New to Me: Kanerva Button Back Shirt


I just might be the last blogger in the world to sew the Kanerva top! And better late than never.  This top is truly unique with buttons down the back, a pleated waist, and a split peplum. And as you all know, I’m a sucker for a peplum! True love!

IMG_2348 I’ve wanted to sew something by Named clothing for awhile. I was prompted to finally do so by the Monthly Stitch. It’s Indie Pattern Month over there, and this week we’re sewing a pattern that’s New to Me. This is my first make of the Kanerva blouse, and I am so taken with the design details! Both versions are fitted with two sets of front darts, a pleated waist and a gentle peplum.

To accentuate the fabulous design details of this blouse, I decided to use two different fabrics; A embroidered cotton and a hankerchief linen. I used the cotton for the bodice, the self-drafted pockets and sleeve bands.  I used hankerchief linen for the sleeves and peplum.


Yes, linen loves to wrinkle, but it wears like pajamas, so all is forgiven. It does tend to fray though, so I finished all the seams with my serger. Of course, the back is where it’s really happening on this shirt!

IMG_2279I used vintage pearl buttons. They’re fairly flat so they won’t poke me when I lean against a hard backed chair. The placket is easy, just a few folds that you stitch down, then you add your buttons and button holes. I added self drafted pockets to the front just because I thought they would look cool and finished the neck with binding.


All in all, this was a fun, straightforward make. The scariest part for me was transferring the pattern markings. I tested both tracing paper and chalk on my white fabric and both stained, so I had to use thread and pins to mark. Ugh! Not sure what a better choice would be….Recommendations are appreciated! The instructions were easy to follow though and it was about a four hour sew from cut to finish. And, I think I finished this top just in time. It’s (finally!) heating up here, with temperatures expected to be in the high nineties tomorrow. IMG_2367Although I usually choose Big Four patterns (they’re so easy to find and always on sale), I do love the fact that there’s a month dedicated to some of the alternatives available through Indie companies. There are so many choices these days, that you can always find something fun to sew. If you haven’t checked out the Monthly Stitch collective, give it a try!

The trickiest part of this project was transferring the pattern markings. Have you had problems with staining of fabrics with tracing paper? Do you know products that work better for marking?

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

14 thoughts on “New to Me: Kanerva Button Back Shirt

  1. Beautiful, as always! I love the fabric combination and the pockets! I’ve made Named patterns but don’t have this one; maybe that should change, now that I’ve seen what great “bones” it has! Is it tough to get used to the buttons being in the back, though? I’d be nervous that I wouldn’t be able to operate them by myself! x’D

    UGH I hate marking products that stain fabric. I had a problem with Chaco liners and now I mostly just use thread to mark things if it’s not a muslin. It takes a while (and uses up thread, of course) but it won’t stain anything! I’ve heard of people using washable markers or pens but haven’t tried those: maybe it’s worth a shot.

    1. It’s such a great pattern I hope you try it and share your version. You always find such great fabric option! The buttons are a little tricky to reach, but I can manage it without help and once it’s on it feels so great 🙂 I once had an erasable marking pen but I couldn’t see the marks it led t , wouldn’t you know it! Yes the thread option takes a bit of time and I get impatient to get on with things, but perhaps that’s the option of choice and i will just have to persevere.

      1. Officially added to my “Pattern Shopping List” in my stash/queue Excel doc, hehe! =) That is too bad about the highly-erasable pens, although that’s still better than permanent stains!

    1. Thanks! I was pretty impressed with the instructions of this one. I’m thinking I might just have to make another one 🙂 this one is sooooo comfortable.

  2. This looks great – really unusual. Love how you have used two different fabrics 😃

  3. I have had this pattern in my queue for months now, but you have inspired me to make it. I love your blouse, but must confess that I do not like the pockets. To me, they appear to be awkward breast badges. Of course, it is a subject upon which reasonable minds may differ. As for fabric marking, my favorite is Frixion Ball Clicker Pens. I have also tried Frixion Point Pens, but they are too skinny and sharp, so they don’t work on most fabrics. The ink disappears when you iron over it. It is, of course, important to test first. I never had any problem until very recently, when the colored ink disappeared, but left a white mark on my blue cotton fabric.

    1. Glad I could inspire! I totally agree with you on the pockets. I have since removed them (LOL). I’ll have to try those pens! I haven’t heard of them but will look on my next trip to the fabric store. Good luck with your top…I’m sure you will like it. It’s a great pattern.

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