Steely Seamstress

Sewing for life


True Bias Nikko Top in cream ribbed knit

This particular make had been on my radar for some while, but I have sewn lots of different t-shirt patterns and I was beginning to wonder why I needed to invest in another. By invest I mean buying the pattern, but also committing time to getting the fit right too.

The pattern

The Nikko Top and Dress has 4 views. The top in sleeveless and long-sleeved versions and the dress, again in sleeveless and long-sleeved models. I used the the long-sleeved top version (View B) here.

I traced the pattern on Swedish tracing pattern, fully expecting to do a variety of adjustments on the flat pattern, especially around the shoulders, and armscye. But surprisingly when I started to compare the size 6 I had traced with the shoulder width from my adjusted Cashmerette Concord pattern, it was spot on and didn’t need altering at all. The length was a little long, compared to the intended length shown on the True Bias website, but I didn’t adjust it. I’m quite willing to have extra long t-shirts in the winter. The sleeves again were a bit long, but I can pull them down tortoise-fashion which again is no bad thing in the winter.

I was rather shocked at this point that the job of tracing had taken me next to no time and the next evening I was ready to sew.

True Bias Nikko top: Worn with True Bias Lander trousers and RTW cardigan

The Fabric

I purchased one metre of MeetMilk ribbed knit from Guthrie and Ghani. I chose the colour described as “Shell” which seems like a cream colour to me. This fabric is a good pairing with the True Bias Nikko pattern as it has just the right stretch and recovery requirements. Although I only bought one metre, I managed to squeeze out the long-sleeved top in a size 6 from the fabric.


This was an absolute breeze. Most of the sewing was achieved on the overlocker. I had to change my thread to white for this project, but even this didn’t involve too much swearing. I picked up a really good tip from the Concord: tacking the neck binding together in its folded position prior to inserting it into the t-shirt. This really makes the process easier and the result tidier. I did this again on this t-shirt.

True Bias Nikko Top: Apologies for the camisole clearly visible underneath, but it is a cold day!

The outcome

I absolutely love this new top. The pattern has fitted me perfectly out the packet so this t-shirt took next to no time to make. Despite the expense of the fabric (£23.90/m at the time I write this), I am convinced that I made a good choice because it had just the right stretch for the garment. The fabric also comes in a variety of colours, so there is plenty of room for future fuss-free Nikkos in my wardrobe because I won’t need to adjust for different stretch percentages by buying the same fabric.

I’m glad I chose this colour too. This t-shirt can easily be paired with all manner of garments in my wardrobe. Here I’m trying it out with the Lander trousers, and a much-loved RTW cardigan. However, I can see it working well with lots of the blue items in my wardrobe too.

I always feel that a simple t-shirt pattern needs to work hard to justify the price. This pattern has separate body pieces for the dress and also the sleeveless versions. I expect this is to take into account the arm hole bindings for the sleeveless version and the looser fit around the waist in the dress version. I think these considerations make the pattern very good value and elevate it above similar offerings.

I’m really interested in taking this pattern to a new level, by making some customised versions of it. Watch this space!

True Bias Nikko Top: Back View


Red True Bias Lander Trousers: Finally!

I think the Lander Pants, as they are called, came out in 2017, or thereabouts. I have probably had the pattern since then, but this is actually the first time I have sewn them. So what has held me back? After all, they do have that seventies vibe that I really go for. I suppose the first thing is that I had a vintage 70s pattern with a button fly already and I had already perfected the fit on that. I have made two iterations of that pattern, and I love them both; here are the blue jeans and here the brown corduroy trousers. Then I suppose, I noticed that the waistband isn’t graded so I knew I would have to swap that out. All in all, it was just laziness that prevented me for getting on and making some Lander trousers. I have seen so many fantastic examples online, I eventually convinced myself that I really must be missing out and set about making my own.

The fabric

I purchased the fabric from Like Sew Amazing with some vouchers I got as a Christmas present. The fabric is a slightly rust-like red in a stretch cotton twill. The Landers don’t necessarily need a stretch woven, but the stretchiness of this fabric will work out fine with this pattern.

The construction

As with all trousers patterns especially one with pockets and top-stitching it is all a lengthly process. I used some remaining fabric from my The Serpent-inspired top for the pocket lining. In fact, I think that the top will team up well with these trousers.

I made a small change to the pattern. I took out some of the rise (roughly 2 cms of both the back and the front. This meant that I changed the gap between the buttons on the fly front otherwise they would have been spaced unevenly.

I deliberated for a long time about the buttons. I knew I wouldn’t find anything that would match colour-wise, so I chose these contrasting buttons.

Lander Trousers: the button fly

I swapped out the Lander waistband for the curved waistband from the Grainline Moss Skirt. This pattern piece has been used so many times and not always for Moss skirt making purposes, and is looking really tatty. I must remember to re-trace it!

I followed the sew along on the True Bias website for a couple of things just to make sure I got them right. This included the pocket construction and the fly construction. I suppose I have made quite a few trousers now, so this was just to reassure myself, but they are worth following as they have more detail that the instructions provided.

I have to admit that I didn’t go full top-stitching and jeans look on these. I just fancied making these more trouser-looking than jeans-looking in the end. Does this mean my love affair with top-stitching is over? Certainly not! I’m sure my next trousers / jeans will include loads of top-stitching. I think I just wanted a plainer look this time.

Red Lander Trousers: Worn with Grainline Driftless cardigan and blouse made with vintage pattern Simplicity 8924 

The Outcome

I have a feeling these trousers will be a bit of a workhorse in my wardrobe. Sure they are red, which isn’t a common colour in my wardrobe, but I can already see that they gel well with my numerous blue makes and I’m looking forward in Me-Made-May to trying these out with loads of combinations. I can attest after a day of wear that they are also very comfortable. I’m sure to make more of these; it looks like I’ve discovered finally this real indie sewing pattern classic.

Red Lander Trousers: Wearing sandals for the first time this year!