New outfit ft. Nikko

Monday, March 05, 2018

I'm feeling bombarded with articles, books and methods on how to achieve the capsule wardrobe holy-grail. There's Colette's Wardrobe Architect and the Design Your Wardrobe series for Seamwork subscribers, the 10x10 Challenge and I'm currently reading The Curated Closet, which I must say, as enjoyable a read as it is, I'm finding totally overwhelming to actually put into practice (I only got as far as making the Pinterest board). Whilst these methods or elements of them might work for some of us, deep down, I think we can only work out our own way to achieve a 'dream wardrobe' (if it even exists!) - Katie did a great post on her personal approach recently which is worth checking out!

Nikko Top, New Look 6418 and Retro Rucksack
I guess partly in response to this, my recent sewing has been focused around creating new basics with a considered colour palette in mind. In making proper use of leftovers and excessive fabric lengths to do so, I've found that I'm actually starting to build a small but cohesive, more coordinated wardrobe. So here is a new outfit - accessories included - in matchy fabrics and simple silhouettes, made up of the New Look 6418 Skirt, a Radiant Home Studio Retro Rucksack and the new True Bias Nikko Top!

New coordinated outfit!
I've made both the New Look 6418 Skirt and Retro Rucksack before (blog posts here and here), so lets talk Nikko first of all. True Bias are making huge waves in sewing world with their latest releases (I'm still working on that Lander fit but it's getting there!) and Nikko is no exception to this. Perhaps one of the draws of the Nikko are the options to make it as a either a top or dress/sleeveless or with long sleeves.


There are a lot of turtleneck patterns out there, the Papercut Patterns Rise/Fall Turtleneck being the dominant one in my pattern collection and home sewn wardrobe, so I wasn't really sold by the Nikko top alone. I fell for the styling and dress version completely, but must admit, a part of me was thinking, 'could I hack that'? I decided to buy it so I could properly see how the patterns compared and I thought some of you might be interested in seeing this too!

I cut the size 6 Nikko Top, grading to a 4 at the waist and hips. The pictures below show the front and back pattern pieces laid on top of the Rise Turtleneck pattern cut at a Medium.

Rise Turtleneck/Nikko front comparison
Rise Turtleneck/Nikko back comparison
This isn't intended to discredit either pattern, but show that they really do differ in their drafting - I was quite surprised at how different they actually are! It's definite proof to never judge or compare patterns on first look, even if they appear quite similar in style. Nikko is drafted with negative ease and is noticeably longer in the body and sleeves. Also, interestingly, the neckband of the Nikko (not pictured) is drafted with a slight curve, meaning it sits closer to the neck than the Rise Turtleneck.

Oops, that wasn't the best zip colour choice...
Nikko is drafted for a C cup - arguably quite generous as far as sewing patterns go - and I'm a not so modest FF-G cup... So when it turned out way too big, even on the bust, I knew that it was a case of too-stretchy-fabric strikes again. I'd squeezed it out of the leftovers from my Nettie Dress - ribbed jersey from Stoff & Stil - which had to be taken in a fair amount, so maybe I should've known better. The Nikko pattern however, specifically lists ribbed jersey in it's recommended fabrics, but I still had to take it in from mid-arm and all the way down the side seams. Is it just me who can't seem to get the fabric stretch thing quite right?!


I bought 2m of the khaki faux suede to make another Retro Rucksack, inspired by the more minimal Whistles suede backpack below that was well out of my price range. I should have stabilised the body of the bag more as the fabric is a bit too flimsy and lacks in structure where the bag folds and clips shut. I added a couple of magnetic press stud fastenings inside the bag and under the flap, which helps, but doesn't entirely solve the problem. Still, I think it's quite cute, particularly when worn with the skirt to match, and it has the handy option of being worn as both a shoulder bag and backpack.

Whistles Verity Suede Backpack (£279)

And continuing on the theme of using leftovers, the skirt was squeezed out of the excess from the bag. It's another quick win New Look 6418 in view D. This is the fourth time I've made this pattern, with 2 other faux suede ones and a snakeskin pleather version already in my wardrobe. It's a good one for playing around with different fabrics and textures, fitting into the basics category whilst not looking too plain or boring. I downsized to a 12 for this one as my previous versions have had to be taken in, and the fit is perfect - I know I'll make more!

Thank you Chris going out in the cold with me to get these pictures
I'm really pleased with how well all of these pieces work together and will hopefully slot in with my other handmades! This was also a great trial run of the Nikko Top and I'm looking forward to trying both the top and dress in a fabric with hopefully more suitable stretch soon. (Another benefit of using leftovers is getting a garment made from lovely fabric that you don't feel quite as precious over)!

More scrap busting plans coming up - the New Look 6459
Continuing down the colour-coordinated, scrap-busting track, I'm going to give the New Look 6459 trousers a try in the remaining corduroy I have from making the Simplicity 8459 buckle skirt. I've seen some amazing versions of this pattern - check Sophie's (@adapragg), Kylie's (@kylieandthemachine) and Michelle's (@michelleofatime) for major inspiration - so I can't wait to try it!

Now to go back inside and warm up!
I'm interested to hear about other people's personal approaches to wardrobe planning. Do you have a method or are you more of an 'anything goes' kind of sewer?


Stay in touch!


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18 comments

  1. I love this outfit Shauni! Well done on sculpting out your capsule wardrobe I'm still a long way off that nirvana

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    1. Thank you Rachael! I've not quite reached 'nirvana yet' but one outfit is at least a bit of the way there :)

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  2. What a fab outfit!! LOVE. I need to find that skirt pattern! (The Simplicity one you made previously is already on my list!) How annoying about the fabric though--it looks great, at least. ;-)

    I'm not much of a "capsule" person; I'll evaluate my wardrobe and what it needs and try to focus my sewing projects accordingly, but sometimes my inspiration is just too strong to be ignored!

    -Abbey

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    1. Thank you Abbey! I really love this skirt pattern and can't recommend it enough - the Simplicity buckle one is a nice make too :)

      It is a shame about the stretch in the fabric, but luckily my love for the colours/stripes just about makes up for it!

      Haha, I know what you mean about inspiration being too strong... I've only just posted this and I'm already torn between impulsive making or more stash busting! xx

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  3. Oh gosh this is such a fabulous outfit Shauni. I love everything about it.
    I've never been very good at capsules...maybe I should try it as I have a lot of odd unworn garments .

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    1. Thanks Diane!! I'm aiming to slow down and create less of the odd unworn garments and more of the ones that will slot in my wardrobe. It's not always as exciting at the time, but when you can whip together an outfit in 2 seconds every morning, now that's exciting! x

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  4. wonderful outfit - those colours and tones work so wee. I love the curated closet - and I dont know if I have a real capsule wardrobe but I now wear 90% of my wardrobe at least, and this is in the last number of years when I started back sewing and now my wardrobe is about 75% me makes

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    1. Thank you Eimear! Wow I think I need to keep going with The Curated Closet as it definitely seems to have worked for you! (I'm just bad at the throwing things out bit which comes first...) xx

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  5. Thank you so much for the pattern comparison! That is so eye-opening!
    Great outfit and matching bag!

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    1. Glad it's helpful Tasha :) Thank you! x

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  6. Great outfit! And that bag?? Off I go to check that pattern out! :)

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    1. Thank you! Yeah it's a great bag that I think sometimes gets overlooked in favour of some of the other rucksack patterns out there - Desmond Roll Top, Merchant and Mills backpack. I've made 3 now so couldn't recommend it more!

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  7. I signed up for the Seamwork wardrobe planner but have yet to get started. Just not in that headspace quite yet. I'm interested in curating my closet, but I'm not signing up for the "less-is-more" approach right now (even if I feel there's a bit of shame in the slow fashion community around extensive wardrobes). That being said, I wear me-made all the time. I think I'm working toward a happy medium.

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    1. I know what you mean! I always feel like there's a fine line between planning and should-be-sewing. I don't think I'll ever be minimal, and my idea of a capsule is a very large one full to the brim haha. But just hoping to work towards it being a bit more coordinated. A happy medium is best! x

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  8. I'm pretty much using the same plan of using coordinating fabrics and their leftovers. You can see it clearly in the last 5-6 projects in my blog. I figured out my color scheme and when possible buy fabric that works within it. Unfortunately, they aren't the most popular, available, or affordable colors or prints...

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    1. Your colour scheming looks great! I think I'm more falling into a colour scheme based on all the leftovers, but yeah it's definitely a similar approach! I'm sure your Pantone day will come and for the time being, it's nice to be different in your colour choices :)

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  9. Beautiful coordination! I really like the matching rucksack and skirt. I find that I don't overbuy too egregiously, but I still cut in a very fabric-miserly single-layer layout - so I end up with awkward 1/2 and 3/4 yard cuts. No plan for those yet! Ah well!

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    1. Thank you Lia! I'm quite a lazy cutter and don't always lay my fabric out in the most economical fashion - maybe I could be saving even more! I think we need more patterns out there for these awkward leftover lengths! x

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