Pattern Reviews

Super fascinating crossover front bodice. 2 Nyoka knit dress & top (Sinclair Patterns).

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The Nyoka top and dress for knit fabrics has a fascinating crossover front detail, and it captivated me as soon as I saw the line art posted on the Sinclair patterns facebook group. I have been impressed with the quality offered by Sinclair patterns and knew this new pattern would be a glorious experience to sew as a final sewing project for 2020. I made 2! a top and a dress.

  • Sinclair patterns has a BOGO (Buy one Get one FREE) sale is happening through the 1st of January 2021 with the code BOGO1 and its one offer per client. The NEW NYOKA crossover top and dress is included in this sale! After the sale is over, it will be 20% off through the 5th of January. Get yours HERE if you would like to support my work and this does not cost you any extra 🙂 Thank you if you use my affiliate link.

Features of the Nyoka crossover dress & top

The Nyoka crossover top and dress is designed for knit fabric and the fitted bodice has a center front seam with a V neckline. The neckline is finished with a great knit binding technique that is easy to sew and gives very clean results.

The extensions from the front bodice pieces cross over each other and will be fixed in the side seams. The back bodice piece is cut on the fold.

There are options for the length of the sleeves, and these hems have been trued to lay smoothly when hemmed. The sleeveless option has a separate cut line on the bodice pieces and is finished with the same binding technique as the neckline.

Below this gorgeous bodice, you can choose between two skirt types. One is fitted and falls straight from the hips and the other is A lined. The A line skirt has a shorter cut line so that the Nyoka can also be a top.

Best fabrics for the Nyoka dress & top

You can see a summary diagram above and the knit fabric needs to have horizontal and vertical stretch.  The fabrics that would work well are light to medium weight and include: ITY, Rayon/modal/bamboo spandex, rib knit, athletic knits, sweater knits, stretch velvet and cotton spandex.

Things to consider in your choice

Fabrics that are too heavy and structured like scuba or Ponte will not give the bodice a nice look, and the bulk on the side seams will be noticeable, especially where the extensions are. 

I would use a nice cotton spandex if I was sewing the fitted skirt, but not the A-line skirt as it would stick out due to the lack of drape in cotton knits. But you might want the A-line skirt to have structure. It’s all personal preference here. 

I would’ve LOVED to make a version in stretch velvet. This fabric would highlight the details beautifully with the nap and the way the light will hit the garment.  With this fabric you need to cut all the pattern pieces in the same direction, the same you would if you had a directional print.

My choices

Rib knit top with short sleeves

I chose a rib knit with horizontal stripes for my Nyoka crossover top.

For this version, I decided to cut the bodice on the bias to achieve chevrons in the center of the front and back. This meant an extra seam on the back bodice to achieve the same look as the front. 

I cut the peplum pieces with the stripes horizontal to conserve the greatest stretch of the fabric going around my hips.  There was no way I could match the side seams properly because of the curved side seam of the front bodice. 

The sleeves also don’t match because I had to cut them from the limited fabric amount I had on hand (a scrap leftover piece from another project). 

I don’t enjoy how much rib knit wants to stretch and deform when sewing it horizontally. This is why I opted to draft my own V neckband piece instead of using a binding technique. Because of the same reason, I cut the bottom of the sleeves and peplum neatly and left them unhemmed. This type of knit will not fray or curl up and not hemming is totally appropriate.

Athletic knit sleeveless dress

I chose an athletic knit with medium size flowers on a navy background. This knit is amazing. The fabric is medium weight and has amazing drape. I knew the crossover would not be bulky with the fabric. I used the same fabric to cut my neckline and armhole binding pieces. I chose to make my Nyoka crossover dress sleeveless.

Sizing discussion

The Nyoka crossover top and dress is a new pattern and the size range is great from 0 to 30 US with upper measurements of 60” for the bust circumference and 63” for the hips.  I chose a size 16 based on my current measurements and based on my full bust.

Before you choose your size based on your body measurements, you need to choose the file drafted for your height.  This will give you a better fit because it will be drafted for your length and proportions.  No need to do length adjustments. I use the tall file with great results. 

  • Petite: drafted for 5ft 1”- 5ft 3”
  • Regular: drafted for 5ft 4”- 5ft 6”
  • Tall: drafted for 5 ft 7”- 5ft 9”

You will see that the Nyoka is drafted with a B/C sewing cup size and as the sizes increase, so does the cup size.  For size 16, the bodice has a C/D cup size and, and that is exactly what I need. Size 30 has an E cup size drafted for a 5-6” difference between the high and full bust.

Blending sizes

Because the waist on the bodice is drafted to have zero ease, you need to have the correct size for your waist even if you need to blend from a different size at the bust. Remember to cut the extension pieces in the same size that your waist size is. The extension pieces will crossover the front bodice and need to have the right length. Example: you might need a size 12 at the bust and a size 16 at the waist. Blend the lines smoothly on the side seams and cut the extensions with the size 16 length. The same applies if you a blending from a larger bust to a smaller waist size.

For the hips, you need to have the correct size too because there isn’t much positive ease on the design.

Personal Fitting adjustments

None.  Literally.  For most other pattern brands, I need length adjustments.  Not in this case.  The tall file is perfect for y 5ft 8” height.

I chose the knee-length cut line on the A-line skirt and added 1” here for personal preference.  The lower cut line would have been below the knee and I never want that longer length. 

Sewing considerations for the Nyoka dress & top

  • The seam allowance for this pattern is 1/4″
  • The back bodice is cut on the fold, the front bodice has a center front seam with extension pieces that will become the crossover on the front of the body.
  • Both skirt options use the same pattern piece for the front and the back and its cut on the fold

Crossover front detail

  • To start assembling the bodice, put both front pieces right sides up on your table. I cut my bodice pieces on the bias to create chevrons in the center.
  • Fold each front bodice piece onto itself, matching the edges of the extensions, right sides together and pin this section.
  • As shown above, this seam has a small curved section. I chose to use my 1/4″ presser foot to aide in the precision of my sewing and it does make a difference to the neatness of the seams.
  • Afer sewing the extensions, we turn them right sides out. At this stage, you can sew the shoulder seams together with the back bodice piece.
  • I like that the instructions include stabilizing the shoulder seams. I used a strip of non-stretch fusible interfacing for this. This is good practice when sewing with knit fabric, and if you see other pattern instructions that don’t include this, it’s a great thing to do, always.
  • If you are sewing the knit binding, as per instructions, you will sew the binding piece on the neckline before sewing the center front seam.
  • For my rib knit version, I drafted my own V neckband to finish the edges of the V neckline, so I can sew the center front seam now. I was careful to hand baste this seam to make sure the chevrons and stripes would match well. This is a very visible seam and hand basting takes up a tiny amount of your time, for great results.
  • When sewing the center front seam at the bottom, you will sew over a small seam that was part of the extension drafting. You can see this intersection in the photo above where the chevrons meet forming an “X”
  • We need to stabilize the waist edges of both the front and back bodice with clear elastic or regular elastic. I used regular 1/4″ elastic for mine and cut it approximately 25% shorter than the waist measurement for both bodice pieces. The elastic can be sewn onto the edge with a zigzag stitch. My settings for the zigzag are 4.0 width and 4.0 length, and it makes a lovely large size.
  • Once the elastic is on the edge of the waist edges, you can sew the skirt or peplum to the front and back bodice separately. The side seams are still open.
  • The two extensions cross each other on the front. It does not really matter which side is on the top. The seam of these extensions needs to be directed to the top of the bodice for both of the extensions. The raw edges of the extensions are pinned to the side edges centered over the waist seam on the front bodice, on both sides.
  • Once the extensions are pinned or basted, you can bring the back bodice and place it right sides together. The side seams will include the bodice and skirt in a continuous seam.
  • Here you can see the extensions sandwiched between the side seams.
  • After the side seams are sewn, you can sew the sleeves in on the round, or finish the armhole with binding if doing the sleeveless option.
  • To see how to sew the knit V neckline binding neatly, following the pattern instructions, you can see the step-by-step sewing tutorial in my video from my sewing channel shown below.

The video on YouTube

In my video, you’ll see:

  • A full detailed pattern review including the features, fabric choices, sizing discussion
  • Sewing tutorial of the construction of the bodice including the front crossover details. Easier than what you think!
  • Sewing tutorial of the V neckline knit binding technique used in this pattern. I really LOVE this technique and will include it into my repertoire of neckline finishes.
  • Both look-books

Come and watch this video: )

Listen to the Podcast

To hear my video in an audio file to take with you on the go, my PODCAST is available on these platforms below 🙂

Or listen right here!

Let’s see my Nyoka top

I have paired my Nyoka crossover top with a basic stretch denim skirt that is RTW. I like this tone of blue and I have not been able to find denim in this tone to make a denim skirt with.

I really love the way the chevrons look on the front and back and the extra steps to cut the bodice on the bias was very worth it. Especially since I have struggled to use horizontal stripes for decades. Playing with them to achieve different looks is always fun and I can’t seem to leave stripes alone he he. I love how the crossover front detail looks so different with the stripe direction achieved by this detail. Super cool.

I like the length of the peplum and that it’s not bulky. I don’t mind the horizontal stripes in this area of my body.

I love the chevrons at the back. It looks just like I envisioned it when cutting the pieces on the bias. I never regret taking extra steps to achieve these fun stripe looks that stand out 🙂 The bottom of the sleeves and peplum are unhemmed and rib knit looks so much better unhemmed.

Let’s see my Nyoka crossover dress

I really love how the combination of the style, pattern, fabric type and print turned out! I feel AMAZING in my Nyoka crossover dress. It’s a great feeling, and I’d love to share that I feel like a million dollars in this dress. It’s summer here in Brazil, it’s hot and the sleeveless option suits me best. The happy colors have me walking with an extra spring in my step. For real.

These types of a-line skirts are always great because they require less fabric and they suit everyone, in my opinion. The fascinating front crossover detail on the bodice is very noticeable, even with the print in the fabric. I’m very happy about that. The draped effect over the midsection is VERY PRETTY.

The waist on the bodice has zero ease, but it does not feel tight. The stretch of the fabric makes it very comfortable to wear. The depth of the V neckline is great and does not show more than what I’m comfortable with. The binding technique is so neat and I’m happy with the look.

My decision to end the sewing year with the Nyoka crossover top and dress pattern has me ending 2020 on a high note, feeling amazing and super excited for 2021 and also for sewing more from Sinclair patterns.

How beautiful is this bodice??

Would I make the Nyoka top & dress again? Yes!

Oh my, yes, and a thousand times yes. This pattern is so fun and easy to sew with striking results. It’s classed 3/10 in difficulty, and that is very accurate. A confident beginner could easily make this style with great results. I hope the resources in this post and my videos also help you start this project with confidence. 

I am obsessed with making a stretch velvet version for my upcoming winter. I will search high and low for red stretch velvet.

Sinclair patterns has a BOGO (Buy one Get one FREE) sale is happening through the 1st of January 2021 with the code BOGO1 and its one offer per client. The NEW NYOKA crossover top and dress is included in this sale! After the sale is over, it will be 20% off through the 5th of January. Get yours HERE if you would like to support my work and this does not cost you any extra 🙂 Thank you if you use my affiliate link.

Disclaimer: I purchased all my fabric. I produce sewing content independently from pattern brands and share my unique way of sewing with you. I don’t necessarily follow instructions rigidly. My opinions are honest, especially around fit and sewing techniques.


I spend a lot of my time sewing, filming/editing videos, writing and taking photos for both my Youtube channel and blog and if you love what I do and consider my work valuable for your own sewing, you can support me financially in a non-committal manner by purchasing me a ”coffee” through Ko-Fi here.  $5 gets me one cup of “coffee”, or how I call it: a zipper!

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1 reply »

  1. I wish I had seen this before I struggled putting my Nyoka together today!. Thank you for taking the time.

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