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Friday, February 1, 2013

From Christmas Dresses to Valentine's Day Dresses

Back in December, my BFF and I made matching Christmas full-circle dresses for our daughters with the intent on keeping the colors neutral enough to have them re-purposed for Valentine's Day. The girls loved wearing them and twirling around in them as you can see from my daughter's picture. However, after Christmas, while my daughter wanted to continue wearing the dress, I didn't think it looked right. While there was no green in the dress to scream "Christmas," there was a Christmas present sewn on the shirt.

Today, I'm thrilled that I finally got around to changing the applique for my daughter in time for the month of love! When we sewed on the square present, we thought we'd remove the bow and just sew a heart inside the box, but I was inspired by the ruffle heart shirt from Keeping it Simple. However, instead of making my ruffles into straight rows, I chose to wrap mine into the heart pattern. This is what I came up with...

You can make this on any solid colored shirt, but if you want to attach the shirt to a full-circle skirt to create an adorable party dress, you can go here for my full tutorial.  First, let's gather our supplies:


1. If you are going to be transforming your Christmas dress into a Valentine's dress like me, keep reading. If you are making this heart on a new shirt, skip to step two. Use a seam ripper to detach the bow from your present. Don't worry about the ribbon that is straight stitched onto the box as that lays flat. Now, trace your present onto a sheet of paper and fold the square in half. Sketch out one side of a heart that will barely cover one side of the square. Once you are happy with the shape, trace the other side of the heart and unfold your paper. Now you have your perfect heart pattern. Cut it out and skip to step three.

2. Since you have a new shirt, your heart can be any size you want. My instructions will be for a heart that is about 6" from outer point to inner point by 7" wide at the widest spot. Sketch out a heart on a sheet of paper and cut it out for your pattern.

3. Cut out strips of fabric that are 1" wide. I ended up cutting four strips that totaled 86" long. You'll need that much fabric, but it doesn't matter how many strips you use.
4. Set your sewing machine to the largest straight stitch possible (mine was a 6) and sew a straight line down the middle of all of your strips. Do NOT use the back stitch because you are creating a gathering stitch.  Then pull the bottom stitch to create ruffles until your strips are half as long as they originally measured. 

5. Apply Fray Check around all the edges of your strips. While your fabric edges are drying, use your heart pattern to trace your fusible web and cut it out with your paper scissors. Then peel off the top layer of paper.

6. Next, place one of your ruffles around the outer edges of your heart-shaped webbing and pin every couple of inches. Continue until you have your entire heart outlined. Then sew it onto the fusible web, back stitching at the beginning and ending. 
7. Place your next ruffle just inside the first heart and go around as before. If your ruffle strips aren't long enough, just grab another. If you have to cut a strip, be sure to add Fray Check.
8. If your heart is the same size as mine, you'll make two full hearts and  then fill in the center with one or two more layers of ruffles. You can see the design I made when looking at the backside of my heart here:
 9. Now that you have finished sewing the ruffles onto the heart, you will carefully peal off the back paper of your webbing and place the heart onto your shirt. Next, iron the heart to the shirt, working with the ruffles so they lay the way you like.

10. You can stop here if you'd like, but if you'd like to provide a more secure attachment to the shirt, you can cut out a piece of fusible web a little bigger than the heart and pin it to the inside of the shirt. Then, sew a straight stitch around the heart, following that outside ruffle's stitch. I was going to do this, but I ran out of red thread. Plus, my daughter was anxious to wear her re-designed dress. 

UPDATE: I just pulled the dress out of the washing machine, and the ruffles look great, but I will sew a quick straight stitch around the outer layer of ruffles to better secure it to the top. I didn't like that the webbing had begun pulling away from the shirt already. I also always hang dry the clothes I make with appliques. Thankfully, I found the red thread I had bought earlier in the week. Happy sewing!

There you go... an adorably ruffly heart shirt for Valentine's Day!

Featured on PinkapotamusIn The Old Road   


I'll be sharing this post at some of these parties here.  


  1. So cute!!!

    Stopping by from Clever Chicks Hop!!


  2. So sweet. Stopping by from clever chicks hop too! :)

  3. So smart to repurpose this because it will be too small before very long!!

  4. That is so cute! I love to repurpose stuff into something else. I always hate buying or making my kids something for a certain holiday because after that holiday is over they don't wear it anymore and by the next year its too small. I will have to think about that with future holiday outfits I make.

  5. This is so cute.

    We are hosting a link party that is live today. We would like to invite you to link up and share this with our readers.


    The Busy Bee's,
    Myrna and Joye.

    1. Thanks for the invite! I stopped by and linked up. I'll be back next week too!

  6. Oh, I love how you changed up the dress for the next holiday...genius! I'm so glad you shared this at Loving Valentines Day!


  7. So cute!! Love the easy way you attached the heart to the shirt!
    Thanks for sharing at Artsy Corner :)

  8. You can't go wrong with ruffles, especially on a heart.


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