I really need to catch up on here and share my new makes with you. I mentioned in this post that I’ve been quite busy lately with not much time to blog, well, I only just got around to doing a big photo session last Monday, so now I can finally share these two new sweaters…I’ve made the Vikisews Nikki in chunky knit not once, but twice!
But first a little backstory. My lovely friend Karen (@intostithces on IG) was modelling the Nikki top in a beautiful honey beige rib and I was smitten with it. A few DMs went back and forth between us and she told me about this lovely fabric and how pleased she was with it. She also told me that the Nikki pattern is free! After a bit more of a chat, I asked if she would mind if I copied her because I loved the colourway of her version and she was very obliging and thought it would be a hoot if we were twinsies so here I am!
The fabric is one of the Minerva core range of fabrics. It’s a chunky rib knit in 80% cotton and 20% polyester. There is only mechanical stretch within it and it’s quite heavy, lovely quality though. It’s a substantial fabric which seems to wash nicely, although the rib knit can spread out as you sew and as a result, unless some care is taken when sewing up it can make for a stretchy-looking seam (more on how I solved that later).
As I said the Nikki top is a free pattern on Vikisews. It’s an oversized fit with a round neck, dropped shoulders and a hem that dips at the back. You know that I don’t really wear very oversized clothes so I sized down and used a size 38 and ultimately I took the sides in a bit due to the looser nature of the fabric. I chose height range 2 (I’m 5ft 5) and the length was maybe only 1/2 inch longer than I wanted.
I pre-washed my fabric and then took my time cutting it out to make sure all the ribs were nice and vertical along the grain. Then I practised a few seam finishes and this is what I ended up doing for my sweater:
- I overlocked all edges before sewing using a wide cutting width, differential feed set on ease and a medium stitch length
- I pressed the edges lightly before sewing up.
- I stitched the seams using my walking foot and a slight zigzag.
- I pressed open each seam
- I topstitched either side of the seam to hold down the seam allowances, again using my walking foot and a slight zigzag stitch.
- Finally, I pressed the seam after topstitching.
Yes, I know this sounds like a lot of work but the result is worth it because none of my seams has stretched out at all and they lie nice and flat. I’m really pleased with the outcome.
Fitwise, the neckline and shoulders were fine. I had to shorten the sleeves a bit and I ended up tapering them in towards the wrist because I dislike wide cuffs. There is one major modification and for this, I copied Karen blindly and made a back yoke because I adored the look of it with the ribs on the cross-grain (sorry Karen! I just couldn’t resist!).
I’m super pleased with both of these casual knits and I like the looser fit too I think the heaviness of the fabric adds to the drape by bringing it back into the body a bit. I imagine in a bouncy sweatshirting fabric it might look boxier.
Anyway, I hope you like these two versions of the Nikki top. I’m going to love wearing them so much over the coming winter months. Any free patterns that you’ve come across lately? Let me know in the comments.
All the best to you and I hope your holiday season prep is progressing nicely.
See you very soon x
Your tops are LOVELY! Did you add the back yoke? I don’t see that feature on the free pattern I saw.
Roughly how deep did you make the back yoke? Did you add some shaping for the back to lie/fit better? I’m thinking maybe an invisible dart at the sides and then lengthening the bottom of the back?
Any help you can provide would be appreciated, THANKS!
Thank you! Yes, The yoke is an addition that I did. Mine measures around 7.5″ down from the back neck. On either side of the upper edge of the lower back pattern piece, I shaped it down a little bit to create a better silhouette/fit. The hemline of the back of the Nikki top is already shaped down in a slight curve.
I love the way you played with the ribbing. Overlocking the seams first was a good idea, I’m not sure if the fabric would ravel, but it kept everything flat. Nice seam treatment too. You’ll get loads of wear from these!
Thanks, Sue. I think it would ravel a bit as it’s not the tightest of knits, so I think it was probably best to overlock. Glad you like them both.
Very nice, it looks like you will get lots of wear from these 2. I like the cross grain yokes! The only free pattern I’ve gotten recently is a dog coat from Closet core! 😁 I still need to make it for my new 1 year old mini Aussie; I hope to get in done this week.
Thanks, Heather! Glad you like them.
Aww, you’ll have a very stylish little dog!
Hi Diane, Love these two winter wardrobe workhorses! You did a beautiful job on sizing it to your preferences, and particularly, construction. They really look perfect on you! I think your topstitching gives a bit of structure to the horizontal seams, yet the knit drapes to you, giving a very nice shape!
Thanks, Joan! Kind of you to say. I love how they turned out and I feel like these sweaters were really satisfying makes.
Your extra effort with the seams was well worth it. These are so much nicer than similar ready-to-wear. And I’m with you on very oversized tops. You’ve achieved the perfect happy medium.
Thanks so much, Kathy. Although there was a lot of effort in those seams it’s definitely worth it…thanks for the nice compliment.