Hot! The “Sleeve it to Me” Dress

The Facts

Fabric: Vintage Rayon? Gifted by Cute Church Lady
Pattern: Simplicity (pattern # unknown) Gifted by Cute Church Lady
Year: Circa 1940’s
Notions: zipper from the inherited stash
Time to complete: Before sleeves – 8 hours, After sleeves – 30 min
First worn: Before sleeves – August 2011, After sleeves – February 2012
Wear again? Sure, after I stuff my bra enough.

Total price: $0

When I originally made this dress, I had chosen to not add the sleeves to give it a more modern look. I thought that I was done with it. But realized last month that I had never actually worn the dress since “finishing” it last August. All because of the sleeves. I felt weird wearing it. Like it was missing something special. I decided to officially finish it and use it for my UFO project. I had sold the pattern last December. I wish I had a picture of it to share with you, because it looks so darn cute on the hand drawn figure wearing it.  Thankfully I had cut the sleeves out back when I first started this dress.

I received the fabric and pattern from a cute and nice church lady. I loved the pattern, I thought it to be so chic. The bodice has the circular gather at the waist. I enjoyed learning how to put it together. I did not enjoy the constant adjusting of the darts, front and back. The fabric was to die for! I knew this fabric was meant for this dress. I instantly fell in love with the feel of it, the print, and the colors. I wish I had more of it so I could make a blouse as well.

When I first started this dress, I had the hardest time getting it to size down in order for it to not look so frumpy on me. I have a hard time getting things to fit my small frame properly. The pattern must have been a 12 or 14. Which in the 1940’s my waist size is perfect for a size 12 or 14 pattern, but my bust and hips are not. So the dress fits great in the waist, but is a bit frumpy in the hip and bust area. My straight figure does not wear vintage well, but I love it so much I cannot resist the urge to at least try.

I also wanted my photos to feel a little vintage, so I applied a gritty layer to them in Picnick. Though garage door backdrop isn’t very vintage. I wish my area had more photogenic places.

My husband did actually compliment me on this dress, so I suppose I will wear it again (after I get a very padded bra and a roll of toilet paper).



Bethany is a forever student in Fashion Design. She took a hiatus from her studies due to the fear of using a sewing machine and a long term illness. It wasn't until her daughter was born, she felt inspired to create again and dive headfirst into sewing by machine.


Comments are closed.

  1. That’s a lovely dress! You’ve done such a wonderful job.
    As a curvy-shaped vintage nerd, I’d like to point out with envy that your straight figure would be perfect for all the 1920s outfits that I can’t pull off because I have booty. :)

    • 1940’s dresses are definitely for curvier figures. I don’t why I keep trying. I should look into making 1920’s dresses instead. I am now on the hunt for patterns I can recreate. Thanks!

  2. Love the fabric and pattern choice. You should definitly wear it again!

  3. Way to go with the posing. Great pattern design, lucky to get such a great gift.

  4. Love that vintage print. Congratulations on de-UFOing.

  5. It’s a lovely dress, and the fabric is too. Your hair looks great too – did you do it yourself? I can’t do hair. How good is PicNic! What are you going to use when they go offline?

    • I did do my own hair. I braved the curling iron and hoped for the best. Thank you. Picnick was super easy. I have no idea what to do once they are gone. It’s a bummer really, though it pleases my graphic designer husband.

  6. I am loving your dress and the print really is to die for!

  7. My dear, with a figure like yours, I suggest a few episodes of Downton Abbey and bring your sketch pad. Any of the incredible outfits in that series would look fabulous on someone with a shape such as yours, guaranteed.

    • I caught an episode of Downton Abbey as you suggested, via Netflix. I love their costuming! I took my sketch pad and all and went to town on a design I hope to use in the near future. Thank you so much Jenn!

  8. very cute! great fabric! and I think flutter sleeves like that are my favorite kind.

  9. lovely fabric and it’s such a pretty pattern. I think you have definitely made it work for you.

  10. I love this dress it’s just beautiful. And I think it looks great sans curves too.. so don’t worry about it!

  11. Cute Church Lady gifted you a fab fabric and pattern! Congrats on finishing, and definitely keep wearing!

  12. I think I will, with all these great compliments from all of you amazing women! Thank you!

  13. That fabric is soooooo pretty!!! It’s a lovely lovely dress :)