I bought this pattern (Kanerva Blouse by Named Clothing) at Fancy Tiger Crafts when I had a brief work trip to Denver, CO.  It’s a very simply styled button back blouse, with an optional peplum.  At the time I undertook this project, I had purchased many beautiful polyester georgette yardages at the National City Swap Meet for about $2/yd.  Each piece was a designer sample at about 2 yds each.  I was working on a new fall wardrobe (to give you an idea of just how far behind I am in my reviews!) at the time, so I selected a couple of navy prints to go with my other wardrobe coordinates.  One had these little boats on it (so cute!) and another was a striking border print that my sister picked out for me.

Polyester Georgette with small boats from swap meet
Kitty says I need to take a break to pet him!
Kanerva button-back blouse pattern
all pieces ready to cut!

This pattern is not a tissue pattern, but one that is printed on heavier paper stock, which you are supposed to trace.  It also does not include seam allowances so it really pays to read the directions firstThis was my first experience with Named Clothing, so I did not know what to expect of the sizing.  I reviewed the measurements given for the sizes, and then I flat measured the pattern.  All things considered (ease and what-naught), the sizes appear to be true to the given measurements.  I did have concerns with the sleeves because I have big man-arms from boxing, so I decided to graft on a larger sleeve to the main bodice.

I did this by tracing off the armhole for the larger size onto my pattern piece, then I simply cut the larger arm.  So people will just add to the underarm area, but I don’t find that that method works for me well.  It’s not usually the ease in the upper-bust or bust that is the problem with my sleeves, but the overall girth of my arm.

Once I was satisfied with the measurements of my pattern pieces, I added the seam allowances.

I used a 3/8″ seam allowance throughout, except for the peplum hem (1/2″ for a 1/4″ hem), sleeve hem (0″ because I picked the “bias hem” option), neckline (0″ for bias finish option), and the double 1″ for the button stands.

Peplum with seam allowances added
Kanerva Blouse: Peplum traced off
Kanerva Blouse: instructions for seam allowances
Kanerva Blouse: adding seam allowance with french curve
I keep my blades marked, need a fresh sharp one for georgette!
flat measuring width of sleeve - seems to run narrow
drafting and tracing tools: misc rulers & frixion pens
checking length of sleeve (supposed to be 3/4 length)
Butcher paper roll from Smart 'n Final using for drafting and tracing
bodice front, with seam allowances before resizing armhole
bodice front, with seam allowances after resizing armhole

So you might be wondering why I would use such a narrow seam allowance on georgette – don’t you need more for a french seam? Well, yes … but I’m also lazy.  I’m not going to do french seams on this.  It’s just a top for work.  The fabric has enough opacity that I decided that it didn’t matter.  Instead, I serged the seams.

The assembly, according to the instructions is pretty straightforward and easy to follow.  For the button stands, I did interface them with a medium woven fusible.  A knit, or weft, would not be enough support for the buttons or buttonholes.  I ensured that it would not be very visible to the outside by placing it in a way that a couple layers of the print would be facing the outside of the garment; thusly, obscuring the presence of the interfacing.

Working with poly georgette can be intimidating, especially if you haven’t worked with sheer fabrics in the past.  One of the great advantages of polyester georgette is that it is machine washable, which adds to the tools you have available to you for construction of your garment.  Here’s tip of tips and techniques for working with polyester georgette:

  • Use a microtex needle.  The sharp point won’t snag and pucker the fabric.
  • Test you tension settings on a scrap before you sew.  You might need to loosen the tension if you have puckering
  • Use a walking foot, or dual feed foot, if you have one.  These will keep your fabric feeding evenly without puckers
  • Use heavy starch to stabilize your fabric pieces, especially the hem and bias binding.  This will make the fabric behave more similarly to a cotton woven than a slippery sheer.

In summary … I LOVE THIS PATTERN.  I want to make the version without the peplum in a knit soon.  I don’t really have anything negative to say, other than there is a lot of prep involved, more so than in the Big 4 tissue patterns.

Kanerva Button-Back Blouse, Front View (border pattern)
Kanerva Button-Back Blouse, close-up buttons
Kanerva Button-Back Blouse, Back View (border pattern)
Kanerva Blouse:  Finished (front) small boats print