Every once in a while, I run across a piece of fabric and instantly get a vision in my mind of what I want to create. But when I see two different fabric textures that are identical in color, my mind starts doing back flips. Hahaha!!! I knew, immediately, what I wanted to make when I saw these delicious fabrics — a bodycon dress and cardigan. The Neffy & Nikko were the perfect patterns to bring my vision to life. To say I’m satisfied with the outcome is truly an understatement. This outfit screams Fall. The two pieces together are amazing, and I can’t wait for you to see the other styling options. But first, let’s get into the details of these garments. Warning: This is a photo-heavy blog post.


Pattern Information - Nikko Dress

The Nikko, by True Bias Patterns, is a mock turtleneck that can be sewn as a top or dress. There are four different views to choose from to create your look. Views A and B are fitted tops. Views C and D are ankle-length dresses that are fitted through the waist and hip. The dresses have knee-length slits on both sides. Views A and C are sleeveless with a racerback style. Views B and D have long, fitted sleeves. This pattern is available in both Print & PDF, ranging in size from 0 – 30. Finished Garment Measurements between the top and dress are (Bust: 28.5″ – 54″ | Hip: 30.5″ – 59″). This is a beginner-friendly project. If you have basic sewing skills, you should be able to complete the dress following the simple pattern instructions. Also there is a written sew along series on the True Bias website, START HERE.


Pattern Information - Neffy Cardigan

The Neffy Cardigan by Allie Olson Patterns is a flowy outerwear garment with fitted sleeves, a shawl collar, and asymmetrical hem. The pattern is available in PDF only, ranging is size from 0 – 30. Finished Garment Measurements are (Bust: 52″ – 75.5″ | Hip: 76″ – 99.5″). This is a beginner-friendly project. If you have basic sewing skills, you should be able to complete the dress following the simple pattern instructions. If you don’t like putting together PDF Patterns, check out PDF Plotting. This is where I have all my PDF patterns printed.


Inside the Garments

The insides of both garments have clean finishes and I’ve posted some closeup images. But first I want to show you how I stabilized the center back collar, neckline, shoulders, and hems of the Neffy Cardigan. I chose a very stretchy sweater knit fabric, so it was crucial to stabilize these stress areas to prevent the garment from stretching out of shape during wear. If you’re not comfortable working with sweater knit, I have a great tutorial for beginners on my YouTube channel. It’s called 4 Tips for Sewing with Sweater Knits. I also have a video with 3 Tips for Sewing Sweater Knit on a Serger.

Inside the Neffy Cardigan

I used my Baby Lock Zeal Sewing Machine to sew the entire garment with a narrow zig zag stitch (2.5 mm length, 1.0 mm width). I used clear elastic to stabilize the collar, neckline and shoulders. I chose the elastic because I wanted these seams to have a little give without losing their shape. For the center back of the collar, I sewed the elastic along the seam line on one side only, on the wrong side of fabric.

Next, I sewed the two fronts together at the center back collar seam , trimmed the seam allowance, pressed it to one side, and finished with a 2.0 mm zig zag stitch to hold the seam allowance flat.

To stabilize the neckline and shoulders, I sewed clear elastic to the seam line on the cardigan back piece.

After sewing the back to the fronts, I trimmed the seam allowance and clipped into the corners where the neckline and shoulders meet. This opens the seam allowance so that it will turn to create the angles you need at the shoulder/neckline points.

Here’s a look at the back after clipping the seam allowance. I cut away the points and excess seam allowance at the corners afterwards.

Finally, I pressed the seam allowance toward the back and finished with a 2.0 mm zig zag stitch to hold it flat.

Here is the finished center back seam at the collar. I stabilized the collar because of how it wears across the neck. You wouldn’t need to do this with a more stable knit fabric. But for more stability, I would recommend taking this extra step if sewing with a stretchy sweater knit.

I finished all the seam allowances by trimming, pressing to one side, and finishing with a 2.0 mm zig zag stitch.

The sleeve hem was sewn with a 2.0 mm zig zag stitch.

I stabilized all the hems (only bottoms shown here) with 1″ strips of Knit Fusible Interfacing. This helps to prevent the fabric from stretching out of shape while sewing.

Using the interfacing as a guide, I pressed up the hem allowance and finished with a 2.0 mm zig zag stitch.

Inside the Nikko Dress

The Nikko has very simple seams. I used a zig zag top stitching to hold down the seam allowances where the collar is attached, and at the armhole hems. It adds a bit of interest to the finish also. I used a straight stitch to hold down the seam allowances on the shoulders.

Here’s what that zig zag seam looks like on the outside. Beautiful.

Fabric Options

Let’s start with the Neffy Cardigan. Allie Olson Patterns recommends soft, fluid knit fabrics with substantial stretch for this garment, such as: Rayon, Bamboo and Tencel Jersey with at least 50% stretch. I fell in love with this beautiful Orange Plush Rib Knit that I picked up from my local JoAnn Fabrics. It’s super soft and perfect for the Neffy Cardigan. The texture and drape make it a great choice. 


True Bias Patterns recommends Medium Weight Knit Fabric with about 75% stretch to sew the Nikko, such as, Rib Knit, Sweater Knit, Bamboo Knit, or Stretch Velvet. I chose this Orange Double Brush Poly from my local JoAnn Fabrics that’s the same color as the sweater knit I used for the cardigan. A total color match WIN!

Notions Information

In addition to the required notions, I used Clear Elastic to stabilize seams on the cardigan, as discussed earlier.

Alterations Information

I cut a Size 0 on the Neffy Cardigan and did not make any alterations. For the Nikko Dress, I cut a Size 8 at the bust, merged to a Size 0 at the waist, then merged back out to a Size 6 at the hip. I wanted a skin tight fit for this dress to wear underneath my cardigan. Therefore, I cut a size that would give a good amount of negative ease. If you’re a new beginner, negative ease is the amount of inches smaller than your body measurements. For instance: If your bust measurement is 38″ and you cut your pattern at 36″, you will have 2″ of negative ease on that garment which will give you a fitted finish in the bust.

Styling Options

One of my favorite parts of sewing is styling. If you’ve been following my sewing blog for a while, then you know I like to style the garments before I sew them. It’s so much fun going through my closet, pulling out accessories, holding the fabric next to shoes and purses, and trying different pieces of jewelry to get a vision of how the garments will look after I’ve completed them. These pieces came together beautifully and I have even more styling ideas for wearing them separately. Here are a few options I had fun playing around with during the styling phase.

Styling Option 1

First, I styled the Nikko Dress with a pair of animal print pumps; a matching felt, fold over, clutch that I made a couple of years ago; a silver statement necklace that I’ve had for years; silver stud earrings; bangle bracelets; and a rhinestone ring.

Styling Option 2

Next, I removed the necklace and added a large straw belt that I purchased at a local fashion show earlier this year. 

For many years, I wouldn’t wear belts around my waist with dresses because I didn’t think they looked good on me. I’m glad I changed my mind because I love this look. I prefer BIG belts, but I started wearing smaller ones too.


Styling Option 3

And THIS is the vision I had when I first saw the two fabrics together. Oh my goodness! The color and fabric textures together are absolutely beautiful. So, I layered the cardigan over the dress and love it so much. When the weather gets cooler, I will wear this with tall boots. Can you imagine this look with a pair of beige, pointed toe boots the same color as the belt. I’ve already started looking for the boots. I must find them. This cardigan would also look great with the Allie Olson Weaver Skirt. Check out the Weaver Skirt from my last blog post HERE.


Styling Option 4

Adding the straw belt around the cardigan adds another WOW factor. I wore the combo styled this way to a local event. I’m a member of a group in my town called Business Women of God. We gather to encourage each other, to learn from one another, and grow while seeking to do business God’s way. I was honored to be a Sponsor for the event this year. I set up my vendor table and added sewing elements this time. I’ll post a few photos here for you to see. It was a beautiful event and I felt so pretty in my Neffy & Nikko.


Styling Option 5

Wearing the Neffy Cardigan with jeans and boots for this fall is a whole vibe. I plan to wear it with flat boots and booties too. Here I’m wearing a pair of skinny jeans, white bodysuit, silver chain link belt; black, thigh-high, chunky heel boots; black, crossbody purse; animal print baseball cap; simple silver chain with “love” charm; silver and gold bracelets; silver and gold rings; and big silver hoop earrings. Oh, how I love a versatile garment. I’m already planning to make several more to add to my wardrobe. It’s such a great piece for any season. Just change up the fabrics and you will be ready for cardigan fabulousness.


Styling Option 6

Here’s another option for when the weather is cooler. Wrap the cardigan across your chest and add a belt to keep it closed. When it’s really cold, I would add a long sleeve Nikko top and a pair of leather gloves to finish off the look. This would look great with leggings too. Oh, let the fun begin.


What do you think?

Which styling option do you like the best? I would love to hear your feedback. Scroll to the very bottom of this page to leave a comment.


Thank you for stopping by today! 💕

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Don't Forget your Sewing Project Checklist

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(DISCLAIMER: This blog post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission on qualifying purchases. All opinions in this post are my own.).)

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This Post Has 44 Comments

  1. marilyn

    Hi Anita, You look so good in that outfit. Everything you make turns out great. I’m trying to take my time and do better so my outfits will look as good as yours. Keep up the good work. You are my inspiration.

  2. Linda

    You Always accessorise your clothing so well I like the project looks good.

  3. Gwendolyn

    Just Stunning Anita! You wear it very well!

  4. Delores


  5. Monica

    Absolutely beautiful!!! Another outstanding outfit!!! Love your styling with each piece.

  6. Morlina

    Anita, absolutely beautiful! The color is stunning and pattern is wow! You inspire me. I am going to JoAnn today I will see if the fabrics are still available. That’s one of my favorite color Thanks for sharing.

    1. Anita Morris

      Awesome! I sure hope you were able to get the fabrics.

  7. Connie

    Beautifully made and styled. The first is my favorite , followed by the second. Your last post had me making a trip to Joanne’s for the cable knit in blue. I am headed there tomorrow for some Christmas decor, so I will check out the sweater knits. 😉 Thanks for sharing all the details.

    1. Anita Morris

      Thank you so much. I’m thrilled to hear you’re being inspired by the fabrics.

  8. Sandra T.

    Hi!!! I am loving the entire look. You really have a gift for choosing the right fabric for the right pattern. Orange is not my fave, but the entire changes my mind about the color orange. And you styled it so nicely!!!

    1. Anita Morris

      Thank you Sandra! I’m loving the color so much.

  9. Mik

    So fabulous! Love everything you do. I’m tellin’ you, JoAnn Fabrics should be paying you as an social media ambassador. You do their fabrics proud.

  10. Anna Gonzales

    You’re such an inspiration, Anita! Love ya, sew sister!

    1. Anita Morris

      Thank you so much, Anna! Love you too, SEW Sister!

  11. Neka

    Love the color on you! I really appreciate you sharing about stabilizing the knits and what you used. Those definitely have a way of “growing”. Because I have yellow undertones to my skin color, I try to be careful about what colors will look like against my skin. And honestly orange is not a color I wear, but you’ve inspired me to try it out this fall!

    1. Anita Morris

      Yes, stablizing is crucial. I only wear colors that I think look great against my skin too.

  12. De

    Unbelievable!!! The color, styling and accessories look stunning on you. I’m shocked the two fabrics match so perfectly in color. What a find! You are definitely ready for the fall. The details and photos are so informative and helpful. I’m looking for a fine sweater knit to try for a two-piece set I want to make for the fall. Without a doubt, I’ll have to watch your YouTube videos for tips sewing sweater knits. Anita, you definitely knocked the ball out of the park with this one. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Anita Morris

      Thank you so much, De! Yes, it’s sweater weather! Woohoo! Have fun sourcing your sweater knit fabric.

  13. Hettie

    Your outfits are always so well made. The fit looks perfect. Thanks for showing us the inside of the garments too.

    1. Anita Morris

      Thank you, Hettie! I’m glad you like seeing the insides of the garments.

  14. Linda

    Stunning! Your posts are always inspirational. You manage to take easily available fabrics and pair them with manageable patterns resulting in magnificent outfits. I learn a lot from following your projects. Thanks so much for sharing your work.

    1. Anita Morris

      Hi Linda! Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog posts. Long form content isn’t as popular these days, so I put a lot of work into delivering information that I hope people will feel is worth their time. I really appreciate you for coming back to learn from what I share. You’ve blessed my heart. Have a wonderful day.

  15. Wendy Collins

    Thank you so much for sharing the details, incredibly helpful and much appreciated. I love the very elegant look, but think the sassy jeans and boots look is great too! So many options to dress up or dress down and the inside finish is perfect! 👍👍😊

    1. Anita Morris

      Thank you, Wendy! I’m so glad you appreciate the details and find them helpful. That makes my heart smile.

  16. Michele

    Simply gorgeous. I have not tackled knits yet; but I am inspired by your last two creations.

    1. Anita Morris

      I hope you will give it a try, Michele. There’s so much you can do with knits and they’re very forgiving on mistakes.

  17. Lorraine

    You look stunning.
    I don’t like to sew on knits, but you inspire me to try it again.

    1. Anita Morris

      Yes, Lorraine! Give it another try. The benefits of sewing with knits is definitely worth the work of learning to work with them.

  18. Bronzetta Rivers

    Absolutely Stunning 😍 and the color of the fabric just wow.

  19. Dorothy

    Wow, this is stunning on you. And I love the different outfits! Thank you for the details about the garment construction, too. I learn a lot from them!

    1. Anita Morris

      Awesome, Dorothy! I’m so glad you learn from he details.

  20. France

    Beautiful dress and beautiful cardigan. This ensemble is gorgeous. You look great in it.

  21. Lynette P.

    Hey Sis….wow what a combination!!!! You did that big time. I love when they have fabric that can co-exist together in harmony 😅….that looks so good together.

    I’m a cardigan, long dress, skirt, belt and heels person….so I’m loving the dressier looks….but the casual looks great on you too.

    I truly hope you find those boots…. that’s going to be hot 🔥 together.

    Thanks for sharing and I enjoyed seeing ALL of the photos

    1. Anita Morris

      Hey Lynette! Thank you so much, sister. Yes, I will find those boots. 💕

  22. Mary Jean Cunningham

    I’m gasping with delight, too – your latest makes are perfect! Just beautiful. Thank you also for the sewing tips for a drapey knit cardigan as I just purchased some very dark blue stretchy sweater knit at Joann’s sale last week to make a cardigan and your reminders of how and what to stabilize plus the zig-zag stitch technique for finishing are right in time. I have used a zig-zag on fleece in the past as well as on other more stable sweater knits and wooly-type wovens with a lot of success – on some fabrics it just sinks into the material such that you can’t even see it and it gives a wonderful finish. I’ve used it as a design feature as well to add interest next to the seamline on the outside while finishing off the inside at the same time. I know knits don’t “have” to have a seam finish because they won’t unravel, but I want the inside to look done. Happy Thanksgiving a little early, Anita!

    1. Anita Morris

      Thank you for sharing Mary Jean! Reading your comment reminded me that I forgot to add images of the Nikko Dress inside. I did exactly what you mentioned by adding a zig zag finish next to the seam line. I love this technique. Like you, I must have my insides finished, even with knits. It just looks so nice. Happy early Thanksgiving.