I’m back!!!!! And with a Kanerva to show for it.

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.

But before I start talking Kanervas, I must first extend a big thank you to Kirsty from Top Notch for this pattern discovery. I saw her bejewelled Kanerva a little while back and was instantly in love. The style struck me as so practical and pretty, but of course, Kirsty’s choice of Liberty print was just gobsmackingly beautiful as well!

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.

10 thoughts on “I’m back!!!!! And with a Kanerva to show for it.

  1. Anne-Rose

    Good to see you are back in the sewing room! I can't imagine living without my overlocker so well done! I'm really loving a lot of the latest Named patterns, it's great to see all these different versions popping up across the net!


  2. SewJillian

    Love it! I have to agree about Liberty. I do like a vintage feel to my makes but Liberty generally seems a bit twee to me. I've just never understood the hype, especially in clothing for me. But I love this. The fabric really works with the pattern. Great to see you back!


  3. Kirsty

    It goes without saying that I love this blouse and really love it on you. It's such a great design. I agree wholeheartedly that it would be a great in knit, but hey I'm cutting out another one in woven as we speak so why let comfort get in the way of a great shirt. So great to see you back.


  4. Debbie Iles

    Thank you! Initially I was desperate for an overlocker…and a little shameful of my dependence. I'm pretty sure I will have one in my hot little hands by the end of April. But I am kind of looking forward to being forced to explore some more stitches on my Pfaff sewing machine (terrible that it has to come to this point before I move beyond the straight stitch and buttonhole ;-)). I'm planning to have a go at a knit dress in the next few days, so we will see how that goes.


  5. Debbie Iles

    Thank you! Yep, a little twee for me too. But the fabric texture is really so nice that I think this is why I can't eliminate it from my stash entirely, and I do love seeing my girls in it.


  6. Debbie Iles

    Thank you! Yes, I think it will be perfect for spring. The flowers here literally started blooming over the weekend which is a great source of delight to us all….so so so very beautiful! We don't really get Spring flowers in Sydney like you do here. But unfortunately temps at 3dec celcius (yep still on metric) are still well below our usual Sydney winter temps so I don't think this top is going to get an airing for a little while yet.


  7. Lexi H

    You have styled this top so gorgeously – looks fab on you! I'm not much of a fan of floral prints for myself, hence I have steered clear of Liberty, but I have told they do amazing modern geometric designs as well.



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