I really like the Named Clothing PDF style. The pattern is layered (each piece overlaps another) and there are only 12 pages pattern to print, so it is much faster to put together than the average blouse PDF. Because the pieces are overlaid, you need to trace off each piece in your size but as their are only two sizes displayed at a time that was easier than the average Burda Style magazine. I traced a size EU 38 (UK size 10, USA size 6) which was a little bigger than my measurements but as this pattern is made for jersey fabrics as well as lightweight woven I thought it best to be on the safe side. I opted for the peplum version and I wanted it to be big enough to go over my head (there is a button fastening at the back).
I made very little in the way of alterations. I added the binding in a slightly different way (more info further down this post. The sleeves were quite short (considering that I am 5' 5" (164cm) and the pattern is drafted for almost 5' 8" (172cm) so instead of turning up the hem, I left the sleeves at full length and added bias to the bottom.
For a first attempt I am pretty damn pleased with the fit. It is a small busted pattern. I am a A cup at the most and this worked for me. There is a slight surplus of fabric in the centre of the pattern especially on the upper bust area and the darts could do with coming very slightly inwards. The sleeves and arm holes fit brilliantly. I did need to ease stitch the sleeve head which isn't mentioned in the instructions but is a standard method for fitting a sleeve into an arm hole. I like lots of room to move and I loathe tightness under the arms, these sleeves were winners! It goes over my head without straining so no need to fiddle around with buttoning up.
The pleat detail at the waist is an easy addition and sat at the perfect place for me- a longer bodied, taller person may need to add a little length in the body. The pattern pieces fit together well and the instructions are functional. They are not hugely detailed and they read like they are a translation but they do the job. Everything was sewn on my new vintage Bernina 707 including the buttonholes and was hassle free. The fabric is Robert Kaufman Lennox Gardens Lawn and is a lovely light lawn, a little thiner than a Liberty lawn and it pressed and sewed easily with a 70 Schmetz Microtex needle.
Here's how I did my binding. Firstly I trimmed my seam allowance off at the neckline. Then I cut bias binding 1 ⅜" wide, three pieces- one long enough for the neck and two the same width as the cuff on the sleeve. I sewed it to the inside of the neck edge using a ¼" seam allowance (the right side of the binding is placed against the wrong side of the neck edge. Press upwards. You can see the ¼" overhang at the vertical edge which is then folded inwards and the binding is folded to meet the neck edge. There is an option at this point to grade the seam and trim the neck edge to ⅛" wide, the binding is untrimmed. The grading makes the binding sit flat rather than standing up- I did this on my second Kanerva but not on this one.
Press the binding over so that the folded edge extends over the seam line and stitch close to the folded edge. I used the same method on the sleeve cuff.
My only significant alteration was to reduce the peplum length by 2" taken from the bottom edge.
I've already made another Kanerva with a few tweaks- I just need to wear it. Fit is something that needs to be judged in wear as well as during the sewing process. For me, this blouse it is the equivalent of a long sleeved lightweight jersey T, a core wardrobe piece. It layers well with cropped cardigans- I am constantly in a state of cold at the moment so this is a big plus for me! The simple design makes the perfect showcase for prints too. The skirt which can just about be seen is from Stylish Skirts by Sato Watanabe. It is skirt I, "Escargot' skirt with straight hem panel. This is a book where you draft your own pattern pieces based on your measurements. That sounds harder than it is but you do need to comfortable with a Japanese diagram instruction style. The book is translated but there are errors. The skirt fabric is a dress weight denim from Merchant and Mills- any fabrics I have had from them have been the most fantastic quality
Pattern: Kanerva Blouse by Named Clothing
Fabric: Lennox Gardens Lawn, 110cm wide, size 38 needed 1.5 metres
Alternations: Reduction of 2" in length of peplum. Bias binding added to sleeve cuff edges.