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In My Heart of Hearts dress

February 29, 2016

Whilst reading Issue 23 of Love Sewing magazine, I came across Elisalex’s tutorial for adding a heart-shaped cut out to a garment.  For the purposes of her tutorial, she had used the By Hand London Flora dress.  Although the heart cut-out could be added to any finished garment, I was inspired to start from scratch and make a whole new frock.

This is my late-night, no make-up, just-finished-my-new-dress photo!

This is my late-night, no make-up, just-finished-my-new-dress photo!

My previous Flora dress is a little loose now, so I traced the next size down.  When I made the dress the first time, I had to tinker with the fit a bit to get it right.  I adjusted the waist darts in the same way as I did last time and made a toile in some leftover liquorice allsorts fabric.  It was too short in the bodice, so for the second toile I lengthened the pattern by just under 2″ as I am quite long bodied and I find that often waistbands sit higher on me than they ought to.  The result was better.  I wanted a very close fit this time because the last dress I made seemed to just skim over the bust and it didn’t come in underneath close to my midriff.  However, for the final version I added a bit of extra ease at the side seams.

photogrid_1455569066612.jpg

The fabric I used was from Plush Addict and actually I bought it at the same time as I bought the Lickswishy Sweets fabric, which is what I used for my previous Flora dress!  I love the bright, spring-like shade of green and of course I am a sucker for things with hearts on.  The hearts on this are so tiny though that, even from a short distance, they just look like pin dots, and from even further away, they are indistinguishable and ultimately they only serve to make the shade of green appear lighter.  I think this is why I waited so long to use the fabric – to my mind it might as well be a solid colour.  This dress with the heart cut out seemed a good way of adding more interest to a dress made with this fabric though.

Flora dress styled for winter with boots, tights and a cardigan!

Flora dress styled for winter with boots, tights and a cardigan!

The heart cut-out made me kinda nervous.  To work hard on the fit of a dress, make it up and finish it perfectly (if I do say so myself!), and then CUT A GIANT HOLE IN THE FRONT – yep, I’m not ashamed to say I was a bit apprehensive.  What if it went wrong?  What if it looked completely shit and I had ruined the dress?  I did, however, have enough fabric left over to make a new bodice should it all go tits up, and knowing this gave me the confidence to do it.  Also, y’know, I reminded myself to get a grip: it wouldn’t have been the end of the world.

Styled for summer with bright yellow wedges! I much prefer it this way! (The creases are mainly because this was after a whole day of wear.)

Styled for summer with bright yellow wedges! I much prefer it this way! (The creases are mainly because this was after a whole day of wear.)

I used the same fabric as I had for the dress (and incidentally the bodice is also lined with the same fabric because I bought over 3m of it for some reason).  The process went absolutely fine, and to keep it secure, I slip-stitched the edge of the heart on the inside to the bodice lining, meaning it’s not going anywhere and it isn’t visible from the outside.

Out for coffee in the sunshine! The Flora dress design is notorious for showing bra straps!

Out for coffee in the sunshine! The Flora dress design is notorious for showing bra straps!

I’m pleased with the placement of the heart and how it sits.  The top of the heart sits nice and flat most of the time, and I like the way the V allows a peek of cleavage.  It just transforms a very plain dress into something a little more eye-catching and unusual – I’ve never seen this technique used on RTW clothing.

I don’t think I’ll be adding heart cut outs to all my dresses, but it’s good to have one!

10 Comments leave one →
  1. February 29, 2016 3:43 pm

    This is so incredibly cute! I used to have a RTW (western) shirt that had a cutout like this on the back and I *adored* that shirt (black lace, cropped, heart cutout in the back, silver heart buttons…<3), but I never figured out how to replicate it. Maybe I could now that my skills are more advanced. Is that tutorial online anywhere?

    Anyway, you did a great job, the heart is perfectly shaped and centered perfectly! I can't imagine how many times you traced and retraced that to get the perfect location and size!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      February 29, 2016 3:49 pm

      That sounds awesome! Maybe you could recreate it!

      • February 29, 2016 3:59 pm

        Do you know where I can find that tutorial online?

      • tabathatweedie permalink*
        February 29, 2016 4:09 pm

        No, I don’t know if it is online. It was in last month’s edition of Love Sewing… 😊

  2. blaceyda permalink
    February 29, 2016 7:38 pm

    Cute dress! Could you link to the tutorial for the heart cut out?

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      February 29, 2016 8:35 pm

      Thanks. I’m afraid I can’t provide a link, as it was in Love Sewing magazine.

  3. February 29, 2016 8:16 pm

    That is adorable! Well done for taking the plunge…I would be too scared t cut a giant hole in the front of a dress for fear of putting it in the wrong place, but this is perfect!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      February 29, 2016 8:37 pm

      Thanks. I pinned on a tissue paper heart first to get the placement right!

  4. March 7, 2016 4:16 pm

    Wow! That looks amazing!

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