Remix: Heart to Heart

Frocks and frou frou Frocks and frou frou Frocks and frou frou Frocks and frou frouTop: Remixed, Uniqlo

Skirt: Sera Lilly

Shoes: Seychelles

One of the very first remix projects I did on Frocks and Frou Frou was a big red heart tee way back in 2010. And here I am 6 years later, still putting whopping great red hearts on things. The more things change, the more etc etc…!

In fact, I was actually kind of inspired by the It’s Mutual Tee, which I saw on Modcloth a few weeks ago. At $30 it’s perfectly affordable for US customers, but the Australian dollar’s not being on online-shopper’s friend right now, and I was baulking at the postage charge when I realised what an easy remix project it would be.

heart to heart 1I bought a drapey white tee from Uniqlo, some red fabric paint, and some adhesive foam sheets (though to be honest, that was probably overkill, and you could just use cardboard!)

heart to heart 2First step is to make your heart shape. I always use a piece of paper folded in half to ensure that it’s symmetrical. One you have the size and shape you’re happy with put your top on, and position the heart. Make sure you mark the position with a pin!

Heart to heart 3Now you need to transfer that heart shape onto something that the paint won’t seep through. I used adhesive foam, but as long it’s relatively waterproof (and you’re confident you can stop it from slipping around) you could use anything. Plastic contact paper could be good, and VERY easy to source, what with all the kids going back to school! Trace around the heart shape and cut the middle out.

heart to heart 4Slip a layer of cardboard into the top, and pin the extra fabric to the back so it won’t wriggle about. Position your heart cut-out where you’ve marked, then pour some of your fabric paint into a little bowl.

heart to heart 5A make-up sponge is a good choice for applying the paint. Start with the edges, then cover off the rest. You’ll have to let it dry for 48 hours, but after that the paint won’t budge. Wash, and you’re ready to wear!

Frocks and frou frouAnd here’s the finished product!

I wore it with this fabulous pleated tulle skirt from NZ label Sera Lilly Curve. It’s like a tutu, but a little more appropriate for day-wear. I sized up because I hate tight elasticised waistbands and it’s perfect. I’m a bit nervous about washing it for the first time because the pleats would be a total pain-in-the-ass to iron, but I wore it the other day and did a lot of lolling about on couches and it didn’t crush, so the pleats could very well be permanent.

And if you love the heart tee, but just don’t really have the time or inclination to make it yourself there’s plenty of options to buy ready made!

heart tops1. Heart Slouchy tee / 2. Red Heart Tee Oversized / 3. It’s Mutual Tee / 4. Heart Shirt

All Buttoned Up

Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Hawthorn Dress: DIY (Colette Patterns)

Shoes: Comfortview

So here’s the thing about boobs. They make buttoned-up things a pain in the ass. So shirt dresses are a big old “no”. If they fit the bust they’re boxy in the shoulders. Fit the shoulders? Good luck getting those buttons done up. Add short-waisted to the mix and it just becomes a recipe for wardrobe disaster.

Towards the end of last year I dropped by Stitch 56 to meet Sarai Mitnick, the founder of my favourite pattern company Colette, during her visit to Australia. I accidentally (not really) forgot to take any of my much-loved patterns along to be signed, so “had” to buy a new one, and the Hawthorn shirt dress pattern caught my eye immediately.

It’s a little more advanced than my usual sewing projects, but the comprehensive instruction booklet that comes with all Colette patterns coached me through step-by-step and I was totally delighted to see it coming together.

I had to tweak the pattern a little as I was sewing – shortening the waist and bringing the sides in a little – but it was easy to do in the fitting process. I think if (when!) I make the pattern again with the sleeves I’ll have to do a proper, legit, Full Bust Adjustment.

The dress has a lovely semi-circle skirt that provides fullness without extra bulk. The bodice is darted at the waist for a streamlined look, and the small, high collar gives that classic shirt dress look without the extra volume around the bust.

Frocks and Frou FrouBecause I was a bit nervous about the pattern I started with a budget-friendly textured slub cotton that looks almost identical to the linen dress pictured in the marketing for the original pattern.

I deliberated over the buttons for more time than I care to admit, but in the end decided to indulge my penchant for whimsy and go with pretty little white hearts.

Frocks and Frou FrouThe result was better than I could have hoped for: A beautifully fitting shirt dress that has a classic 1950’s elegance, but is comfortable and breezy to wear on hot summer days.