Okay, I admit it. I totally overreacted. I had a big "woe is me" meltdown and then proceeded to angst over what to do with those the stupid sleeves for the next 5 months. I intended to wear this dress to 3 different events this past year, but each time I would pull it out of the naughty pile to finish it, I would get all worked up over the sleeves again and then put it back away.
Lesson #2 was something that I should know my now, but apparently I don't. If you don't make a mockup, at least be sure of your size. I almost never make mockups with vintage patterns, and I thought this pattern was close to my size, but it really wasn't. It was massively huge on me, so basically I made the dress, took the entire thing apart, re-cut the pattern, and then made it all over again. It wouldn't have been that big of a deal, but I had been hand-finishing all of the seams as I sewed, and it almost killed me to have to unpick all of that beautiful finishing work. *sigh* But it finally fits right and I think I have a better grasp of what size I really am now.
So 7 months later, and my "easy" vintage project is finally done! I finished off the outfit by wearing a little tilt hat that I bought in a local antique store, a $10 corde purse from Etsy, a vintage navy slip, some vintage seamed stockings, and some Madden Girl brand shoes that I found on the clearance racks at DSW last year. The shoes originally had a very modern flowered fabric on them, but they were such a great shape, so I painted them blue with acrylic paint to match my outfit.
WWII era fashions have never been my favorites, and I was a little worried that this outfit would feel too "prissy" with the little neck bow and the poofy sleeves. But I really loved wearing this dress and I'm itching to make more things from this period now. If you are interested, you can see a few more photos on my flickr.