Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Kanerva Blouse--Named, "Petited," "Frenched"

Pardon the title. It may be grammatically incorrect  but it's the most accurate description of my latest sewing project.

My newest blouse was sewn using the Kanerva Peplum Blouse pattern from Named Clothing, a Finnish clothing pattern label founded by two sisters. I learned about it from Pattern Googling "Kanerva blouse" results in quite a number of  beautiful versions.

About the pattern:

I bought the PDF version.

   *It consists of only 12 tiles!
   *The test square is easily found on the first page. (One of my pet peeves with digital patterns is having to search through pages of tiles to locate the test square. The least designers can do is indicate which page the test square they decided to embed it in.)
   *One can choose which size to print.
   *Built-in seam allowance.

   *To save on paper, the pattern pieces overlap. This is not really a dealbreaker. One just has to be  careful when tracing.
   *I would have preferred a 5/8" seam allowance to make French seams easier. However only 3/8" were included for all edges and 3/4" for the hems. Nevertheless, this didn't stop me from using French seams.

About the sewing process:

Although construction is really simple, the instructions are detailed and cover the basics of sewing so this pattern is perfect for a beginner, too! Depending on the type of fabric used and the method of finishing, this can be a really quick sewing project. Mine took a little bit longer and you'll find out why.

Because this is a new-to-me pattern, I decided to take the painful route and sew some mock-ups using muslin. Looking at the model's picture on the website, it is evident that this blouse is drafted for a tall person. My muslin version confirmed that. I wanted to preserve the top to peplum ratio and not just cut off at the hem. There is no lengthen/shorten line in the pattern so I had to choose an arbitrary location for shortening the bodice. As for the peplum, I just shaved off the excess at the bottom hem.

This is my "wearable muslin" sewn after applying changes based on the first pretest garment. 

The photo above shows the following changes to the original pattern:
   *bodice shortened by 2" along my arbitrarily placed shorten line
   *peplum hem shortened by 1.5"
I thought it was a tad short so for my final version I just added 1" to the bodice which means shortening the bodice of the original pattern by only 1".

I opted to finish the neckline by using bias binding.

I used a polyester woven fabric from my stash for this neckline binding.

I used self-fabric for this neckline binding.
After machine sewing the binding to the neck edges, I hand sewed the remaining free edge in place.

I also bound the sleeve hems using the same method.

 All the pattern pieces came with 3/8" seam allowance except at the hems with 3/4" allowance. I managed to finish all my seams using French seam by sewing the initial seam at 1/8" and the second seam at 1/4".

I used 1/2" coordinating buttons from my stash. 

 I added nylon snaps where needed to prevent gaping. 

Apart from the blouse length, the only other modification I made was to shorten the sleeves and add an inch to the side seams as I found the sleeves a bit too snug.

Other than that, I was happy with how the blouse was drafted. The shoulder width was perfect and the armscye was just right.

For the fabrics used, both were from Emma One Sock. Both were lightweight and necessitated careful handling and patience but it was all worth it!


I am so happy with how this project turned out that I have inducted the pattern to my TNT file by transferring my tracings with modifications to a nice Swedish pattern paper! I'm pretty sure I'll be sewing more versions of this blouse in the future. I just love the fit and design!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

2016 Little Red Dress Contest Result

Yehey! I am so delighted to share some good news!

Little Red Dress Contest

Last February, held a month long "Little Red Dress" contest inspired by Go Red For Women, an undertaking by the American Heart Association to empower women to take charge of their heart health. 

I won a gift certificate from Eva Dress which specializes in reproduction of vintage patterns. 
I can't wait to delve into the world of vintage pattern sewing!