over your head. Also it may feel too tight on your neck. I know this from experience. So really try and get a fabric with lots of stretch and good recovery.

Some examples of good fabrics are rib knits, sweater knits, bamboo jersey, and stretch velvet. But these are just recommendations. If you find another great fabric with appropriate stretch then go for it. I know that I am on the look out for a stretch mesh or stretch lace that I could then layer over a tank.

In my opinion you can get away with a thinner fabric for Views A and B (the tops), while I prefer a thicker fabric for Views C and D (the dresses). So that is how I am going to break up the recommendations.


Views A and B : For the top view of this pattern, I love a light weight bamboo jersey or baby rib knit that will be great to layer under jackets and cardigans without too bulk. I have also had great results with the brushed poly knits as they have great recovery and that really nice peachskin finish that I love. If you do choose a thicker knit and are sewing the sleeveless version, consider choosing a thinner knit for the armhole facings so that you do not get too much bulk in that area.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16


Views C and D : Since the dress version of this pattern is head to toe, I do prefer a thicker knit for a bit more coverage. The dress views are less tight however, than the top views on the waist and hips so don’t worry about it being too body conscious. My favorite knits to use for Views C and D are medium weight rib knits and stretchy sweater knits. The ribbing allows for so much stretch and recovery while still having the thickness and coverage that I want.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16


In addition to your fabric, you are going to want to gather a few notions. You are going to want some all purpose thread, a ball point sewing needle for your machine, and some clear elastic to stabilize your shoulder seams. You might also want to get some fusible knit tape for hemming (this is what I use) and a double needle if that is how you want to finish your hem.

I will not be going over assembling your pattern or cutting out your fabric so go ahead and get that done this weekend so that we can begin sewing on Monday. If you need some help with the printing and cutting process, check out this post from my last sewalong.

I think that is it! If you still need to purchase the Nikko pattern you can do so here.



February 8, 2018

Turtlenecks are making a huge comeback this season so it was not hard at all to find inspiration for the Nikko in shops and online. I love how so many of these images include high waisted pants and skirts. This combo is definitely my go to outfit right now.


View A

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

View B

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

View C

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

View D

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5


I hope these gave you some good ideas. I know that I am dying to make a a middie version like you see in so many of these images. Blog post for that coming soon!

If you would like to purchase the Nikko pattern you can buy the pdf version here or the paper pattern here. I will be back early neck week with fabric ideas and recommendations and the sewalong will begin on Monday Feb. 19th.