NIKITA // Workout Top Sewing Tutorial

Today we show you how to sew our beloved NIKITA (3902) workout top. We will go over the shorter (tank) view:

The NIKITA tank is great because it doesn't cling to your body and has funky seaming, an optional opening in the back and angled side slit that will have people tell you "where did you get this top?!" :)

The pattern also includes a dress version, a wonderful staple for your summer wardrobe. Like all Jalie patterns, it comes in kids' and adults' sizes. You can purchase it in printer/paper format that we mail to you, or as a PDF (that you print at home on Letter/A4 paper (20 pages), at a copy shop on one page of A0/36'' paper or use with a projector).

Let's get started!


Front yoke and back straps have two layers for a clean finish without visible seam allowances inside. You can use the same fabric for the inner and outer layer or use contrast or complementary colors, whatever works best for you. For this tutorial, both layers are black so we will use a color code to better identify all layers correctly and help you better understand the construction.
When you cut your yoke pieces, make sure that your notches (triangles) are visible. Pin front yoke to back straps (OUTER FABRIC, right sides together) and sew the shoulders together:

Repeat for the pieces cut in the INNER FABRIC (colored in green in the next photos).

Open to visualize the neckline opening and pin INNER FABRIC to OUTER FABRIC, right sides together, and matching notches. Stitch, pivoting at the V, needle down, to have a sharp angle:

Clip the V up to the seam but without cutting the thread. Turn right side out (wrong sides together):

Pin OUTER FABRIC of front yoke to front piece and baste with a zigzag only. Place your pieces on the table as shown in the picture on the right, moving the INNER FABRIC piece away from the basting seam:

Roll the front piece over the RIGHT SIDE of the front yoke (OUTER FABRIC), until the seam allowance is visible:

Now, roll the back strap piece (both layers) onto the right side of the front yoke (INNER FABRIC) until the notches are visible. Bring those INNER FABRIC notches over the notches on the basting seam, pin and stitch:

Turn your "burrito" right side out. The seam allowance is now hidden between the yoke layers:


If you want an opening in the back, trace the line (marking on the pattern) onto your piece, at the fold, and cut that section away:

Finish raw edges of center back with a zigzag or your serger. Then, pin right sides together and stitch (stop at the beginning of the angled line if you are making a back with opening). Press the seam allowance open (if your fabric can withstand the heat of course!):

Topstitch along each side of the seam to hold the seam allowance down. Now, it's time to attach the back strap to the back:

Pin the upper edge of back to the back strap (OUTER LAYER ONLY) and baste with a zigzag:

Pin the right side of INNER FABRIC to the WRONG SIDE of the back. This step is very difficult to photograph... In a nutshell... you want to sandwich your back between the right sides of the back strap fabrics.

Stitch from one armhole to the other. Please note that if you are making the closed back in a larger size, you might have to stitch the left half and the right half as the "tunnel" can be too restrictive to sew in one shot:

Turn right side out. The seam allowance is inside the back strap. No raw edge is visible:

Baste the raw edges of the yoke and straps, inner and outer fabrics wrong sides together. Finish raw edges of the back piece with a zigzag or serger before the next step if you want a cleaner finish:

Fold the shorted edge to the wrong side by 1 cm (3/8') to the wrong side, press, and topstitch with a straight stitch. Pin the back piece to the front piece, right sides together, and matching notches at side seam. Stitch using the usual 6 mm (1/4'') seam allowance:

Press the seam allowance open and topstitch, meeting with the previous topstitching line:

Fold bottom edges to the wrong side by 2 cm (3/4''), press and topstitch with a zigzag, cover stitch or double needle:


Sew ends of each band right sides together and stitch across. Fold wrong sides together and mark quarters with pins on the band and the armhole:

Pin band to armhole, matching quarter marks. You may use the notch as a starting point or choose where you want the armhole band seam to be. Just make sure you do the same thing for both armholes and match quarters so that the tension is even all around.

Stitch, stretching the band between the pins. Bring the seam allowance towards the garment and topstitch:

Voilà! Your Nikita top is ready for the gym or a hot summer day!


Buy the pattern

Happy sewing :)

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