Simplicity 8248 and a life update!

Hey. I know, I know, it's been forever. This site is not dead and I miss everything sewing, and I will get into why I've been gone at the end of this post. But for all those not here for internet friendship I'll start with my latest make. 



Simplicity8248



Meet Simplicity 8248, a 1930's reprint of a collared dress with lovely details on the bust and sleeves. My one big complaint is it CLEARLY used to come with a long sleeve option, but the reprint DOES NOT. What? Why not!?



Simplicity8248 side


I, of course, can't leave well enough alone and made a shit ton of mods to the dress. For starters I swapped out the pin straight skirt for an A line from Simplicity 1325, and the pockets from it too. I need real pockets not cute little decoration pockets. I also didn't use silk, I used a thick ass jersey that I bought like a year ago, that may or may not be too heavy for the dress. My waist line pulls down a tad, but on the bright side no zipper, it's a pullover now!


Simplicity1325 skirt


I added a horsehair braid around the hem which is my new favorite thing ever! And yes, I didn't iron my seams so well, but ummm I burned this fabric twice with the iron and I got scared.


Simplicity8248


BTW this dress was a dick to photograph. Sometimes you could see the dots, other times it turned into a black hole of light and hope for my blogging future. I tried to edit things to make it look the best, but didn't do the best, so sorry if the colors keep changing. Also look how rusty I am at photos! Hey there door and outlet...but hey POCKETS!


Simplicity8248 back


The back has a hook and eye closure with a facing to finish off the opening. I tacked the facing down with black thread and hid them in the polka dots.


Simplicity8248 sleeves


The arm is super cool


Simplicity8248


The front has some little gathers on the tops of boobs and below on the waist line. I might make a shirt out of the pattern too. It's just something you don't see every day and super flattering.


Simplicity8248


Long story short I freaking love this dress. I will prob make it again. Next time I will def make it out of stiffer fabric so the details pop more/are more crisp even if it means fighting a zipper insert. It's super comfortable and I am kinda digging the longer length. Great for more daytime mom activities.


So! Where have I been? Well basically every time someone runs a test on my head they come back with bad news. It started with a dark spot on an x-ray at the dentist in my sinus and ended with a rare condition the top neurosurgeons don't know anything about. The spot was a normal cyst in my sinuses, and needed a CT scan to get a better photo to send to an ENT. Well that scan found a Chiari Malformation. That is where your skull doesn't contain your brain and it pokes out the back and presses on your spine. Gross huh? I'm not going to die from it or anything, but it's a roll of the dice how it will effect me for the rest of my life. Since it's so personal on what your brain is pressing on no two cases are the same. Some people have no problems, others need brain/skull surgery that only helps symptoms, and even that almost half of the time doesn't help.

So that's what I've been doing. Getting sinus surgery to scrape my face with a few weeks of recovery. Then tests, drs appointments, tests, more dr appointments, internet researches, freaking out, general woe is me shit all while trying to potty train a 2 year old. I've pulled myself out of my funk, so if anyone needs me, I'll be in my sewing room.

You can follow me on Instagram at pocketsandsleeves or if you'd like to watch my latest projects in the works, add me on Snapchat at Orangeowl4. You can always e-mail me at Pocketsandsleeves@gmail.com

No Doubt it's a Plaid Dress

Have you ever read the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie? Where shit snowballs really easily? Well that is the best way I can explain this project. All I wanted to do was make a shirt out of the same pattern of my last dress. Then this happened:

Plaid dress


Somehow a pullover shirt with bound edges turned into a two piece dress with a homemade horse hair hem.

Plaid dress

And can we take a minute to look at all the pattern matching? But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's start from the beginning.

Plaid shirt

Yes, I made a simple pull over shirt with darts (that need to be lowered for next time) and homemade bias tape neck and arm cuff finishes.

Plaid shirt

The sleeves didn't set in perfectly so I just gathered it at the shoulder and made it a puff sleeve. I also did a rounded hem, with a little bit of some high low action.

Plaid shirt

Love it.

Plaid shirt

And of course I took the a lot of my time to pattern match.

Plaid shirt

LOOK AT THE PATTERN MATCHING! I really held my breath doing anything with the sleeves. My greatest fear was that one sleeve would carry the plaid perfectly and the other one would have screwed the whole look up...but it didn't. It worked out. I know, I'm as surprised as you are.

Plaid shirt

So there I was, with a kick ass shirt, and I notice I have a good hunk of fabric left over...maybe enough to make a skirt...

plaid skirt

(This is the only photo with the crop top because if I moved it showed too much skin for my taste)
I didn't have enough fabric to do a full circle so I drafted up a half circle skirt. That's when I got the idea to make some horse hair braid, but those look the best with a full skirt, so I cut the biggest side panels I could from the scraps to add more fullness to the skirt. So it ended up being like 2/3 of a circle, which if I knew that was going to happen I would have left the fabric as a rectangle and just had more gathers at the waist. Hindsight? Am I right?

plaid dress

I didn't end up adding the gathers evenly to the waist band, you can see here there are a lot more in the back. The front was left with these weird bubbles of ruffles so I folded them down and sewed them in place.


I am left with some odd seams and pattern silliness, but I still love it. And it looks a lot better than it did.


I went lazy with closure and basically just added a button. There is kinda a hole there (I sewed the raw edges at least!) and the band overlaps enough that it folds over and doesn't show any skin or undershirt. You will also notice that the waistband is all kinda of fucked. I ran out of fabric so the front is cut on the bias and the back is not. I made the bias the front because nothing lined up, so at least it looks on purpose when worn with the matching shirt.

plaid skirt

My horse hair braid is just really thick tulle doubled up and sewn together. I wish I hadn't doubled it up. I thought it would have made it stiffer, and it did, but it also made it have these odd puffs in places that I'm not the biggest fan of, but I wanted to try it out ya know.

plaid skirt

 Long story short, I do like some puff in my skirt. I was worried it would be too... something, idk I was scared to throw money at a real horsehair braid because I wasn't sure I was going to keep it in, now I know I will in fact like it, it is worth the time and money because making some took a long time and was prob harder to work with than the real kind.

plaid skirt

I also notice this winter I'm really going for the school girl look.

plaid dress

The real magic of this undertaking is when it is all worn together though. So let's just take a minute to appreciate it all together shall we?

plaid dress

plaid dress

plaid dress

plaid dress

Thanks for indulging me. I really love this look. The funny thing is after I got done making it, and I was watching videos that no one would like to broadcast that they watched, I came across this:


ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!? I have been a fan of Gwen since I was 10, always loved her style, and I made something that not only she would wear..SHE DID WEAR! Sure, hers is made out of different fabric, has a collar and a bow, and probably has a full circle skirt, but holy fuck, I shit myself when I saw this. It legit looks like I copied her dress, but I swear to every fan girl gene in my body that I found this after my shirt and skirt were done.

 You can follow me on Instagram at pocketsandsleeves or if you'd like to watch my latest projects in the works, add me on Snapchat at Orangeowl4. You can always e-mail me at Pocketsandsleeves@gmail.com

Vintage Pattern Into a Modern Dress

Oddly enough I set out to just add sleeves to a vintage 1950's casual dress and wound up making a very trendy, and dare I say it, sexy, dress party dress.

High low plaid dress

Plaid flannel, long sleeve with a high low hem! If the flannel looks familiar this is why.

McCalls quaker oats pattern

This was the pattern I started with... what do you mean you can't see the similarity?

McCalls quaker oats pattern

See the main body piece? Yeah, that is all I ended up using. I'll get into that later, let's peep this kick ass pattern first! This pattern was in size small, man, look at those waist measurements! Also what I find weird is that dress has an elastic waist, but only thread is listed under notions.

McCalls quaker oats pattern

The pattern has no id number because you would send away for it with a box top or something. I have googled it a bit and it seems McCalls made about 4 patterns you could send away for, all dresses you could wear while serving breakfast. The pattern envelope had the OG lady's address on it, so they just slapped a sticker on it and sent it in the mail! Man, times have changed, I want to send away for a free pattern from a cereal box! 

McCalls quaker oats pattern

I got my grubby little hands on it when my lovely friends, Cortnee and her wife Danielle, found bags of vintage patterns at an estate sale and bought basically all of them for me! All uncut and close enough to my size to be used!

High low plaid dress

Ok, back to my dress. I sewed up the main pieces and tried it on, since I am nowhere near a 1950's small I got worried, but the dress is supposed to be baggy, but on me it is just big enough to be a pull over without any stretch in the fabric. YES! I really liked the crew neck (which seems rare in sewing patterns for some reason) so I skipped the facings to make a V in the neck. Then I drafted up some sleeves and added them on. I hated everywhere I thought about adding the elastic. Now I just had a huge long sleeved sack. I guess that happens when you omit all the parts that make a dress a dress.

High low plaid dress

Side note: I didn't pattern match because I had a huge headache when I was cutting and just said fuck it, so much regret.

High low plaid dress

I had to add something to make it a dress, or it would have been a sleep shirt, but I didn't want to give up on it yet. I went with a high low hem.

how to high low hem

The dotted line is the side seam, so you just fold it like ironing men's dress pants and the hem line looks like an S. Easy mode.

High low plaid dress

It might seem super short, but you can see here where my leg ends, I have long legs and a short torso so it kinda looks shorter than it actually is, it is longer than my finger tips, but I wish I would have made it a hint longer so it doesn't look as slutty as I fear it does at times. 

High low plaid dress

I do really love it though. It is crazy how just a little bit of front thigh can be scandalous. It's literally the only part of my body that is showing, but I still feel a tad exposed.


What I love about the high low thang the best is you can wear a short skirt and still be able to bend over without as much worry.


And the knee socks remind me of Cher from Clueless, which has been my style icon since like 4th grade.


I added bias binding to the neck line and cuffs. Which reminds me of my bear dress.


I just folded the fabric over twice for the hem, I thought the binding would have been too much, and this way it still looks neat, I tested a rolled hem, but it got way to wavy.


My serger crapped out on me, and I've been down a rabbit hole trying to find the problem so I bound the main seams, I ran out around the arm holes and I'm so worried I'm going to pop a seam. Luckily it's short and I'm not going to be waving my arms around that much anyway.

High low plaid dress

That's enough Lora, put your arms down.


Due to my cutting headache and my fuck it attitude that day the fabric moved on me and the dress has some wonk.

High low plaid dress

BUT I got glasses a few days ago so bye bye headaches!


You can follow me on Instagram at pocketsandsleeves or if you'd like to watch my latest projects in the works, add me on Snapchat at Orangeowl4. You can always e-mail me at Pocketsandsleeves@gmail.com

McCalls 7360 - Badass Plaid Yoked Shirt

I am ready for fall (I even have my Halloween costume picked out). I thought I should make a shirt that isn't raglan sleeves for once!


McCalls 7360

Meet McCalls 7360, a Henley shirt with a Mandarin like collar, they call it a collar band. It also has a shit ton of sleeve and hem line options.

McCalls 7360

I made mine with bias cut cuffs and BAM, plaid yoke!


This was a trial run shirt, I cut a size 10, call me crazy, but the sleeves are a bit big on me, and because of that it kinda looks like a chef's jacket at times. Maybe I should have added the chest pocket (also in plaid) but I thought the yoke shoulder part would show more from the front. You live and you learn.

McCalls 7360

But I did wear it out to a bar fresh off the sewing machine and I totally got hit on, so it can't be that bad.

McCalls 7360

The collar instructions on this pattern were USELESS. I just kinda guessed my was through it. It isn't perfect, but it works.


I didn't slip stitch these facings, I just top stitched them down, same with the collar for that matter. The bottom part didn't come out flawless, but at least I have puckers on both sides...so it's not a pucker, it's...gathering, yeah, gathering.


McCalls 7360

With my new machine I did my first two automatic button holes. It was scary, but still super fun. The sleeves were the easiest set in sleeves I have ever encountered. No huge ease, but match up and sew. It was like a dream.


I still need to play around with some button settings though, so I didn't add in any front buttons, I still might, I feel like I can flash too much boob. My next run of this shirt I'm going to shorten the opening. I'd prefer it to end at the top of my cleavage, not at the bottom of my chest. But maybe that's why I got hit on...

McCalls 7360

Even with all my nit-picks, I truly love this shirt, I feel very Johnny Cash in it.


You can follow me on Instagram at pocketsandsleeves or if you'd like to watch my latest projects in the works, add me on Snapchat at Orangeowl4. You can always e-mail me at Pocketsandsleeves@gmail.com