The “Johanna” Shirt

My poor little blog, it’s been suffering a bit from neglect lately. Why is that? Well, I started back at work two weeks ago, full time. Turns out that juggling a six-month baby and a full-time job doesn’t leave much time for, well, anything else, really!

I have been managing to eek out a little bit of sewing time here and there though, although finding time to blog about things is proving harder! But hey, it’s only week two – I’m sure we’ll get this whole finding-time-for-life thing sorted out sooner or later. πŸ˜‰

close front one

In the meantime, here, finally, is a shirt I made a couple of weeks ago! I finished it off just in time for the last Wellington sewing bloggers meet-up on 17 March. (And yes, I do mean “just in time” – it got finished the morning of the meet-up. This seems to be becoming a habit of mine. Must try and break that for the next meet-up….) (If you want to read more about our latest meet-up, here’s a lovely post that Nikki wrote about it. As per usual, I forgot to take photos, so go look at her lovely ones instead. πŸ˜‰

Every bloggers meet-up I go to, I seem to walk away with a new sewing goodie or two. And then I resolve to make something using one of them for the next meet-up! This month, it was the turn of this lovely black floral cotton/(something?) fabric, which I got from Jo back in January. My original plan for this was to turn it into a shirt. And since there’s a 1940’s Sew For Victory sew-along happening, a 1940’s blouse it ended up becoming!

full front two

Since I’m still working on losing weight around my waist, I did some rough on-the-fly alterations and added a bit to the waist on both side seams. (Hoping that one day, preferably not too far in the future, I can take those seams in once again. Hopefully….. Must stop drinking so much hot chocolate, then that day may come around a bit earlier….. Oh who am I kidding – hot chocolate is just far too tasty to give up!)



This pattern was interesting to make up. The instructions left quite a bit to be desired – no call for interfacing, no indication of overlap on the front, general randomness. But I got there in the end eventually, with only a couple of seams needing unpicked due to a misinterpretation of the vague directions. And I do like this pattern once it’s made up – there are a couple of lovely small folds either side of the button placket, released tucks for shaping at front and back, gathers at the front yoke, and top-stitching detail on the collar. (Sadly though, most of these details are hidden in the busy-ness of the fabric. But hey, they make me smile, even if no one else can see them.)

(Something about released tucks for waist shaping really appeals to me….. I’m not sure why, but it makes me happier than standard darts. Hmmm….)

Academy 2842

Just for the fun of it (and because I was running of out time to get this finished <- shameful confession, folks), I used snap fasteners as closures instead of buttons. Nice, shiny black ones. Which means I feel like Superman whenever I take this shirt off. Oh yeah! Let's face it – snap fasteners are fun! (Even if they are completely not 1940s in style.)

(Plus, you get to sew with a hammer, which is always a good time.)

back cropped

The Facts

Pattern: Academy 2842
Year: unknown, circa 1940s
Fabric: unknown blend, from Johanna in the first Wellington bloggers meet-up swap (thanks, Johanna! And look – I named a shirt after you in appreciation! πŸ˜‰ )
Notions: completely period-inaccurate hammer-on snap fasteners in black
First worn: to the latest Wellington sewing bloggers meet-up on 17 March
Wear again? Already have!
Make again? Yep, next time in a plainer fabric so the details stand out more

side cropped

35 responses to “The “Johanna” Shirt

  1. It’s lovely, the pleats are a great detail.

    • Thanks! πŸ™‚ I’m planning on making it up again in a plainer fabric, so the pleats are more of a feature. They do get a bit lost on this fabric, sadly….

  2. Pingback: Academy 2842 | Patterns patterns patterns

  3. Good luck with the work/baby/youtime balance. It is a proper circus act and so exhausting but you will find a way. And it looks like you have already by the looks of that lovely shirt. I’m glad you prompted me to look up ‘release tucks’. I have done them before but I didn’t know to sew from bottom to point and then across to the fold. Makes much more sense! πŸ™‚

    • I love release tucks, they’re so cute! Seems to be a common feature on 1940’s and early 1950’s garments, from what I’ve seen…. (Not that I’ve looked into this in any way at all, so I really have no idea! πŸ˜‰

  4. I like this – the pleats are lovely. And I’ve never sewn with a hammer before ….. snaps must happen soon then hey!

    Good luck with your return working full-time – may you figure out where to fit fun things in for you and still have time to stroll.

    • Sewing with a hammer is super fun! And super fast. (Which also makes it super satisfying, haha!)

      Thanks – it’s starting to settle down into a routinue now. Maybe one day I’ll catch up on my blog posting/commenting/reading/etc….. One day….

  5. Rachel Pinheiro

    Beautiful blouse…malice gets busy but all will settle…

  6. This is really sweet! And the snaps are fabulous!

  7. What a really nice pattern – no wonder you’ll want to make another one! Your future-proof seams made me smile!

  8. great blouse – love the details. i like your idea of thinking in advance in terms of future fitting. i have no idea how one goes back to work full time after 6 months of sleep deprivation, and continued sleep deprivation…you are amazing πŸ™‚

  9. Very cute top! Looks good with your hair colour. Good luck with work and the new human!

  10. It looks really good πŸ™‚ And a good blouse is always a nice thing to have in your wardrobe.

  11. Lovely back drop, the famous purple doors of theosophy πŸ™‚ xo

  12. This looks lovely, I wish I had looked at it in close detail when we met up last! Shouldn’t have partied so hard and then I could have!

    • You say that, and yet nearly every time….! πŸ˜‰

      Guess I’ll just have to bust a move and get something made for the next meet-up so you can admire it in person, sans hangover. πŸ˜€

  13. Eeee I’m famous! Haha! I’m so glad that fabric got used and made into a pretty blouse, awesome! (I believe it’s cotton by the way). You look smashing πŸ™‚

    • Why thank you, lovely lady! πŸ˜€

      It’s a blouse that’s getting a lot of use, so the fabric is well loved. (I’m wearing it today, in fact. And had a compliment on the fabric, so that compliment rightfully belongs to you, haha! πŸ˜‰

  14. Ooh, how cute! I love the tucks-instead-of-darts, too– what a great detail! I can’t believe you finished this with the instructions so lacking… I would’ve melted into a puddle and wept like a child midway through! πŸ™‚

    • Aww, thank you! πŸ™‚

      Yeah, those instructions. Hmmm. And yet, the latest thing I’ve made (post still to come) was even lighter in the instructions department. I have great sympathy for novice sewists of times gone by, they had so little to work with…!

  15. Any sewing that involves a hammer is good sewing imo!

    I love how you named this blouse and I remember seeing it and saying, “that fabric looks familiar!” πŸ™‚ Love it in the floral and would be great to see the plain version when you get around to it as well, with those pleats and top-stitching more visible it will be a completely different blouse.

    • Guess I’ll just have to keep an eye out for plain fabrics at future swaps, haha! πŸ˜‰ (Admittedly, plain fabric is something that is seriously lacking in my stash. I am such a magpie for fun prints…. *sigh*)

  16. Very cute! I adore snaps. Now I need to go sew something with them…sewing with a hammer is just too much fun.

    Good luck with the going back to work! It does get easier, I promise. The first few weeks are the hardest!

    • Thank you! πŸ™‚

      Ah yes, the going-back-to-work thing. It’s starting to get a bit easier, thankfully! (Although I just had a horrible realisation this morning – my usual keep-warm-in-winter layering of merino tops under garments won’t work this year due to the whole small-child thing. And now I have no idea how to keep warm at work. I am slightly terrified of the upcoming cold months now! Got any tips?!?)

      • I got kind of lucky in that it never gets much below 50F in San Francisco. But we did go to London in January, which was colder. Then I just wore lots of cardigans, mostly. And some very low-cut long sleeved shirts layered underneath dresses. Armwarmers and scarves helped too – I can get away with less clothing if those bits are covered. And wearing the baby against my chest with my coat open was pretty good too – he provided plenty of heat. I also wear tank tops (which could be merino possibly? Or silk?) under pretty much everything.

        In general since having a baby I’ve started to favor more layered clothes and drapey cuts. Regardless of what kind of shape I’m in my stomach is always going to be a bit squishier, so certain styles are just going to fit differently. I’m still trying to figure it out though. I’m curious to see how your style evolves too!

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