So for my first sewing project in my new home abroad, I chose to make a Kanerva Peplum Blouse by Named. I’d had my eye on this pattern for a while now, and it felt like the perfect confidence builder for a return to my machine. It’s amazing how strange sewing feels when you use new equipment. I’m also still waiting to purchase my overlocker so I’m finding it a little slower having to consider different seam finishes.
I had some Liberty of London in my stash, purchased from Tessuti Fabrics in Sydney a while back. I didn’t love it quite as much as Kirsty’s but it was still very pretty and perfectly suited to a Kanerva. As much as I LOVE Liberty fabrics, I have to admit that I don’t usually think of it as a fabric style that suits me or my personal wardrobe. With it’s delicate florals and pretty vintage feel, it is a fabric that I mostly consider for my girls.
Overall, I am pretty happy with my Kanerva. It is a very simple and satisfying project to make. I compared the bodice pieces of the actual pattern to a perfectly fitting self-drafted shirt block I already owned. I made my Kanerva up in the EU size 40 which very closely matched my measurements. I only needed to make a few adjustments to the original.
- lengthened the shoulder seams by 1cm to accommodate my broad back and shoulders
- rotated the sleeve cap forward by 1cm (for my forward rounded shoulders)
- narrowed the waist by 1cm.
- lengthened the arms by 3cm
The fit is better than I expected. (I’m always prepared for the worst when it comes to me and shirts). I find it very comfortable and only a little restrictive, mainly in the arms, but this is really only due to the lack of stretch in my choice of fabric, and the fact that I’m not used to wearing anything without significant stretch. I can just manage to slip the shirt over my head without undoing the buttons, which is fantastic. Although I do need to strike some yoga poses in order to undo the buttons in order to take the top off. The instructions actually suggest that this top is best sewn in a fabric that has some stretch, to allow for ease of dressing. I agree wholeheartedly!
So would I do anything differently next time? I’d probably only change my choice of fabric to have a go at using a knit in this style. Even so, I won’t rule out making another one up in a Liberty, or perhaps even a silk crepe de chine. The discerning viewer might also notice that the peplum flap is missing in my top. This was not intentional, just due to a moment when I was freestyling rather than reading the instructions as I should have been. The top works well with or without this flap but I quite like the look of it as a design feature and would definitely include it next time. I’m thinking I might also have a go at making a cropped Kanerva for summer.