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

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