Thursday, January 15, 2015

Complete: Kanerva Blouses

Back again, and this time with one of those dream pattern experiences you always kind of secretly hope for but very rarely encounter. Yup, the-no-alterations-needed-great-fit-straight-from-the-pattern experience! 

This is the Named Patterns Kanerva Peplum Blouse, and it's the most amiable, cooperative pattern I've yet come across. I do love Named's overall aesthetic, and I'd admired the lines of this simple blouse when it was first released. It just took me this long to get around to it!

I'd found a lovely soft white spotted Collette Dinnigan silk at Rathdowne Remnants in July, and had intended it for quite another top/tunic pattern. But my experience with making that one up in something else was such an unmitigated misery there was no way I was going to sacrifice this fabric to its vagaries...

I'm so glad I remembered Kanerva! I'm thrilled with how it paired with my special silk...

It's as light as air to wear, and I finally have an inkling of why someone would pay $$$$ for a designer blouse. (Not that it's an option - so glad I can sew!)

There's not much to really say about this one, other than it makes me very, very happy...

I do love the back opening (slightly awkward photo, but never mind), and the way the peplum sits open at the back. Mind you, even though I like the shank buttons I used - very plain, but echoing the tiny printed spot - they do start to be 'noticeable' if I'm sitting with my back against something for any length of time. Perhaps not a blouse for long car trips...

The only modification I made was to shorten the sleeves; I liked the look of them finishing at the waist seam. And, as per my resolution to take my time over projects this year rather than rushing them, I tried finishing them with a band, button and placket. It worked out pretty well, I think; I positioned the opening by copying another RTW blouse. The neckline is finished with bias binding cut from the same fabric, and all the insides are finished with french seams.

I think I'll be enjoying this one for years; the design is really classic and I'm happy with my workmanship on it. I haven't tried yet but I think it'll tuck into a high waisted skirt quite nicely, and since I'll just as happily wear it with jeans and a blazer or cardigan, it looks like it'll be a pretty versatile piece. 

I liked it so much actually, I dug out some rayon I've been hoarding for over a year - waiting for the perfect pattern - that I'd only bought a metre of. Which was not enough for anything much...except a sleeveless Kanerva!

I didn't even need to adjust the armholes; I thought they were fine as is.

This is a kind of rayon I hadn't come across before - it's a crepe kind of texture. It's a bit heavier than the silk above but still falls beautifully, and it feels wonderful to wear.

I'd planned on flat (see? learning from previous one...) silver metal buttons, but couldn't find any that I liked. So I went for plain navy ones, and I think I prefer those actually. It's a busier print than I usually wear, but I was drawn to it in the shop and I'm glad I went with it. Actually, I've noticed I tend towards prints in summer, but not much in winter - I'm more interested in texture when it comes to cool weather clothes.

I've worn this - both of them, actually - quite a bit already. I do love clothes that you can put on and effectively forget about (no fussing or adjusting), and this fits the bill nicely.

I didn't do french seams on this (why do I feel slightly apologetic??), and finished off the armholes with the binding as per the neck. I really do like this as a finishing technique - it makes the insides so pretty :)

I like the look of the peplum-less version of the blouse too, but feel like I'm a bit o-l-d to really carry it off. Perhaps with a high-waisted skirt or trousers with a singlet tucked in underneath (i.e. no midriff skin showing)....I'll give it further thought.

I forgot last time to include my sole effort at 2014 Christmassy gift sewing, so here 'tis:

A little rag doll for my one-year-old niece. This is the Jenny pattern by Pupadou on Etsy. My toy/doll sewing experience is slightly above non-existent, and so I can heartily recommend this pattern as ideal for beginners. It's beautifully drafted and the instructions are very clear. My mum sewed two summer dresses for her (i.e. granddaughter/niece) and gave me the leftovers so I could make up matching ones for the doll. It was a fun project!

But I have to admit, I liked getting back to 'selfish' sewing...


  1. Those tops are great! I'm learning to love rayon, and have only sewn with silk once but am itching to again... so lovely yo wear!!

    1. Oh, isn't it though! I do love silk...This was my first experience with rayon - it's been really hard to find around here. Unless you're into Hawaiian shirt prints, that is...

  2. I love both of your blouses. I had not considered the Kanerva pattern before, but have now placed it on my wish list. My favorite go-to blouse pattern, that fits out of the box, and comes out perfectly every time, is Sinbad and Sailor's Dove Fitted T. I have made it 4 times now, with my own minor modifications.

    1. I hadn't come across that one before - it's lovely, thanks for sharing! It looks like it'd lend itself really well to lots of different versions.

  3. Both are such gorgeous blouses Danielle! I agree with you on the sleeve length, it's perfect.Thanks for the tip about shank buttons in the back...I wouldn't have thought of that until I was an hour into a long road trip or flight! LOL

  4. They're gorgeous, and fit you so well. You could even use the top of the bodice as part of a dress it's that great on you. I think the named patterns are very underrated.... Such lovely simple designs.

    1. Aren't they! I think they're really elegant and timeless. And thank you - I hadn't thought of a dress the thought of it. With a little extra fabric in the back maybe, so as not to frighten small children and such... ;)

  5. These are beautiful! I love the silk version - that random spot is so pretty, and they do fit you perfectly. They are so flattering. The sleeve length is perfect and I love the button detail. A very impressive sew!!
    Love the little rag doll too. I bet your niece loved it.

    1. I think she liked it, although she was coming down with what proved to be an ear infection on the day, so it was a little hard to tell! :(

  6. Both tops are fab, but the sleeveless floral one is perfect. That will go with pretty much anything. Really love your rag doll and tint doll dresses too. Super cute.