NIKKO TOP HACK | TRUE BIAS

NIKKO TOP HACK

I love using commercial patterns and get most of my inspiration from the photos and drawings on the envelopes. But every once in a while I see an outfit, either in person or on the internet, that causes me to pause. When I saw this black and white ensemble on Pinterest, I saved it to my inspiration folder and knew I would re-create the look one day. As I was scrolling through the folder recently, I ran across this look again and decided to make it now. Check out the inspiration photo below. I don’t know about you, but I think I NAILED it.

Inspiration photo on the left. My version on the right. Almost identical! 🤗

Pattern Information

I’ve lost count on how many Nikko dresses I’ve made (maybe four), but this is the third top I’ve created with the pattern. And THIS ONE is a show stopper. When I decided to re-create the inspiration top from Pinterest, I knew immediately that Nikko would be the perfect foundation. Click HERE for details on the pattern.

NIKKO TOP HACK

The Pants | Vogue 9302

The star of this post is the top, but I will give a brief mention of the pants just in case anyone is interested. Vogue 9302 was a perfect option for the pants. I didn’t have this pattern in my collection, so I actually went out and purchased it (and it wasn’t on sale). I’m willing (sometimes) to pay a higher price to create the look I want. And now that I’ve sewn the pants, I’ll definitely be using the pattern over and over again.

The pants are rated “Very Easy” by the pattern company. If you have Advanced Beginner sewing skills you should be able to sew the pants. The pattern instructions and illustrations are helpful in guiding you through the project. I don’t recommend this pattern for new beginners with little to no experience.  The pants are semi-fitted, with a waistband, side seam pockets, front pleats, back darts, center back zipper closure, and length variations. The pattern description says the pants have a side zipper, but this is incorrect. 

Fabric Information

I used this Black Rayon Rib Knit to make the top and a Rayon Linen Blend for the pants. The linen fabric is very thin and translucent, so I lined the pants with a Matte Charmeuse Satin.  The linen and charmeuse were a perfect pairing for the pants, yielding a wonderful drape.

Inside the Garment

I love sewing with knits, and while they don’t require seam finishing, I always do it anyway because I like a polished look on the inside of my garments. I used my Baby Lock Soprano to sew all the main seams; Bably Lock Vibrant Serger to finish seam allowances; and Baby Lock Euphoria for all the hems.  Here are some closeup photos of the inside.

NIKKO TOP HACK
NIKKO TOP HACK
NIKKO TOP HACK
NIKKO TOP HACK
NIKKO TOP HACK
NIKKO TOP HACK
NIKKO TOP HACK

And here’s a quick look at the inside of the pants. I used the front and back pattern pieces only to create the lining. After sewing the lining, I attatched it to the pants at the waist (wrong sides facing) with a basting stitch. Then, I attached the waistband and hand sewed the waistband facing to the lining.

NIKKO TOP HACK

Two for One Surprise!

Well, what do we have here? Hahaahaa! I had no intentions of sewing two tops, but I accidentally cut the front and back pattern pieces for the sleeveless Nikko Top instead of the sleeved pieces. It wasn’t until I tried on my top and saw that the shoulder seams were almost touching my ears (Over exaggeration!) that I knew something was way out of place. “What the HECK?” Hahaha!!! I only had enough fabric left over to cut either a back or front, so I rushed to Joann’s to purchase another cut of fabric. I finished the sleeveless version and made another top with sleeves. Now I have two new tops, and I’m happy. I’m calling it a WIN – WIN!

Alterations Information

I’ve added  a couple of photos below showing how I altered the front and back pattern pieces to create the asymmetrical hem on the top. Note: The layers of tracing paper you see at the top, near the neckline and armholes, are my corrections to the pattern after realizing I cut the wrong pieces. I extended the armhole out on the front and back. Then, I raised the neckline on the back piece because I accidentally traced the front twice when altering my pattern instead of one front and one back (as I cover my face in shame). Hahaha!

Steps for Pattern Front

You can start with any fitted, knit top or dress pattern (with or without turtleneck). I know some women don’t like to wear turtlenecks. When you’re done designing your pattern, I recommend sewing a muslin (practice garment) to check for fit and length.

  • Fold tracing paper in half
  • Trace pattern onto tracing paper, being sure to mark notches
  • Draw Grainline along center fold
  • Label pattern piece (see photo below)
  • Follow steps in photo below
  • You will need to measure your own body to determine the lengths you want at front, back and sides.
NIKKO TOP HACK

Steps for Pattern Back

I couldn’t see the back of the top from the inspiration photo, so this is what I came up with for my back piece. It’s just a tad bit longer than the front, but not noticeable.

  • Fold tracing paper in half
  • Trace pattern onto tracing paper, being sure to mark notches
  • Draw Grainline along center fold
  • Label pattern piece (see photo below)
  • Follow steps in photo below
NIKKO TOP HACK

The model’s front hem falls at, or just above, her knees. I tried to achieve that look, but my first attempt was too short. Then I overcompensated on the second attempt and decided that I really like the longer length anyway. While the model’s front hem is more slanted than mine (and that’s the look I wanted), I’m actually loving the angle of my front hem too.

NIKKO TOP HACK

I sewed a muslin (practice garment) using this same type of fabric from scraps leftover from another project. After sewing the muslin, I determined that I needed to lower the cut on the left side for more coverage so that my skin won’t show. I lowered it enough to ensure that the top will overlap the waistband of the pants by a couple of inches.

NIKKO TOP HACK
NIKKO TOP HACK
NIKKO TOP HACK

To prevent the lining from shifting or twisting on the inside of the pants, I created a thread chain and attached the lining to the pants at the hem. This technique is used a lot on skirts that have a free-handing lining to prevent twisting.

NIKKO TOP HACK
NIKKO TOP HACK
NIKKO TOP HACK

Styling Options

I kept everything clean and minimal on the styling. I limited the jewelry to a pair of small dangling earrings and a ring. Black and white lends itself to a wide range of options when it comes to shoes and purses. In keeping with the black/white vibe, I styled the look with a pair of silver, bling, high-heel sandals with black insoles, and a silver and white bling clutch purse. I absolutely love this outfit and can’t wait to wear it out somewhere.

NIKKO TOP HACK
NIKKO TOP HACK
NIKKO TOP HACK
NIKKO TOP HACK
NIKKO TOP HACK

The top also looks great with this long, silver chain. I can also see it with a pair of skinny jeans and boots.

NIKKO TOP HACK

What do you think?

I would love to hear your feedback. Scroll to the very bottom of this page to leave a comment.

NIKKO TOP HACK

Thank you for stopping by today! 💕

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This Post Has 61 Comments

  1. Sharon

    It’s gorgeous!!! Sort of reminds me of Vogue 1869.

  2. Janice

    It’s just beautiful and flawless. I love black and white.

  3. Sew Francie

    Fabulous! This is just flawless! Thank you so much for sharing. I.E. showing the pictures of exactly what fabrics you used, zipper location, you explain everything in detail so well. Just love it all!

    1. Anita Morris

      Awesome! I’m so glad you appreciate the details. Makes my heart smile. Thank you.💕

  4. Gwendolyn Styles

    AMAZINGLY FABULOUS!

  5. Sew Francie

    You are so fabulous! This is just flawless! Thank you so much for sharing. I.E. showing the pictures of exactly what fabrics you used, zipper location, you explain everything in detail so well. Just love it all!

  6. Sally

    That looks fabulous what an amazingly simple way to create a stunning look . So clever thank you for sharing

  7. Hettie

    The top and pants are a hit! You did a great job recreating this look from Pinterest. They look really, really good on you. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Doris Mays

    Your black and white outfit is gorgeous. So stunning on you. I will go through my stash and make it also. 🩷🩷🩷🩷

  9. Telichia

    I am loving the look!!!!

  10. Rose

    Hello Anita,
    You are amazing in all that you create. The black and white outfit is absolutely stunning. It’s definitely a glamorous tailored fit on you and for the sewing enthusiasts.Thank you for sharing all your beautiful talent with us.
    Rose 🌹

    1. Anita Morris

      Thank you so much, Rose! It is my honor to share. I’m so grateful.

  11. Sue

    Wow you definitely have an eye for style! I love this
    Unfortunately I can’t wear roll necks
    But definitely up for the trousers

  12. Bridgid

    This is stunning! Beautifully done! I appreciate the tip about attaching the lining too. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Cornelia

    Hello Anita!
    Simply beautiful.
    Thank you for the no twist lining connection method. I’ll be trying that instead of completely attaching the lining.
    ~cw

    1. Anita Morris

      You’re very welcome, Cornelia. I’m glad you found the tip helpful.

  14. Barb

    Hi Anita
    Well, once again you nailed it – mistake and all. I’m so glad you shared your mistake with us and that you, a professional, makes mistakes like the rest of us. I really love this outfit you created but the most important thing is that while the outfit is fabulous, you look fabulous in it. Keep the sewing sessions coming. I thoroughly enjoy looking and reading about your newest project/s. I review them over and over again.
    I’m wondering if you would be able to offer some guidance to me. While I am not new to sewing, I am new in blending pattern sizes.
    Here is my question. I am making a top. I measured bust, waist and hips and did not fit into one size. I drew the new line on my pattern piece top. I connected the lines from the bust down through the hips. My new size is between a medium and large and I had no problem re-creating the new line from bust down to hips but I’m confused on what size I will use above the bust. Since I am making the pattern piece bigger from bust to hip, what size will I use above the bust measurement.? What pattern size will I need to use above the bust ? Medium or large or between the medium and large like I did for bust and below? I’ve not done this before and I would appreciate any guidance you can give me.

    1. Anita Morris

      Hi Barb! I’m so glad to hear that you are enjoying the blog posts. Makes my heart smile.

      Your question about blending sizes is not a straight forward one to answer. The general answer would be to cut the same size above the pattern that you cut for the bust. However, I teach my students to cut based on their “Right Size” body measurement. This is a phrase and technique from Nancy Zieman. It’s a measurement above the chest from armpit crease to armpit crease. Then you would take that measurement and compare it to a chart in her book to determine your cutting size. The right size measurement helps you to choose a size that will help to diminish or prevent gaping at the neckline, especially is you have a large bust. With a large bust, you would choose the right size (which is sometimes smaller in the bust) and do a full bust adjustment. I recommend purchasing her book because she explains it well. It’s called Pattern Fitting with Confidence. https://www.amazon.com/shop/anitabydesign/list/1QQ3JCE5CKWHM?ref_=aip_sf_list_spv_ons_mixed_d

      1. Barb

        Anita: Thx very much for your reply. I believe I even have the Nancy Zieman book! Barb

  15. De

    Anita, you are ready to strut down a fashion runway! This look is so stylish and sophisticated. You must tell us about the event you choose to wear this outfit; without a doubt, you’ll garner plenty of attention. As always, your sewing skills are impeccable; your clothes have a couture appearance. You look gorgeous! Thanks for sharing!!

  16. Ronda

    Absolutely Gorgeous ! I love to see your makes!

  17. Lynette Roberts-Patrice

    Hello,

    This is simply beautiful. Could not wait to read all the details and find out how you hacked the pattern. There are so many different ways to add a pop of color too.

    Thanks for sharing

    Best,

    Lynette P.

    1. Anita Morris

      Yes, I agree, Lynette! Color options are endless with the black and white canvas.

  18. Latonya

    I love that top and the entire outfit.

  19. Charisse Colbert

    Yes Ma’am you nailed it!!! Awesome make, you look amazing! Love this ensemble!

  20. Adrienne

    TOP ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL Anita!!! You should make your own pattern and video on this BEAUTY!! And if you do, I will be the first to purchase. You look AMAZING as ALWAYS.

    1. Anita Morris

      Thank you, Adrienne! You’re the second person today who has made this suggestion. Hmmm… 🤔

  21. Kendra

    Wow 🤩!! Ms. Anita!!! Can I just tell you how fabulous you are? Beautiful is what it’s called sis 😂

  22. Theresa

    Anita my sister you knocked that outfit way out of the park all the way here to New York City
    oh my god that there outfit has left me speechless when I first saw it…I been with Sew It Academy for 6 years and just the other day I cancelled my membership…not enough and very limited response for when assistance is needed. I can find my way around the sewing machine… just struggle with the commercial patterns instructions; not always concise. I watched one of your videos and you indicated reading the patterns prior to starting a project. I decided after my birthday cruise in August I’m signing up for your course. I’ve said it prior before you starting a course just how detailed you are and I need precision. I grasped information from this blog that is so critical fir me to what to continuey sewing journey…I thank you for being so detailed it truly helps a great deal. You are definitely essential to the sewing world.

    1. Anita Morris

      Theresa, I’m so glad to hear that you appreciate the details that I provide in my teaching. I really enjoy what I do and it makes me happy when I hear that people are learning to sew with me. I’ll be celebrating my birthday in August too. Have a blast on your cruise. The sewing course will be there whenever you’re ready to join. I do recommend reading through the FAQ on the website so you will be able to make an informed decision. You can also click through the modules to see exactly what lessons are taught in the course.

    2. Jo Ellen

      You are absolutely gorgeous in that black and white, but you look good in anything that you make. One day I hope to be half as good as you are. Love looking at your blogs, and anything else that you do. Thank you for everything that you do.❤❤

      1. Anita Morris

        Thank you so much, Jo Ellen! I appreciate your kind words.

  23. Lisa St

    Ok Anita….This TOPS the charts!!! All I really can say is 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

  24. marilyn

    Beautiful outfit — You nailed it!
    Have a couple of questions:
    1. Pants pattern — does the top of the pant waistband hit the top of your waist – like a contour waistband?
    2. Top — the back was not cut on the diagonal like the front — was that based on the original design?

    1. Anita Morris

      Hi Marilyn,

      1. The waistband is contoured, but it sits lower on the waist.
      2. There was no photo for the back of the top, so I designed it according to my desire. You could totally change your lines to create an angle like the front.

  25. Maryadkinson

    I am so sorry I am going to hack it toooòoo.is one of those project that make you want hollorrrrrrr

    1. Anita Morris

      Yes! Yes! YES! And I was certainly hollering when I saw the top. 😂 Have fun making yours, Mary! It’s a fun project.

  26. Donna

    Oh my goodness!! Anita, you did that, girl! your rendition is better than the inspo. I love those slacks too. I have re-embraced my ’70’s vibe with the wide-leg pants. I gotta get that Vogue pattern the next time it’s on sale.

    1. Anita Morris

      Donna, I’m so glad I found this pants pattern. They are so comfortable and exactly my style. Yes, you’ve gotta get the pattern. 🤗

  27. Brenda Sandiford

    Another winner, Anita. I will try the top, but the pants is ALWAYS a problem for me.

  28. Marcia Simmonds

    Another stunning success! I love that you finish the insides of your garment as well as the outside. AND, you provide great detailed photos along with your honest commentary which encourages me to try too.

    1. Anita Morris

      I’m so glad you appreciate the details, Marcia! 💕

  29. Jill Townshend

    Dear Anita,
    Wow, what a fabulous classy outfit, but with a modern contemporary twist. Absolutely stunning. You certainly have nailed it!
    I am a beginner, but am going to buy that pattern for the future, when I have gained experience. It’s not often that I see an outfit which makes me gaze open-mouthed with delight, but this one did. I think you made absolutely the right choice in keeping the accessories to a minimum, as it allows nothing to detract from the clean dramatic lines. Equally, though, the long silver chain looks fabulous, as it echoes the cut of the front.

    I love your blog posts, the close up photos, what the garments look like from the inside and details of any pitfalls you had to overcome along the way; it’s so helpful. Thank you again for taking the time and trouble in all that you do.

    Love from Jill xx

    1. Anita Morris

      Thank you so much for your feedback, Jill. It really blesses my heart to hear what people are liking about my posts. It helps me to gauge what’s important and beneficial for the readers. Yes, great idea to get the pattern to use it when you’re ready. Thank you for being here.

  30. Esther Johnson

    This is beautiful, I will try this for my grand daughter.
    Blessings
    Thank you,

    1. Anita Morris

      Awesome that you’re gonna make the top for your granddaughter. Blessing to you also.

  31. Gwendolyn Terrell

    Well done Anita! Love this design!

  32. Barbara Reynolds

    Absolutely stunning look and it looks so fabulous on you. I’m so impressed and really more than impressed by your skills and the careful way you have presented the entire “sewing journey” on this outfit on your blog – well it’s over the top. The pants look somewhat like a gorgeous pair of pants I had a long time ago. The drape was perfect and reminds me of yours. Well done Anita.

    1. Anita Morris

      Oh, thank you too much, Barbara! I’m so grateful to hear that you really appreciate the way I presented this project on the blog. Your feedback really helps and motivates me to keep going. The pants are just delightful. I love them so much and can”t wait to make my next pair.

  33. France

    WOW !!